BET Premieres New Digital Series ‘State of R&B’

BET has launched a new digital series called State of R&B. The three-episode series features a panel of music influencers including singer/songwriter Sevyn Streeter, singer/songwriter Elijah Blake, singer Rachel Kerr, producer Harmony Samuels and songwriter LaShawn Daniels. The panelists candidly speak on a range of topics including their love for 90’s R&B, how technology has changed the music business and how they’ve been healed through music.

Episode 1: “90’s Back”

In the 1990s, R&B matured in a way a man or woman who has found their stride in life would. Fronted by artists with impeccable vocal abilities, performance technique and star power and backed by major labels, the ’90s saw R&B reign supreme. Music industry influencers LaShawn Daniels, Sevyn Streeter, Elijah Blake, Rachel Kerr and Harmony Samuels discuss the impact of 90’s R&B. The group discusses icons like Brandy while also paying homage to our Soul Train Awards honorees Toni Braxton and SWV.

Episode 2: “What’s Good Now?”

Technology has changed the music business. Now the way music is created, consumed and experienced has changed. Sonically, R&B is more explorative and discovery tools (streaming services) and social media have been key platforms to showcasing the genre’s versatility and influence. We’ll discuss what’s working, what’s interesting and what’s developing. Watch as music industry influencers LaShawn Daniels, Sevyn Streeter, Elijah Blake, Rachel Kerr and Harmony Samuels dish on the new model of R&B.

Episode: “Music Heals the Soul”

What is music’s role in today’s turbulent social and political times and people’s everyday lives? Based on the theme of this year’s Soul Train Awards, “Music heals the soul,” we end the series with an introspective conversation about the transformative power of R&B/soul music. Watch as LaShawn Daniels, Sevyn Streeter, Elijah Blake, Rachel Kerr and Harmony Samuels discuss the powers of R&B music. The conversation takes you on a journey of vulnerability, being authentic and trusting the process.

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Justine Skye Releases Video for ‘Don’t Think About It’

After announcing her debut album, Ultraviolet, Justine Skye has released a video for her single “Don’t Think About It.” The dance-heavy clip was choreographed by Laurieann Gibson, who also co-directed the video with Life Garland.

Ultraviolet is scheduled to release on January 19, 2018 via Roc Nation.

Watch Justine Skye’s video for “Don’t Think About It” below.

Aisha Badru Shares ‘Bridges’ Video

Alternative R&B singer Aisha Badru has released a visual for her new single “Bridges.”

Directed by Nathan Presley, the cinematic clip touches on overcoming obstacles in a relationship with the biggest obstacle sometimes being ourselves.

“There’ll be mountains for us to climb / There’ll be days when the sun won’t shine / But I’ll stick to it / Oh, I swear,” she sings.

“Bridges” is lifted from Badru’s forthcoming debut album that is scheduled to release in 2018. The album will also include her song “Mind on Fire,” which has garnered 5 million streams on Spotify.

Watch Aisha Badru’s “Bridges” video below.

SZA Perfroms ‘The Weekend’ and ‘Love Galore’ on ‘SNL’

SZA is having an incredible year. After scoring a chart-topping album and five Grammy nominations, the New Jersey native kept the momentum going on Saturday Night Live. Serving as the musical guest, SZA performed her fan-favorite single “The Weekend” and her Travis-Scott assisted track “Love Galore.”

Backed by a choir and a live band, SZA did a stripped-down version of both tracks, which was pleasant. Her performance focused on her beautiful vocals and the lyricism of each song.

“The Weekend” and “Love Galore” are lifted from SZA’s debut album, Ctrl, which is out now. Both songs have a combined 192 million streams on Spotify alone.

Watch SZA’s performance below.

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