Indie R&B put on indefinite hiatus.
Sometime back in 2009 I was struck by the thought ”Is there such a thing as alternative R&B?” I’d discovered alternative forms of other music genres (e.g. indie rock/pop, underground hip hop, post-rock, etc), so naturally I got curious to if there was anybody out there creating contemporary R&B in a more experimental form. I tried googling ”alternative R&B” and ”indie R&B” which led to a few relevant finds such as Muhsinah, Quadron, Milosh, The Foreign Exchange, Aloe Blacc, Jessie Boykins III and No Kids. But there was clearly no widespread idea of alternative R&B yet. I kept on researching and bookmarking finds until late 2010 and early 2011 when some very important acts start circulating; How to Dress Well, The Weeknd, Jamie Woon, AlunaGeorge, inc. and Frank Ocean.
Some kind of wave was most definitely on it’s way and I decided to put together a mix as proof of this burgeoning evolution of R&B. I wanted to show that the genre was evolving into something beyond what we usually hear in the mainstream media. So I created a 32 track long, simple fade-in/fade-out mix in Garageband and posted it on Soundcloud (it has unfortunately been taken down since the due to copyright issues). Nothing much happened the first couple of days, but suddenly one day the play counts started increasing rapidly. It turned out it was thanks to a feature on the quite popular Tumblr blog ”Post-dubstep” (nowadays known as MTHRFNKR) and had spread on from there. And that’s when I got the idea of starting the blog you’re looking at right now.
Since then, 774 posts and almost two years later, the blog has featured five more mixes, garnered almost 80 000 followers and has been mentioned twice in online articles on the Guardian. I’ve become acquainted and friends with several awesome bloggers, done my first DJ gig, been interviewed by ON3 and been flown out to London to be interviewed for the Hashtags mini-series. It’s been super exciting and super fun.
But now it’s time to take an indefinite break. I feel the blog has fulfilled it’s purpose in showing the rise of progressive and independent contemporary R&B. I also want time to focus on new projects and on becoming a better graphic designer and illustrator. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep an eye on this space though. I might revive it one day and in any case I’ll be posting info on other projects I’ll be starting or getting involved in.
Finally, I want to give big thanks and lots of love to Life Crushed, The Soul Electronic, Disco Naïvité, Pinboard Blog, MTHRFNKR, Apple Juice Break, Britticisms, R&B blog and everyone else who’s supported and helped this blog become awesome. And of course a big thank you and loads of love to all of you followers! You made the blog amazing.
All the best, Erik.