The Playlist: 9 hot underrated Neo Soul Artists that will blow your Mind
Below-mainstream tracks that you wish you knew before
Pure and dry sound, groovy chord changes and a clearly unique vibe: I’m talking about Neo Soul. After having its golden years by the end of the 1990s, the genre somewhat disappeared from the radar of many listeners. In the recent years, however, a new Neo Soul renaissance is taking place. In the following list, I will feature some of the influencers of the new ‘Generation Soul’.
1. Hiatus Kayote
The Australian based band around Naomi “Nai Palm” Saalfield impresses with their outstanding lead vocals and the relaxed and calm vibes they spread with relatively complex music. Their sound is amazingly clean and works with almost no effects.
2. Cosmo Pyke
This guy is so fresh, he does not even have a Wikipedia article! The 18 years old (!) London-Peckham based Cosmo Pyke (yes, it is his real name) released his first EP in February 2017. If you want to see an artist growing up from the start, go follow him! I am pretty sure he’s going to be a big name in a few years. Already cooperating with Frank Ocean and modeling for a few skateboard labels will definitely help him with that. I am a fan!
Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat is a LA based bass guitarist, producer and singer. He is a well established studio musician and producer mostly working in the shad0w of big names like Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino. In 2016 he won the Grammy Award for best sung/rap collaboration for his work on Kendrick Lamar’s track “These Walls”.
Vulfpeck is definitely one of the most unique artists on this list. With their weird old-school, lightweight funky style, the Michigan based band is setting a new bar when it comes to musical perfection. They are gaining more and more success in the U.S, also because of their videos which are in style of old 80s tv shows.
Ringgo Ancheta, commonly known under his stage name Mndsgn (‘mind design’) is a hip hop producer from Los Angeles, California. He gathered attention in the scene because of his collaboration with Danny Brown. He has a clear sense for sound and has a talent in combining vintage sounds with experimental elements.
6. Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals
Anderson Paak is a pure talent. Since Dr. Dre invited him to his famous Aftermath Entertainment studio, he earned some respect. With his unique link between hip hop, funk and soul the Californian based is reaching a big number of supporters in North America. He got nominated for the Grammy’s a number of times but had no success yet. His time will come, he deserves it. I am definitely a fan!
7. Erykah Badu
Some people call her the most unappreciated and underrated artist of all time. I call her the queen of neo-soul. Badu’s been around since the end of the 90s now, and has shaped this music genre like no other. She just truly embodies the music and creates this magical groove, everyone feels when she starts singing.
8. Koi Child
Koi Child is the second Australian band on this list. Formed in 2014, they released their first album so far in 2016, mixed and co-produced by Tame Impala’s mastermind Kevin Parker. The album features an interesting mixture between jazz, funk and hip hop, topped up with a touch of Kevin Parker’s psychedelic indie influences.
9. Lianne LaHavas
You will love this track! The London-born singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lianne LaHavas just magically surrounds you with her music. She is frequently featured on British television and radio, yet internationally she is still not as well known. Her pure style and the minimal way of performing the essence of her songs makes her music so unique.