So the other day I was looking at the Billboard charts from the 90’s, specifically 1997 and 1998 (don’t even ask why I was looking at those two years, just accept it). In 1998, Deborah Cox held the #1 spot for quite a few weeks with her number one stunna “Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here” on the R&B charts. Then, I realized she held the #1 spot for 14 weeks!! At the time, that was the longest-running #1 single (a record Cox held for almost 8 years!). I definitely remember the song being on the radio for a long time but #1 for 14 weeks! As if all that wasn’t enough to blow my mind, I read that Cox is Canadian. How in the world did I not know that until now?! Seriously, I was a regular in the imports section of Tower Records and I read liner notes like I was trying to memorize lines for drama class. How the hell did I not know Deborah Cox is Canadian? Is Brandy from Canada too? Well anyways, this revelation inspired me to list six amazing R&B artists that are from Canada.
Let’s begin, shall we?!Here are 6 stellar R&B artists hailing from #canada feat @shaylia_ @charlottecardin #newmusic Click To Tweet
1. SHAY LIA
If you enjoy the music of Kaytranada, then you might recognize Lia’s angelic voice or name from 2014’s stunning “Leave Me Alone“. Based in Montreal, Lia is back on the scene with the sultry “Blue“, produced by Kaytranada and BadBadNotGood, and the more upbeat “What’s Your Problem” (above). Listen to all three of these songs and you’ll be wanting many more from this rising star.
2. JESSIE REYEZ
The first time I heard Reyez, I didn’t know what was happening. Her voice is so raw, and after watching a few interviews you can tell that she is raw too. It’s really refreshing to see her just do her thing. And I love that people are responding to it. After listening to “Figures” (above), move on to her collaboration with Calvin Harris, “Hard To Love” (my current obsession). Finish off with the very important “Gatekeeper“, in which Reyez calls out sexism in the industry. It’s worth nothing that she released this song on her debut EP AND as a single, creating an open discussion on a very relevant topic that many prefer to ignore. That takes some balls. Like I said, she’s raw. And I’m grateful she’s sharing her art with us.
We first mentioned Ebhoni last month and her music is so good that it bears repeating. I also feel that her sound is so unique because she’s from Toronto, so of course we had to include her in this post. I’d recommend listening to any track off her Mood Ring EP and then remember that she is the youngest Canadian on this list (at 17-years-old). Remember the name, this is just the start for Ebhoni.
4. A L L I E
I recently discovered a l l i e and I’m so grateful that I did! Her debut album, Nightshade, was released in July and features collabs with some of Canada’s hottest talents including Charlotte Day Wilson (who we’ll get into next). Her distinct sound of R&B is very refreshing and is delivered in very creative ways. I’m in love with the entire album, the production and vocals are on point. Definitely one to keep an eye on.
5. CHARLOTTE DAY WILSON
Also based in Toronto, Wilson is probably the most genre-defying artist on this list. She’s been compared to Sade and fellow Torontonian Daniel Caesar, and at times her sound is bluesy, sometimes folksy, and always soulful. If that sounds like an interesting yet difficult feat, it is. But Wilson is able to pull it off. Her debut EP, CDW, was released last year and she continues to make waves this year with the release of her music video for “Work“, released just after the Women’s March, and more recently is featured on a track off of Daniel Caesar’s debut album.
6. CHARLOTTE CARDIN
Charlotte Cardin is probably dishing out the jazziest R&B of all the ladies that I’ve listed so far, and I love it. Her music is a wondrous mix of pop, R&B, and jazz, having just the right blend of each. Cardin, also from Montreal, has one of those voices that makes you stop and listen. You can’t help but feel what she’s feeling when she sings. I first fell in love with her single “Big Boy” (this live version will give you all the feels). And I’ll be patiently waiting for more music from Cardin, I can’t wait to hear what she does next.
THANK YOU, CANADA!