Emily King, the New Queen of R&B

October 6, 2017



By Pola Bunster

If your ears and hips haven’t yet noticed, the mainstream airwaves have been flooded by the vintage sounds of the past, from Leon Bridges’ ode to Sam Cooke’s soul, to the blues-rock sounds of Alabama Shakes. Some purists, ourselves not included, might be ‘poopoo-ing’ this current trend, but we haven’t been this excited for the music scene in quite a while. This shift back to the classic sounds of America’s roots has made way for many great artists to finally have a chance to get some real recognition among the pop shuffle. Enter: Emily King.

In an era where women are (finally) getting the elbow room they’ve deserved, Emily King has chosen to stick to what she knows best and master it. Her beginnings in R&B and soul are more than a genre for her music to be classified in, they’re what make King a true gem of an artist. She’s more than a voice, more than a stylist face (and stylish she is), and certainly more than a good figure for a screen, she is the soul you hear emanating out of her music.

She burst onto the seen in 2004 and almost 10 years ago to the day her debut album, East Side Story earned her a GRAMMY nod for Best Contemporary R&B Album. Missed awards aside, she immediately won the hearts of many with tracks like “You Can Get By”, her songwriting prowess and sharp lyrics impossible to miss. And by the time her EP, “The Seven” came out the world was ready. Pair the catchy riffs and love stories with such a controlled voice, the R&B scene knew they had a ruler worthy of a queendom.

Photo by The Daily Herald

 

And while the trajectory was upward in all senses of the word, nothing was as delicious as 2015’s The Switch, a D’Angelo-esque album birthed from the depths of what R&B really means: a heart in rhythm and a soul in blues. Viral hits like “Distance” gave us this charming line: “My day started when you were still yawning” and the smoothest funk cuts that can only be found in tracks like “Sleepwalker.” The truth is, the moment you listen to her music, King’s soul is so infectious you’re forced to smile and sway.

The best thing about it? She’s coming to Miami later this month as the first collaborative artist in Nu Deco Ensemble‘s third season! She’ll be bringing the sounds we love, amplified by Miami’s favorite genre-bending orchestra at The Light Box on October 26th-28th and we’re telling you to get your tickets before it sells out.