Marsha Ambrosius, Lucky Daye, Keke Wyatt, And More New R&B To Disrupt The Algorithm

R&B is so back. As many of today’s current stars remind consumers that you don’t know where you’re going until you look back at where you’ve been, they’re taking all that feel-good substance of the past, soulful days and breathing new life into the genre.

Marsha Ambrosius made a jazz album with Dr. Dre. Lucky Daye is channeling the likes of Prince and Earth, Wind & Fire with the album that may be his best to date. Keke Wyatt had ended her seven-year hiatus to remind folks that real sangers still exist.

Eric Benét is reintroducing the concept of a true R&B duet as Tinashe teases her next album following the meteoric success of “Nasty.” Ebony Riley and Ravyn Lenae are previewing what’s to come while Jahkoy and Rob Milton sing of unrequited love. We’re introducing our audience to talents of UNA MIA, Beckah Amani, Nil Bambu, and Brellaunte while Jae Stephens taps into her masculine energy and BLK ODYSSY sings of a rare version of love most shy away from.

All in all, this week in R&B has been a whirlwind. Press play on VIBE’s top new selects below.

Lucky Daye – Algorithm

Lucky Daye’s third studio album, Algorithm, is nothing short of pure genius. Birthed from his creative, musical partnership with D’Mile and J. Kercy, the crooner has expanded beyond the sound he’s been known for diving more into the past and running full speed into the future.

His experiment with soft rock and funk paired with contemporary R&B isn’t forced, but fluid. First-listen standouts include the sultry “Pin,” the groovy “Lemonade,” and the vibrant opener, “Never Leavin’ U Lonely.” We feel this is his best album yet.

Marsha Ambrosius – CASABLANCO

Marsha Ambrosius enlisted the help of Dr. Dre to create a contemporary, genre-bending jazz album and succeeded.

The listening experience is enthralling; you become enamored by the stacked vocals and chilling musical arrangements. As she glides from Hip-Hop to R&B and beyond with brilliant usage of samples like Nas’ “N.Y. State Of Mind” and Patrice Rushen’s “Remind Me,” this album aptly displays how far Ambrosius has come within her solo career.

“Dr. Dre dared me to dream bigger and aim higher,” she shared in a statement. “CASABLANCO took on a life of its own once we grasped the concept. The ideas just kept coming, and everyone was on the same page at the same time.” And it shows.

Keke Wyatt – Certified

Keke Wyatt has returned to music with her first feature-length release in seven years. From the very first track, “My Ex,” the tone for the album is set. Wyatt’s flawless range is at the forefront, and the storytelling in the lyrics is omnipresent.

Throughout the project, she sings of things like relationships and her faith, but most of all, she’s sanging. Wyatt didn’t have to say it directly, but it’s clear that her goal with Certified is to prove that real vocalists aren’t obsolete. We’re currently obsessed with the two-step jam, “Come Back To Bed,” the soul-stirring “Deliver Me,” and the chilling “Open” that makes you turn your face up due to how Wyatt’s voice dances across the melody. It’s 10 tracks of music at its finest.

Eric Benét feat. Tamar Braxton – “Something We Can Make Love To”

Eric Benét is the King of duets and is returning to the scene with his latest number, “Something We Can Make Love To,” featuring Tamar Braxton. For Benét, he was admittedly thrilled to be joined by Braxton on the record.

“I’ve been friends with Tamar for quite a while, and after years of running into each other saying ‘we got to get into the studio,’ it finally happened, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the result,” he explained in a statement. “I’m so honored that my single off my new album is not only with an incredible vocalist; but with a good friend,

The soulfully sultry ballad is designed for actual lovers. Produced by Laney Stewart, this record is perfect to set the mood as its title implies. It’s the lead single from his first album in a decade, perfectly titled Duets.

Tinashe – “Getting No Sleep”

Though many of us are still trying to find someone to match our inner freak, Tinashe said that she’s not only getting nasty, but she’s also getting no sleep. With her new single, the pop&B fusion showcases a more sensual side while still gifting fans something more upbeat and danceable.

With “Getting No Sleep,” she announced that her new album, Quantum Baby, is slated for release on August 16. It is the second installment in a trilogy that follows 2023’s BB/ANG3L. With the new album, Tinashe shared, “Quantum Baby is about getting to know me on a deeper level. It’s about exploring who I am as a person and who I am as an artist. I’ve never been one to be put into a box, so the name Quantum Baby encompasses all the different parts that make up who I am as a creative”. 

Ravyn Lenae feat. Ty Dolla $ign – “Dream Girl”

Ahead of her new album, Bird’s Eye, Ravyn Lenae joined forces with Ty Dolla $ign for the whimsical tune, “Dream Girl.”

The record feels like falling for someone under a summer breeze. It’s light, airy, soft, and warm as Lenae sings, “Let go of all your reservations/ You don’t have to use your imagination/ We don’t need talkin’, there’s nothing left to say/ Just give into the temptation.” Her soothing tonality pairs so well with Ty’s deeper register.

Lenae feels her new album will be her breakout moment, following the 2022 release of her debut album, Hypnos. Per the singer, the upcoming LP won’t deviate drastically from where she’s been, but it will spotlight other parts of her artistry. It’s set to drop on August 9.

Ebony Riley – “Where They At?”

When they ask if you’re gonna be outside, say yes, and tell them to turn up that new Ebony Riley. Her new single, “Where They At?” is designed for long summer days and random summer nights. Produced by Tommy Brown and Leather Jackettt, the uptempo jam soundtracks someone in search of that person to have some fun with.

“I ain’t looking, but I’m looking,” she sings in the song’s relatable chorus. It’s her second single as she introduces fans to the next chapter of her music, following the empowering anthem, “Mirrors.”

Jahkoy – “Someday”

Pulling inspiration from Boyz II Men and Ginuwine ballads, Jahkoy’s first solo release of the year is both nostalgic and refreshing. Produced by Justin Wiggins, “Someday” tells the story of a man who’s met his match, but he isn’t quite ready to meet all of her requirements and has to do some internal work to become who she needs him to be.

“One main part of the reason is fear,” the singer explained. “Fear of not being good enough. Fear of it not working out, and past relationship trauma trickling down into self, but he promises he will love her the right way one day when he’s finally ready to let that fear go. There is a fantasy attached and vision that he has to one day spend the rest of his life with this person.”

Without losing sight of his end goal, the introspective ballad was born.

Jae Stephens – “Girls Don’t Cheat”

Jae Stephens taps into the ’90s with her new single, “Girls Don’t Cheat.” Using her masculine energy as impetus, she flips the traditional male-dominated narrative as she exudes confidence following a heartbreak. “I got needs and you wasn’t giving / Sorry, why should I be sorry / If there’s one thing I ain’t, it’s sorry,” she sings on the flirty, bold track. She’s reminding listeners that you always have to take back your power.

BLK ODYSSY feat. Joey Bada$$ – “STANK ROSE”

BLK ODYSSY is teasing his new album, 1-800-FANTASY, with his new single, “Stank Rose.” The record features Joey Bada$$ and is an open reflection on how men deal with love that’s not reciprocated and most likely stems from youthful infatuation. The song stems from an obsessive love that doesn’t get discussed enough.

With the single, BLK is combining indie-pop with his signature harmonization of soul and Hip-Hop. 1-800-FANTASY is described as a concept album that “narrates the intense story of a teenage boy’s obsession with an unattainable woman, conveyed through flirtatious hotline conversations. As the story unfolds, the protagonist’s longing transforms into impatience and madness, leading to a profound realization of his solitude.”


UNA MIA has such dreamy voice. If you’re a fan of Snoh Aalegra or SZA, you’ll enjoy this songbird.

On her debut EP, she shares a vulnerable narrative of emancipation and discovery as she loosens the shackles of the past and breeds hope for the future. It’s a testament to healing and reclamation over one’s self. Standouts from the seven-track run include the empowering “Move On,” the calming “Lose You,” and the reflective “Better Care.”

Rob Milton – “Make U Love Me”

If Luther Vandross and DRAM were one, you’d have Rob Milton. His newest offering is the essence of longing and experiencing unrequited love, which Luther was known for, but to a contemporary melody.

As Milton sings, “I can’t make you love me/ I can’t make you touch me/ I can’t make you hug me/ you’re so far away,” listeners can feel the frustration of wanting someone closer than they can be—physically and emotionally. He also plays with the imagery of singing beggin’ R&B in the rain, which intensifies the vivid emotional strife.

Beckah Amani – “Sober”

Meet Burundian-Australian singer, Beckah Amani with her soul-stirring new single, “Sober.” It’s not just a song, but a call to act and reflect on things bigger than us and our respective inner circles. Produced by Jakwob, the record is melancholic and was born from frustration.

“I wrote ‘Sober’ last year in August with a heavy heart and I release it today, almost a year later, with an even heavier heart,” explained Amani in a statement. “For many of us, there’s a conscious understanding that it’s not business as usual in the world at the moment. So many people from across the world and all walks of life are hurting and it’s hard (as it should be) to go on like everything is normal. I couldn’t imagine returning to releasing music any other way than to live up to one of my musical heroes, Nina Simone’s words- ‘You can’t help it. An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.’”

With her return to music, she wanted to give listeners a message of hope that also sparks conversation for those who might be forgotten if nobody acknowledges their existence.

Brellaunte – “Outside”

Brellaunte, the artist formerly known as Breezy Casanova, is reintroducing herself and new sound to fans with her debut single, “Outside.” The vibrant anthem is an ode to summer, liberation, and popping out after leaving a toxic relationship.

“’Outside’ doesn’t have a deep meaning behind it, but it’s all about having fun,” Brellaunte shared. “It’s a track to vibe to, whether you’re gearing up for an unforgettable night out or enjoying the thrill of a secret rendezvous. It’s all about capturing that essence of freedom and self-expression, just like when you realize you’re better off outside of a relationship that’s been holding you back.”

Nil Bambu – “Jersey Ties”

Our introduction to Nil Bambu was her newest single, “Jersey Ties,” and what a welcome it was. The moody, pulsating record is meant to serve as an escape from the harsh reality we face. As she sings, “One night together, in this fleeting place, feels like forever when you’re here with me,” it paints the picture of yearning for someone to find solace with—even if it’s for one night.

“Jersey Ties” is a vibey reminder of the importance of love and power of connection amidst uncertainty.