Music / Penny for my Thoughts

5 R&B STARLETS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2012

  • Though these following female artists fall under the same genre, their distinctive sounds are what separate them from each other. Their lyric content may be similar, seeing as how a lot of them happen to sing about the ups and downs about love (but what r&b artist doesn’t?) – however, they all possess their own, unique style.




    Jhené Aiko
    “Who is Jhené Aiko?” you ask? “Ohhhh, the chick who was featured in B2K CDs, right?” So, nowww you remember her? Well, Jhené has been making quite a name for herself, BY herself lately. Born into a family of music, 23 year old Jhené Aiko has been involved with music since she was a toddler. Now that she’s all grown up, Jhené has managed to snag the hearts of many as she continues to impress music lovers worldwide with her angelic voice. Her mixtape, (s)ailing (s)ouls effortlessly expanded her fanbase with ballads like, “My Mine” and uptempo joints such as “Mr. Popular”. Outside of those tracks, my personal favorite would have to be “Stranger”. As of December 16, Jhené inked a deal with Artium Recordings [NO I.D.’s label via Def Jam]. For updates on new music, check out JheneAiko.com.






    Rochelle Jordan
    Hailing out of Toronto, you have the sultry songtress Rochelle Jordan. Unless you have been living under a rock, then chances are you’ve most likely heard the name. I came across Rochelle Jordan a couple of months ago when she, along with everyone and their mama dropped a remix to Drake’s smash hit, “Marvin’s Room”. Out of all of the female responses to “Marvin’s Room,” I would have to say that hers is definitely my favorite. Her free project, “R O J O,” released August of last year has received many praises from the blogosphere. With influences like Aaliyah, Kelis and Amerie, Rochelle Jordan was definitely not skeptical about channeling their sound into her music while still making it her own. For updates on new music from Rochelle Jordan, check out rojoproto.bandcamp.com.






    Jade Alston
    Former video jockey and hype girl, Jade Alston has been in the music industry for quite some time now. Formerly known as Jasmine Jai, the 24 year old Philly native has opened up for artists such as Amerie, Trina, 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes – just to name a few. Aside from that, she has also performed live on 106th and Park. After having been touring for so long, Alston decided that she would embark on a new journey and perfect her songwriting skills. Her mixtape, “Single On A Saturday Night” goes into detail about the life of a single woman on a Saturday night. Her sound is that of a modern day Toni Braxton, imo. “Single On A Saturday Night” also features remixes – no, excuse me – “SHEMIXXES” of J. Cole’s “In The Morning” and Lil Wayne’s “Bill Gates”. To download her FREE mixtape, hit upJadeAlston.com!






    Elle Varner
    22 year old Elle Varner burst onto the scene unexpectedly and got the attention of many with her funky single “Only Wanna Give It To You”. Like Aiko, Varner was pretty much born into music as well with songwriters as parents. When she was only six years old, Varner learned to play the flute, piano and the guitar. I guess it’s safe to say that she knew she was destined for a musical career. Shortly after graduating from the Clive Davis Program of Recorded Music at New York University, Varner inked a deal with MBK Entertainment and RCA Records. Her debut album, “Perfectly Imperfect” is set for a release later this year, but for now you can “like” Elle Varner Music for updates on new music!








    Shei Atkins
    Though Houston native Shei Atkins has previously released three independent albums, I would still consider her a newbie in the game. After all, if I didn’t know who she was until recently, then I’m pretty sure that YOU didn’t either. When I first listened to her song “Another Me,” I IMMEDIATELY thought that she sounded almost exactly like Fantasia. Now, I’m not saying that she’s a better vocalist than Fantasia – but hey, that’s who she sounds like. However, even with that being said – she still manages to incorporate a little bit of her own style into her music. Shei Atkins has toured alongside her fellow Houston native, Kelly Rowland and she has even worked in the studio with Beyoncé. With the buzz about Atkins spreading worldwide, it has allowed her fanbase to expand and she has been featured in VIBE Magazine. I’m interested in seeing how far this chick goes. Be on the look out for her EP “Emotional,” which drops in March. Head on over to SheiAtkins to check out more of her music to hold you over!

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