During the past several years, it seems like solo artists have dominated music–especially within the R&B spectrum. Groups, which were one of the genre’s staples, had all but disappeared and with them the vocal harmonizing, matching wardrobes, and choreographed steps characteristic of the style. But singing groups are slowly creeping their way back onto the scene and the charts. Here, Soul Train puts you in tune with some of the latest boy bands and girl groups that are following in the footsteps of recent notables such as Boyz II Men, Destiny’s Child, and B2K.
Hailing from Alabama, Committed was brought together by God ― both through its members’ individual faiths and through their individual stints singing gospel in high school and college choirs. Committed appeared on The Sing-Off, an NBC singing competition on which the group won top honors and a $100,000 prize. The group later signed with Epic Records, which will release its self-titled debut. Blending jazz, a capella vocals, gospel, and soul, the band takes a nod from the legendary Take 6 and strives to make its mark on music, starting with their latest single “Break Free.”
RD ― an abbreviation for the group’s full name, Ruff Diamondz ― is the moniker of this new London-based crew of young ladies. The trio counts among its influences some of the top all-female American acts of ’90s R&B, such as TLC, Xscape, En Vogue, and Salt-N-Pepa. This explains why their tunes are full of sass, funk, and plenty of flattery–taking soulful sounds and intricate rhymes, laying them over club-ready beats, and crafting instant party girl anthems. The best examples can be heard on their debut single “Alrite Stillll” and their latest “Got Me Burnin’”.
The four 14-year-olds who make up Mindless Behavior definitely fill the spot held by the likes of B2k and New Edition before them, with overly devoted fans and kid-friendly lyrics. Mindless Behavior ― composed of Roc Royal, Prodigy, Princeton, and Ray Ray ― has already racked up guest spots from Tyga, Ciara , and Lil’ Twist on their debut single “My Girl”. LL Cool J to stars as a teacher in the video to their latest “Mrs. Right”, which also features a verse from Diggy Simmons. Mindless Behavior dropped its debut disc #1 Girl in September.
This sexy quartet was put together by Rich Harrison, the well-known producer behind such huge hits as Amerie’s “1 Thing” and Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love.” RichGirl has been a favorite of the blogosphere, dropping underground favorites “He Ain’t Wit Me Now (Tho)” and “Swagger Right” over the past few years. On Valentine’s Day 2011, the ladies debuted their R&B mixtape, Fall in Love with RichGirl. Full of pop and soul sounds, the mixtape serves a precursor to RichGirl’s anticipated debut, which is due out in late 2011 or early 2012.
Having met on the basketball courts of Atlanta, the members of Hamilton Park discovered there was more to their camaraderie than a love for hoops. All four were also aspiring singers and collectively won over Andre Harrell ― the music mogul who introduced the world to Sean Combs, aka Diddy ― with their solid harmonies. Now, having honed its talent for five years and taken notes from groups such as Jodeci and Jagged Edge, H.P. hopes their debut EP will re-introduce something that the radio’s been missing: songs that positively appreciate women. Look no further than their latest, “Thing Called Us,” which does just that.
Joel Lyons is a New York City-based aficionado of dance, pop and R&B. Experience his appreciation at www.ThatsMyJam.net.