It’s Friday, it’s Friday, it’s Friday—and you know what that means! Your favorite audio adventure is back in effect with another enjoyable edition of ESSENCE’s The Playlist, which runs down the tunes we’re listening to this week.
Before we get into it, I wanted to thank you all for making the Dinner Party co-curated experience a rousing success! Also, thank you to the fellas (Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington, 9th Wonder) for holding me down with such dope tunes!
Next, I have to sneak in a birthday shout-out to my baby sister, Jara, who I pray is celebrating her next revolution around the sun with fun, style, and grace.
With that said, living it up is the theme for this week’s The Playlist, and I brought with me some of the best, freshest, and most engaging voices across generations for your eardrums to enjoy. Listen underneath as DUCKWRTH, the legendary Steve Arrington, Tiwa Savage, and more, follow a funky number from the “Quarantine Queen,” Sinead Harnett.
1. Sinéad Harnett — “Stickin'” (ft. Maségo & VanJess)
The first single off Sinéad Harnett‘s highly anticipated sophomore album, “Stickin’,” is a stunning collaborative effort. Featuring a few “friends-in-my-mind”—Maségo and VanJess—this song begins and ends sounding like summer. The self-proclaimed “Quarantine Queen” brings love and perspective over Sunny Kale and Mike Brainchild’s stellar production to everyone who has ever been on an emotional rollercoaster with a special someone.
2. Tyla Yaweh — Stuntın’ On You (ft. DaBaby)
Tyla Yaweh continues to build on his rep as an artist-to-watch this summer with the release of “Stuntin’ On You,” which features DaBaby. The two charismatic rappers deliver effortless flow over exuberant, neck-snapping production from Hitmaka. Add in an homage to Juvenile, BG, Lil Wayne and Cash Money Records with Yaweh’s interpretation of the “Ha” flow, this bonafide summer anthem should definitely be played this weekend and beyond.
3. DUCKWRTH — “COMING CLOSER” (ft. G.L.A.M. & Julia Romana)
I’ve made it no secret that DUCKWRTH is still one of my favorite acts making music these days. Placing him on “COMING CLOSER” with the twin-production duo of Two Fresh gives him an extra level of bounce that listeners will happily appreciate. The dancefloor-ready track also features G.L.A.M. and Juliana Romana, making this bop a perfect marriage between hip-hop and electronic that will keep your dance moves positively charged.
4. Ian Isiah — “Loose Truth”
Ian Isiah is an unapologetically beautiful and provocative R&B star needed for today. His song, “Loose Truth,” which was produced by Chromeo and features the BLCK MRCY Music Collective, finds the all-pan-everything talent honoring essential workers, the majority which are Black and people of color. An important song from an increasingly necessary artist, Isiah’s “Loose Truth” is a song that shows why direct support to essential workers and their families is a top priority.
5. Steve Arrington — “Keep Dreamin'”
Steve Arrington is an underused superhero in funk and music history. There isn’t an artist in the game—from Jay-Z to A Tribe Called Quest to 2Pac—who hasn’t sampled his music. Now, stepping into the spotlight himself, Arrington shares the single “Keep Dreaming’,” which appears on his first solo LP, Down to the Lowest Terms: The Soul Session via Stones Throw Records. With a message of staying focus and putting in hard work, Arrington’s simple yet powerful song is an evolution of funk that will unite all under his uplifting spirit.
6. Jarreau Vandal — “Slow It Down” (ft. Kiah Victoria)
Jarreau Vandal is a name that you should add to all of the things—social media and streaming services—immediately. The Dutch super-producer and Soulection member’s new EP, Suburb Superhero: The Villain Within, is seven tracks worth of superb up-tempo sounds and “Slow It Down” is a key component for an enjoyable summer. Featuring Kiah Victoria, this impressive track is a colorful addition to your sonic grooves.
7. THEY. — “Play Fight” (ft. Tinashe)
Dante Jones and Andre “Drew Love” Neely, better known as THEY., have received critical and commercial acclaim for their style and R&B sounds. “Play Fight,” which is featured on their upcoming project The Amanda Tape, is a re-introduction to the guys and an amazing track to heat up the summer. Exploring the intimate parts of their souls with Tinashe along for the ride is a unique audio experience to have with friends and your speakers.
8. Adeline – “Just Another Day”
At this point, Adeline is the MVP of The Playlist! Her new EP, Intérimes, is chock-full of genre-blending songs. And “Just Another Day” is a sultry and soulful centerpiece that continues to show why she’s a name to keep on your radar. I absolutely love this song and it is the perfect jawn to play during the cool-down period of your BBQ backyard boogie.
9. Snoh Aalegra — “DYING 4 YOUR LOVE”
Ugh, those feels again is still in rotation and “DYING 4 YOUR LOVE” is a smooth and flex-worthy cut from the Iranian-Swedish artist. Produced by P2J, Snoh Aalegra is back to supply listeners with this fantastic blend of pop, R&B and hip-hop. Having been a mentee to the late and great Prince during the last two years of his life, Snoh’s “DYING 4 YOUR LOVE” will liberate your soul and put a gentle sway in your hips. Enjoy this one on 12, beloved!
10. Tiwa Savage — “Dangerous Love”
The Queen of Afrobeats closes out this week’s Playlist with her brand new single, “Dangerous Love” via Motown Records. Tiwa Savage and her otherworldly brand of music returns right on time as she readies CELIA, her long-awaited fourth studio album, named after her mother. On the Cracker Mallo-produced song, “Dangerous Love” has an enchanting chorus that is a ready-made blend of R&B and Afrobeats that comes with a side of fresh plantains and Naija-cooked jollof rice.
Catch new bi-weekly editions of ESSENCE’s The Playlist on Fridays and follow @KevitoClark on Instagram and Twitter.