Almost everything about me is atypical. You’d find very few “ordinary” things about my likes and dislikes if you knew me personally. The most unique thing about me is my musical taste. I honestly do like a little bit of everything excluding bluegrass or polka-dubstep, but there is this genre of music right behind my love for 90s grunge. I’ve never known how to categorize it, so I simply call it sex music. Yes, sex music, because if sex could be performed musically, it would pretty much sound like these songs. At least, that’s what I think. I should go ahead and show you my list of favorites.
New Kids on the Block
♣ Mura Masa ♣
I can’t stop swaying. The beat is overwhelmingly groovy. When you want to take it down a notch, chillstep is the way to go. Sometimes R&B’s lyrical approach is too distracting, and electro-pop doesn’t have the relaxed feel you were looking for. That’s when you turn to Mura Masa for a mind massage. After four minutes of being in a dance trance, you’ll feel instantly refreshed. I dare you to try it.
I Miss You ♠ Mura Masa
♣ Shlohmo ♣
Have you ever found yourself using the term “baby-making music”? I have, and usually I’m using it to describe this guy. Remember when Robin Thicke used to make music that’d give you goosebumps? Yeah, me too. Don’t feel too sad, though, because Shlohmo is here to save the day with his R&B groove combined with deep bass. Some of his songs tend to have a little more like a post-toke vibe, while songs like “Bo Peep” make it hard to sit comfortably. Oops. You didn’t hear me say that. I’ll just say it’s a matter of opinion.
Bo Peep (Do U Right) ♠ Shlohmo
♣ Billie Black ♣
What can I say about the beautiful Billie Black? Well for starters, she’s stunning, and additionally, her voice is breathtakingly sweet. She’s consistently given us soulful beat after beat with just a subtle kicking flare. For being 19, she has an unbelievable amount of confidence in her vocal control. She instantly had me at “I Don’t Need Another Lover”, but she really stole my heart when I heard “I Waited For You”. If you’re looking to hear what an angel sounds like over some chillstep beats, she’s what you’ve been waiting for.
I Waited For You ♠ Billie Black
♣ Majid Jordan ♣
Majid Jordan reminds me of the duos between Shlohmo and Jeremih except a bit more permanent. It’s easy to get lost in Majid Al Maskati’s wavy synth and heavy bass line, but Jordan Ullman’s vocal tracks, though repetitive, are a pretty solid addition. If you loved Shlohmo’s work with Jeremih, Majid Jordan is practically an extension of that sub-genre.
A Place Like This ♠ Majid Jordan
♣ Dawn Golden ♣
What a beautiful sadness… if I could ever describe it that way. Usually sadness and heartbreak are like diseases. They’re infectious, and everyone tries to avoid them at all costs. But the truth is: it’s inevitable every once in awhile. The Dawn Golden project, which began in 2010, captures the vulnerability of a man in mourning and manages to share it with us in the form of rich vocals and dramatically slow piano melodies.
Still Life ♠ Dawn Golden
♣ Tom Misch ♣
Bear with me. I know he’s pretty difficult to get into at first, but with a very back-to-basics routine in his rhythms, Tom Misch gives you the gratification of your classic, climax-oriented song. The suspenseful build keeps you waiting for something more to happen, and when it does, it’s just enough to evoke that deep sigh of satisfaction. Not to mention, there are subtle guitar licks that incorporate a jazzy approach to relaxation. It’s incomparable. That is, if you have the patience.
Memory ♠ Tom Misch
♣ AlunaGeorge ♣
Last but certainly not least, we have AlunaGeorge. Like Majid Jordan, it is a combination of a beat master and a lead vocalist. Aluna Francis and George Reid comprise the electronic R&B group, and are an undeniably dynamic duo. Not to mention, Aluna’s accent is just divine. It was impossible for me to decide which song was just right, so here’s an entire album of awesomeness.
Body Music ♠ AlunaGeorge
♣ Sade ♣
Whether we like it or not, our parents will always have some influence on our tastes in music. My parents were particularly into the R&B and love-jazz genres. Let me start by saying that Sade Adu is the queen. If you aren’t a Sade fan, you’re really missing out on some of the most beautiful love songs ever written performed by a goddess in flesh and bone. Yes, it is that serious. I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed with any song she’s ever recorded or performed. Not to mention, she’s had some extremely talented musicians in her band. Stuart Mathewman, Paul Spencer Denman, Andrew Hale, and Sade Adu comprise the band Sade. Even with all of that going on, I have to say he best part is: her live performances are even better than the studio recordings.
Lover’s Rock ♠ Sade
♣ Vincent Cheng ♣
This might sound a little strange, but I fell in love with this sort of music when I first heard this promotional song that came with an mp3 player called a Zen Micro, manufactured by Creative. I got it as a gift in 2004 when I was only in the fourth grade. The iPod wanna-be featured some demo songs, one of which was “Seasons” by Vincent Cheng. I probably played the song about 200 times in the first two months that I had it. Boy, am I glad they threw that one in my lap. Although it’s even stranger that I can’t seem to find anything about the artist at all despite the hours of research I spent trying to pinpoint him. Oh, well.
Seasons ♠ Vincent Cheng
♣ Nujabes ♣
My final shout-out goes to this unforgettable artist. Jun Seba of Japan was Nujabes. Some of you Anime fans may know him for producing the ending theme for a popular series titled Samurai Champloo back in 2004. The song was titled “Song of Seasons” in English and “Shiki No Uta” in Japanese. Nujabes took a jazz-oriented approach to popular hip-hop style beats, creating a vibe all his own. In 2010 at the age of 36, the DJ was killed in a tragic car accident on the Shuto Expressway, ending his long career, which began around 1996. When I first heard about his death, I cried for a few days. It sucks when you lose one of your inspirations, but I know his innovate approach to hip-hop will never be forgotten. In fact, it’s now becoming more prevalent in Western pop music! Rest in Beats, Jun Seba (February 7, 1974 – February 26, 2010).
Feather ♠ Nujabes
Lady Brown ♠ Nujabes
Shiki No Uta ♠ Nujabes (My Personal Favorite)
~The Out Girl