For those who are Spotify loyalists and stream undiscovered R&B singers on the platform, undoubtedly, many are familiar with the hidden gem of an artist, Ballad. His honey-textured soulful vocals are reminiscent of Raphael Saadiq, pulling from vintage harmonies but remixing them into something funky and fresh.
His single “Orange” went viral on Black Twitter, garnering 1.5M views during the conversation that R&B Is Dead, an online discussion that said this genre is no longer relevant because artists are no longer making music that resonates with fans. However, Ballad is defying the naysayers, and his sound is prevalent on the social media site TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. The singer/songwriter credits Black women for his success and their dedication to elevating Black culture, which adds to the appeal and depth of his artistry.
His fans have described the R&B crooner’s music as flowing from the “angelic realm,” his tunes go “from the kitchen to floor R&B,” others say it’s “brown sugar music,” “waterbed and shag music,” and “music that is a cooling solvent for the soul.”
Ballad once tweeted, “I’m not trying to do anything different. All I’m doing is putting out who I am in the forefront. That is inherently not going to be like anything or anyone else.”
R&B enthusiasts can attest that the genre will not disappear, this style of music is still relevant today as always, and Ballad is making his contributions to the art form known.
“According to data shared with Digital Music News by Nielsen Music, more than one-third of all music streaming comes from the uber-genre of rap, hip-hop, and R&B. More specifically, 36.4% of all on-demand music streams counted by Nielsen came from the ‘Hip-Hop/R&B’ genre, which also encompasses Rap as a sub-genre.
Even more astounding: 37.5% of all audio-only on-demand streams come from the genre, particularly on Spotify and Apple Music.”
With the recent Grammy 2023, Lizzo won the award for Best Album for her album “About Damn Time,” which primarily borrows from hip hop, soul, R&B, and funk-pop, the ubiquitous R&B track by Grammy winner Muni Long’s “Hrs & Hrs” track took social media by storm, Ballad is next in line to help with the resurgence of the genre.