daniel caesar

5 up and coming Toronto R&B artists you should know

Toronto is having an R&B moment. Some of this can be attributed to the wild popularity of The Weeknd and Drake, but the soul of the movement is taking place on the ground, where a diverse array of up and coming talent is making R&B that challenges the conventions of the genre beyond merely the influences of pop.

Here are my picks for up and coming Toronto R&B artists you should know.

Daniel Caesar
Daniel Caesar has been on Toronto music fans radar for over a year now, but seems poised for a major breakthrough with his first live shows scheduled this spring. More akin to pared down soul than the synth-heavy R&B that rules the airwaves these days, Caesar's voice is as searching as his clean piano lines.

dvsn
Recently signed to Drake's OVO label, dvsn is about as mysterious as The Weeknd was in the early days, and might just become as popular. While only three songs have been released under the dvsn name, the rising and falling beats and at times Sampha-like vocals show off huge potential.

a l l i e
Mixing early Erykah Badu with contemporary R&B sensibilities, a l l i e's style is as engaging as it is playful. If you caught her performance at What's in the Box this year, you know that she's got a veteran stage presence despite the fact that she's just breaking onto the scene. I've listened to her four-track Moonlust EP a ton since it was released late last year.

Brendan Phillip
Signed to Dine Alone Records last spring, Brendan Phillip's debut EP showed off a dark and brooding sound reminiscent of a strange mash-up between The Weekend and Twin Shadow. This is spooky but soulful stuff that should have broad appeal outside of the confines of traditional R&B.

Lemon.
I hear just a little bit of Esthero in Lemon.'s vocals, which glide over pared down R&B beats that have already attracted a devout following despite a precious few live performances from this artist. Given that each track she's released so far has been stronger than the last, my expectations are already soaring for her next round of music.

Who did I miss? Add your suggestions in the comments.

Writing by Christina Estrelle. Photo via Daniel Caesar on Twitter.


Latest Videos



Latest Videos


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Music

Tennis stadium will be transformed into Toronto's newest live music venue

The world's first Taylor Swift trivia escape room is coming to Toronto

Fans line up for hours outside Toronto club after Drake makes surprise appearance

KISS abruptly cancels Toronto show and people are fuming

Drake shows off Toronto to the world in over-the-top new video

Toronto ranked the most visited music tour destination in the world

Green Day coming to Toronto in 2024 and they're bringing other 90s throwback bands

Blink-182 is coming back to Toronto by popular demand