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Future of Women’s R&B and Soul: Ari Lennox and Summer Walker
ARI LENNOX AND SUMMER WALKER ARE BRINGING THE SOUL TO THIS YEAR'S ONE MUSICFEST
By: Kayla Johnson
[*Views expressed are solely the opinion of the author]
Millennials have had the luxury of growing up hearing their parents playlists filled with R&B and Soul singing legends like Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Sade, Lauryn Hill and many more.
Witnessing the transformation of music in recent years, many have questioned will R&B ever be the same? Will we ever get back that same soulful sounds of the Neo-Soul era?
Inspired by the legacies of past R&B legends, Ari Lennox and Summer Walker are emerging as the new faces of women’s R&B and Soul.
Atlanta native R&B songstress Summer Walker released her memorable debut, ‘Last Day of Summer,’ in October 2018 followed it up with her four track EP, ‘Clear,’ in January 2019. Each project showcases Summer’s unique talents. She expresses honest sentiments about love, sex and relationships, while merging sounds of contemporary genres with classic R&B and jazz. Her versatility, depth and vulnerability in her music highlight the true essence of R&B and soul. At only 22-years old, this sultry songstress has made it clear that she is here to stay.
First Lady of Dreamville Records and Washington, D.C. native, Ari Lennox caught the attention of J.Cole back in 2015 and the rest was history. Her first break into the mainstream was her feature on J.Cole’s track, “Change”, from his 2016 project, ‘4 Your Eyes Only.’ With just a taste of what this soulful singer could offer, the feature showcased her as a force to be reckoned with. Her first studio debut EP, ‘Pho,” proved that another great female R&B artist was in the making. J.Cole accompanied Lennox on her single “Shea Butter Baby,” which is the shared title of her first, full length debut album. Her raw lyrics and unique sound pays tribute to her favorite soul sisters, and embodies their spirit of staying true to herself.