It was always a matter of time before the most exciting sound of the moment would take a more soulful direction. Even looking at a lot of UK Drill releases today, it’s clear to see that the production side of the genre has received a heavy injection of melody and emotion which has definitely enhanced it’s appeal. From Headie Ones Music X Road album, to Dappy & Russ’s recent release ‘Splash’ the move towards creating a more melodic sound has really started to take shape.
This trend towards taking the high-energy from the rhythm section of a genre and layering it up with chords and melodies to create a new dimension is something that’s been prevalent for years. From Teddy Rileys use of the hard Hip Hop sound to inform the New Jack Swing movement which fused Boom-Bap and R&B in the early 90s, to the likes of Terror Danjah, Skepta and a whole host of Grime producers using the same principle to introduce a soulful take on the Grime sound which lead to the now recognised musical styling’s of the R&G phenomenon.
At this stage in the development of the broader Black British music scene, there’s been a few artists taking this approach to their music which may be ushering in a new summer sound that’s set to elevate the culture and further expand on the global reach of Britain’s bubbling underground artists.
With Jorja Smith’s preview of an early UK Drill and R&B fusion hitting the internet December last year – along with like minded producers and vocalists indulging in this area of artistry – it seems like a sound bet that this addition to the arsenal of artistic approaches to the creating R&B music strongly suggests that the future of UK Drill and UK R&B is looking exceedingly bright.
Written by Timi Ben-Edigbe