All eyes are on Beyonce. Always. There is no doubt she’s doing great things for Pop music. However, many fans often forget or overlook Solange Knowles. Perhaps overshadowed by the colossal success of her sister, Solange operates within the indie realm, making records with iconic producers like Blood Orange, DJing internationally, and heading her own record label, Saint Heron. Last year, Saint Heron released its first compilation and, in many ways, pushed the envelope within R&B.
The compilation (titled Saint Heron) features a rich cast of relatively lesser known artists as well as tracks from both Solange and Cassie. Many of the newcomers on Saint Heron are already making a splash in the pop music scene; Kelela has been gaining press for her work with the Night Slugs label while Sampha and Jhene Aiko are heralded for their collaborative efforts with artists like SBTRK Drake. Additionally, some of the most exciting tracks on the record come from both BC Kingdom and P. Morri$, a R&B vocalist/producer and beat maker who are bubbling up within their niche LA music scenes respectively.
Saint Heron was one of my favorite releases of last year. Each song on the compilation takes traditional R&B norms and turns them 180 degrees to create a futuristic and gritty aesthetic that is both suited for the car and the bedroom. Even though music headlines will often praise Beyonce’s latest musical efforts, be sure to pay attention to Solange in the future. It’s clear that her tastes and connections could very well generate tomorrow’s classic R&B record.