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People love to follow the underdog, and like most things that turn out to be mainstream, people love to say they’ve been a fan from the beginning. However, it’s hard to know which artists are up-and-coming and you can never really know if they’ll ever blow up. But I guess that’s all apart of the journey.

As a personal R&B fan, I obviously enjoy the great and famous Bryson Tiller, Miguel, Drake, Daniel Caesar, H.E.R, The Weeknd and Summer Walker, but I also like to find who could be next. This is all obviously subjective on your own music taste, but I have a few artists in mind that could definitely become big-time. Here is a list of my personal “underground” R&B artists that you may see in the near future!

Ye Ali

Ye Ali is definitely an underrated artist and I am surprised that he hasn’t become mainstream already. His most popular songs have obtained millions of streams, and he has 13 studio albums since 2014. His music style surrounds heavy base, low vocals and sensual undertones. If you’re looking for a night in or an amanous drive around town, Ye Ali is your guy.

Chase Shakur

I found Chase Shakur on a random Spotify playlist and I have absolutely no regrets. His tantalizing voice and dreamy tunes could be comparative to Brent Faiyaz, and while he has yet to release an album, his singles have amassed thousands of streams. If you’re looking for the dark and toxic vibes that Brent and The Weeknd provide, I would check Chase Shakur out!


Samaria’s music is soulful, powerful and very compelling. She’s dropped one album in 2015, a few singles along the way, but in 2021, her single “Out the Way” amassed one million steams compared to her usual 300 thousand. Her voice and storytelling is similar to Kehlani’s and I would definitely check Samaria out for the same vibes.

Jay Isaiah

From vocals, to EDM, to soul, Jay Isaiah has the range for everything. His breakthrough single, “Stole My Love” has over 3 million streams, and his other discography is sure to follow. His lyrics are raw and his voice is smooth and catchy. I enjoy Jay Isaiah’s music because of the personal and relatable feel.


TYuS has an impressive track record with his biggest single featuring 21 Savage, “Between Us” hitting over 10 million streams. He’s definitely you’re classic R&B artists with his vocals, depth and tunes. He’s been releasing singles since 2015, and he recently dropped a new album. If you’re into the R&B blues, definitely check out TYuS!

All of these artists have at least one “hit song”, but it is up to the people to decide if that’s enough to make them big-time. Do you think they have what it takes to make it work?

Lily Biros is the Vice President Co-Campus Correspondent at Ohio University. She is a senior student majoring in Strategic Communication at E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She enjoys writing, eating, and rollerblading and is the Vice President for the Asian American Pacific Islander Student Union (AAPI).
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