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New & Next: Meet R&B's Rising Star Shamar Forte, Watch Him Perform for ESSENCE

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ESSENCE.com's "New and Next" column spotlights the brightest new talents we think you should know.

New kid on the block Shamar Forte describes his brand of R&B as mood music. "I try to stay away from what mainstream music is. I do my own set of it," he tells ESSENCE.com.

Influenced by the likes of Miguel and Maxwell, the New York City-based singer/songwriter has spent the past few years trying to crack it as an independent artist. "My refusal to give up and just being optimistic is because when faced with adversity, you have no other choice. It's like sink or swim, and I'm a swimmer."

Watch Shamar perform his current single "Bright Lights" from his newly released EP Fear of Failure.

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