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5 Black Artists You Should Add to Your Playlist

February is Black History Month, and many take this month to expand their knowledge of Black history through reading, social media and, most of all, entertainment.

Black creators constantly set the trends for popular music. Here are a few you should take a listen to now and beyond Black History Month:

1. Bree rUNway

Describing herself via Spotify as if “Lady Gaga and Lil Kim had a love child,” Brenda Wireko Mensh aka Bree Runway brings the attitude and personal flair to her music.

Coming in hot with a mix of singing and rap, Runway does it all. Most of her songs take the form of hyper pop with R&B tied into the underlying beats, all while constantly letting you know she is “that girl.”

With fun and expressive songs such as “Hot Hot” and most notably “ATM,” which features Missy Elliot, Runway is well on her way to making her mark in the pop world.

Watch the music video for Bree Runways latest single “Pressure”

2. Kyle Dion

Defining Kyle Dion’s music is hard, but one could say he makes alternative R&B, pop music. His whole aura gives off player vibes while still making music that feels soulful like most R&B music does.

Not adhering to the normal standards for black men in music, Dion takes normal words and phrases to sound funky and fun, like with the song “Parmesan” on his most recent album, “SASSY.” Dion seems to take pride in honing his out-of-the-ordinary sound and his music follows through with whatever his true vision might be.

Watch the music video for “Brown” by Kyle Dion. One of my personal favorites from him.

3. Victoria Monet

Tuning into the more funk side of R&B, Victoria Monet is a powerful force of great vocals and a unique sound. Combining modern love themes with an old-school style of music, Monet makes music for the grown and sexy.

Whether you’re looking to sing your heart out in the shower to a sad love song or dance until you can’t anymore, Monet comes through with songs like “Experience” featuring Khalid and “Wish I Never Met You.”

Monet has made quite the name for herself with ties in music to her good friend Ariana Grande, honing her songwriting skills for various big-name artists and creating her world of funky tunes.

Watch the latest from Monet in her “Coastin” music video

4. Dee Gatti

If you’re looking to add even more songs about love and all its ups and down’s to your playlist, Dee Gatti’s light and airy voice could be the perfect outlet for your late-night music sessions.

Making music for Black and queer people, Gatti’s music embodies the mentality and feelings of a more masculine-presenting woman and the struggles of navigating queer relationships. While her music is meant to reach a certain audience, her voice and lyrics are something anyone in their early 20’s could relate to and enjoy listening to.

Check out “Must Be Something” from her 2021 debut album “Just Called To Say”

5. Jenevieve

Making music that fits the free-flowing vibe of Gen-Z, Jenevieve is an artist that makes the kind of music perfect for a late-night car ride or driving around the city during the peak of a summer night.

Taking off with her single “Medallion” featured in HBO’s Remake of “Gossip Girl,” Jenevieve works an effortless combination of neo-soul and pop into her music.

Her voice comes into her songs very synth-like and allows for the beat and her voice to intertwine, and creates this beautiful and unique sound. She makes music for anyone looking to discover something different and unconventional.

Watch the music video for “Résumé” and vibe out to her unique sound

If you’re interested in learning more about these wonderful artists, check out more of their music across Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud to discover you’re new favorite Black artist this month.

Kaylyn is a senior, graduating in 2022, and hopes to live in a cool city after graduation. She is majoring in Broadcast Journalism, with a minor in theatre. After college, she hopes to work within the entertainment/lifestyle side of journalism and produce articles much like what she's doing at HerCampus at Penn State.
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