Ryan Destiny, Raheem DeVaughn, Shaé Universe, And More New R&B That Appeal To Your Senses

Valentine’s Day isn’t limited to just February 14th with R&B rising stars and certified legends singing about love, lust, joy, pain, and everything else in-between.

This week, Ryan Destiny has ended her hiatus once again. Raheem DeVaughn is putting the listening power of his new album into his fans’ hands. Jack Freeman is singing that good ol’ soulful music, powered by the influences of Marvin Gaye, The Gap Band, Luther Vandross, and others alike. The U.K. got something to say with Shaé Universe leading the way with the help of her new album. Avery*Sunshine is reintroducing herself to fans in a refreshing way, and Keith Sweat is embodying the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” with his sensual single.

On top of all this, we’re introducing you to some budding phenoms: Rae Khalil, Alicia Creti, and Miriah Renee. Allow love to take you overboard with our top new R&B picks.

Ryan Destiny – “How Your Hands Feel”

Ryan Destiny is back! The STAR actress’ new single, “How Your Hands Feel,” is a tad more soulful and sensual than her previous releases, and we are here for it. Ryan’s ethereal voice coos sweet-nothings as she sings about a yearning and desire while missing her partner.

“I wanted to step into my sensual side,” she explained. “The song is sexy but vulnerable as well. Missing someone and having to let them know the way they made you feel is not always easy but this song feels like the confident and forward version of that mood.” Destiny noted that the record is a “good double back anthem.” She recently covered Khamari’s “Doctor, My Eyes” and is set to drop more new music this spring.

Raheem DeVaughn – Winter Of Love

Raheem DeVaughn is keeping up with his “Seasons of Love” series with the help of his new album, Winter Of Love. The exclusive Even.biz release further cements why the crooner has declared himself “The Love King” and helps him connect personally with his devoted fans.

Each song creates a mesmerizing marriage between his silky vocals and the hypnotizing production. Whether you’re navigating a rough patch or drifting on a memory of romantic moments, there’s something here for you. Our favorite standouts are “Retrograde” and “Your Place Or Mine.” The opening string-led instrumental on “Retrograde” had us hooked immediately, and him asking the important question of where is swoon-worthy.

By releasing the project on Even.biz, fans can pay for the album at whatever price they choose, and they can enter to win a chance to speak with DeVaughn directly. On March 6, he’ll start touring with fellow singer Ledisi.

Shaé Universe – Love’s Letter

Around these parts, we stan Shaé Universe. The U.K. phenom is really one of them ones, and she’s finally released her delectable new project, Love’s Letter.

On the 10-track LP that’s for the lovers—strictly for the lovers, Shaé explores the various facets and phases of love like romantic self-love, the absence of it, and love within spirituality. There’s also imparting wisdom from her mother and shared guidance from Lalah Hathaway, helping listeners process the complex emotions associated with matters of the heart.

“Grieving the death of a chapter as you actively birth a new one is a complex phenomenon but I just know the rewards are about to EAT,” teased the singer on Instagram.

“In a time where life has felt increasingly heavy, ‘Love’s Letter’ is here to help us process all the layers from a place of love; the changes, the uncertainty, the distance, the isolation, the frustrations, the cycles and the growth. This one’s for the people who are ready to face themselves and return to love.”

Miriah Renee – “All The Time”

After making a name for herself in 2022 with her debut EP, Miriah Renee has returned to music with a newfound desire. The singer-entrepreneur is proving that she’s more than just a pretty face with her latest single, “All The Time.”

Reminiscent of Mariah The Scientist and Nia Sultana, Miriah lures you in with her soft tone and bold lyricism. With the help of Bryan-Michael Cox and J. Que Smith, she honed her skills and is now ready to conquer the spotlight. True R&B fans will love the interpolation of Craig David’s “7 Days” at the tail end of the song.

Keith Sweat – “Lay You Down”

A lot of veterans chose to stray away from new music. However, if you’re going to do it, do it like Keith Sweat. The crooner knows his musical lane: grown and sexy songs filled with desire and lust.

On his newest serenade, “Lay You Down,” he sings about making sure his woman knows he’s going to do everything in his power to please her, especially in between the sheets.

“‘Cause I just want to lay you down/ I’m so into you, make love I will do,” he sings. “You got me thinking/ I just want to, lay it down/ I’m so into you, there’s nothing I’ll do.” The release is the follow-up to his 2021 single, “Can’t Nobody” featuring Raheem DeVaughn.

Of his new music in recent years, Sweat shared with Rated R&B, “At this stage of my career, I make music that move me to say something. I am not interested in releasing music for the sake of statistics.”

Jack Freeman – Nina

Jack Freeman’s Nina will be on replay for the foreseeable future. It feels like a love letter to Black women and a deep dive into the intimacies of love and pain.

Co-produced by Bryan-Michael Cox, Freeman molded a sonically diverse masterpiece that encapsulates the essence of soul music.

“U” is an endearing tribute about quality time and priorities. “Anything” is a vibrant love song you can boogie to. “You Should Be Here” speaks to healthy obsession as he sings “24/7, 52, 365/ Need you everyday/ Or I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.” That’s just a taste of what listeners can expect. Freeman truly showcases his depth and range on this refreshing LP.

Rae Khalil – “IS IT WORTH IT”

Anderson .Paak‘s new signee, Rae Khalil, is celebrating her new deal with a soul-stirring single, “IS IT WORTH IT.” It’s a jam to sway and snap your fingers to; catch a solid groove and pay attention to the lyrics.

She garnered much attention after participating on Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow, back in 2019. The artist has obvious influences from ’70s R&B with traces of Erykah Badu, Motown, and Michael Jackson. Though her latest single is our introduction to her, we’ll definitely stay locked in for the long run.

“Rae is not only one of my favorite artist/collaborators but one of my favorite human beings,” .Paak shared. “I’ve seen her go from a contestant on a Netflix show to us winning Grammys together. Once Tunji signed her, he asked me to do my ‘Quincy Jones’ thing and it’s been such an amazing experience being part of her journey and helping with her incredible project. The best is truly yet to come! We are super proud to have her on the APES**T roster and can’t wait for the world to see what’s next.”

Avery*Sunshine – “I Wonder”

There’s no need to wonder if you’ll love this new offering from Avery*Sunshine. Spoiler alert: you will.

The next installment off her new album, So Glad To Know You, is neo-soul at its finest and feels like a warm breeze on a crisp autumn day. As she put it, the new single is a “tendah jam” for the lovers and definitely isn’t child’s play.

“I Wonder” is a crucial piece from the album as it sets out to explore the ebb and flow of learning your self. The LP is a reintroduction for Avery; its lead single, “Lifted Up,” kicked off the theatrical rollout that gives fans long-awaited new music in a refreshing way.

Alicia Creti – Self/Less

Alicia Creti is the one to watch. After captivating her growing audience with covers of SZA’s “Good Days” and Summer Walker’s “Session 32,” she is offering a piece of herself—honest and poignant—and reclaims her genuine being with her debut EP, Self/Less.

With this project, she connects with the depths of your soul with a raspy, unique tone and sings about wanting more of self and less of anything else. Standout records include the earnest “Pity Party” and the vulnerable “Epiphany.”

For those who are fans of Adele and Amy Winehouse, meet Alicia Creti. She’ll be performing singles off the project during Mahalia’s upcoming IRL Tour.