• Simply GenZ

Minority Artist Recs!

Janelle Monàe


Janelle Monàe is an American singer and actress of African American descent. Her first appearance in the US Top 10 Charts was with her feature on “We Are Young” by fun., and since then she has continued to perform high on the charts. Monàe has 3 albums out, all of which are charted in the top 20 of the Billboard 200. Additionally, she has had major roles in films such as Moonlight, Hidden Figures, Lady and the Tramp, and Harriet.


Her first album, The ArchAndroid, includes elements of science fiction and Afrofuturism and features themes of love, identity, and self-realization. The album was even nominated at the 2011 Grammys for Best Contemporary R&B Album.


Her second album, The Electric Lady, incorporates hip hop soul, funk, gospel, pop, rock, jazz, and reggae. It received universal acclaim from critics and received an average score of 82 out of 100 on Metacritic.


Dirty Computer is Monàe’s most recent album, released in 2018. It features elements of electropop, space rock, Minneapolis soul, Latin music, and trap. Dirty Computer received 2 nominations at the 61st Grammy Awards, including a nomination for Album of the Year.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_Computer

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1847117/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Electric_Lady

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_ArchAndroid


Labrinth

Timothee Lee Mckenzie, who goes by Labrinth, is a British singer, songwriter, and producer of Jamaican descent. He was signed by Simon Cowell to Syco Music, and has been referred to as “one of the most important British musicians of his generation.”


His debut album, Electronic Earth, is a hip hop and electronica album that peaked at #2 in the UK. His second album, Imagination & the Misfit Kid, was released in 2019, and 2 singles from the album (“All for Us” and “Mount Everest”) were featured in HBO’s Euphoria.


Labrinth has also collaborated with a number of famous artists including Beyoncé, Kanye West, The Weeknd, Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, and Noah Cyrus. He composed the score for HBO’ Euphoria and won an Emmy award for it - Definitely check out his song “Still Don’t Know my Name”, which is also featured on Euphoria.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Earth#Weekly_charts

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imagination_%26_the_Misfit_Kid

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/labrinth-zendaya-euphoria-soundtrack-hbo-893594/

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/labrinth-mn0000901557/biography


Jhené Aiko


Jhené Aiko is an American singer who produces alternative R&B, hip hop, and pop music. Her mother is Japanese, Spanish, and Dominican, while her father is Native American and German.


Aiko’s first album, Souled Out debuted at #3 on the US Billboard 200 chart, and hit #1 on the US R&B Albums chart. Previously to this album, she had released her debut EP, Sail Out, and she became the first female artist to top the Mainstream R&B chart with a debut single since 2008. Aiko was nominated for three Grammy’s at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, including Best R&B Song for "The Worst," a single from Sail Out, and Best Urban Contemporary Album for Sail Out.


Her second album Trip debuted at #5 on the US Billboard 200 chart and featured artists such as Chris Brown, Rae Sremmurd, and Big Sean. Her most recent album, Chilombo, was released in 2020 and is considered a neo-soul album, and was inspired by Hawaii, where the album was recorded. The album debuted at #2 on the US Billboard 200 chart and received three Grammy nominations: Album of the Year and Best Progressive R&B Album, and Best R&B Performance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Souled_Out_(Jhen%C3%A9_Aiko_album)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trip_(Jhen%C3%A9_Aiko_album)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilombo_(album)


Zayn Malik


Zayn Malik is a Pakistani-English singer who rose to fame as a member of the popular boy band One Direction. He left the band in 2015 to pursue a solo career and has released three successful albums since.

The mind of Mine, his first solo album, is an R&B album that incorporates themes of bliss, desire, love, frustration, and sadness. The lead single, “Pillowtalk” was a worldwide hit, and the album debuted at #1 in the US, UK, and Canada, and hit #1 in Australia and New Zealand The album set and broke multiple records, including becoming the first debut album to top the daily iTunes charts in more than 70 countries, as it topped the daily iTunes charts of 84 countries within 24 hours of release.


Malik’s second album, Icarus Falls, consists of 27 tracks, and was preceded by popular singles “Sour Diesel” and “Dusk till Dawn.” Tara Joshi of The Observer stated that Malik "poured forth a gorgeous falsetto" and often channeled "melismatic Bollywood singing,” concluding that "Malik is defying expectations, remaining in ascent."


In 2021, Malik released his 3rd album, Nobody is Listening. It peaked at #17 in the UK, and multiple songs on the album, such as “Tightrope” and “Windowsill” were inspired by his longtime partner, American model Gigi Hadid.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobody_Is_Listening

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_of_Mine

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icarus_Falls#cite_note-Observer-34

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/dec/23/zayn-malik-icarus-falls-review


Research Coordinator - Sachi Gosal

Editor - Vaishnavi Bhojane

Graphic Designer - Ankitha Ganesan


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