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Here are 5 Canadian R&B songs you should be listening to right now

Amanda Parris
Listen to Marvin's Room, March 9th 2018

Marvin's Room with Amanda Parris on CBC Radio


On Marvin’s Room, I make it my mission to connect you to some of the most promising new voices in Canadian R&B. Here are five voices you should be listening to right now.

McCallaman, ‘You Got a Friend’

McCallaman began as a producer but has recently transitioned into singing and songwriting, and the result is a definite thumbs up. This next song is an ode to love of all kinds — platonic or romantic — and it comes with a super cute music video that includes a dance-off in the rain, a house party and the girl of his dreams rocking an afro. What more can you ask for?

Jon Vinyl, ‘Cherry Blossom’

Cherry blossoms have been the muse for poets, painters and filmmakers. Only in season for a short time, they are the perfect analogy for the tragedy of fleeting beauty. New Canadian R&B singer Jon Vinyl has also been inspired by the cherry blossom with his latest song, where he compares the fleeting perfection of a crush to the delicate flower.

Shantel May, 'Back n Forth'

A newcomer on the Canadian R&B scene, Shantel May began her music career singing backup for dvsn. Now she’s stepping out on her own: her debut single is a sweet, nostalgia-tinged crooner produced by dvsn's very own Nineteen85.

Shay Lia, 'Cherish'

While reflecting on the refugee crisis and the suffering of Syrian people, Shay Lia wrote this sonic reflection. With piercing lines like, "Who's next to die drown on the shore?/ And when did a boat get safer than home?/ 'Cause no one wants to leave home," make sure not to get swept away by the smoothness of her vocals and actually take the time to listen to what she's saying.

Manila Grey, 'Eastbound'

If you curate your driving music like I do, this next song is definitely one to add to your playlist. "Eastbound" is by a Filipino-Canadian rap/R&B duo named Manila Grey from Vancouver. Although the two were inspired to write it during a trip to Manila, "Eastbound" has all the hallmarks of Canadian R&B's love of atmospheric sound.

Marvin's Room Playlist for March 9, 2018

  1. KC & the Sunshine Band, “Get Down Tonight”
  2. Faith Evans, “Love Like This”
  3. Khalid and Swae Lee, “The Ways”
  4. McCallaman, “You Got a Friend”
  5. Frank Ocean, “Moon River”
  6. Jon Vinyl, “Cherry Blossom”
  7. Jr. Walker & the All Stars, “Shotgun”
  8. Crack of Dawn, “It’s Alright (This Feeling)”
  9. Aretha Franklin, “It Hurts Like Hell”
  10. Kelly Price, “As We Lay”
  11. Shantel May, “Back n Forth”
  12. Shay Lia, “Cherish”
  13. H.E.R, “Lights On”