It was an interesting year for R&B and pop. Aside from Taylor Swift, the genre seems to largely lack the superstars of previous years, which in a lot of ways is good news; it allowed a new crop of unsigned and independent artists to truly shine. From Raury to Janine and the Mixtape and a whole lot more, here are the nominees for the Best Independent R&B/Pop songs of 2014.
And for a full breakdown of the 2014 Best of the Booth Awards, including nominees in every category, click here.
Best R&B/Pop Record (Unsigned/Independent)
When we hear indie, we immediately think of the rap world, but there is a whole other world filled with young, talented, and hungry indie artists making incredible music than doesn't necessarily fit into the hip-hop spectrum. We love hip-hop here at The DJBooth, but we love good music even more; no matter the genre.
Son Little “The River”
Though it was featured just a few weeks ago, Son Little made quite an impression with his fresh, blues-driven sound, earning a 4.5 star average. The oxymoron "instant classic" comes to mind.
Olivia Louise "Skin Deep"
Her second Booth feature caught our attention --it even earned a place on our Best Of 2014 Playlist-- thanks to her cool style and an even cooler concept. It's a smooth, easy going cut with some serious depth and an awesome vibe. What more could you want?
RyattFienix “Suicide ft. Rittz”
Booth favorite Rittz steps in for a guest spot, but headliner RyattFienix deserves all the love thanks to her potent, edgy vocals.
MacKenzie “Can We Die”
Good luck getting record out of your head! This, of course, is a good thing, unless you have foot issues; this one gets your toes-tapping without you even realizing it.
Janine and the Mixtape “Hold Me (Remix) ft. Pusha T”
Top Prospect Janine and the Mixtape recently signed with Atlantic Records, but before the ink was dry she linked up with Pusha T for an R&B cut even a Clipse fan could spin with pride.
Jacob Banks “Move With You”
Knox Brown dishes up a quintessential pop beat--light, catchy, and fun-- but Banks' powerful vocals give this effort some serious punch and the result is a feel-good effort that is not lacking in needed musical nutrientes.
Benny Cassette “Raging Bull”
When you hear G.O.O.D. Music, Kanye comes to mind, but the versatile Benny Cassette proves that there's much more than just rap being made at the label with this self-produced number that drips quality and production value from every note.
Mapei's positive message is presented in the best way possible with a cascading, epic beat and some fiery vocals.
Chris Batson “I Know”
Blending R&B, pop, electronic, and even some blues (in terms of the subject), Batson presents a enormous effort about a love lost. The passion and understated power in his voice makes this one to remember.
Raury “Cigarette Song”
This year Raury came out of nowhere and caught the attention of guys A-listers like Gucci Mane and Kanye. With an effort like "Cigarette Song" it's not hard to see why; the kid is loaded with talent.