It’s amazing to think how far British music has come on that we can finally have music that fuses Asian influence with r&b. It makes sense considering how many Asian crews frequent clubs listening to r&b, hip hop and soul.
So here we have ‘Essential R&B’ released on Outcaste Records. There’s some well-known Asian artists like Jay Sean who flexes an exclusive track on this album, as well as Raghev and Rishi Rich. There’s also other well known artists like Shola Ama and Beenie
Man making appearances that proves people are getting involved in Asian music. If you go to r&b nights you’ll probably be familiar with some tunes on this compilation like ‘You Should Really Know’, ‘Teri Baaton’, ‘Hum Tum’ and ‘Dude’ that have been popular. Essentially all the tracks on this album have a feel good factor and a distinct Eastern flavour, some more than others. Tracks like ‘Naiyon Dil Lagda’ by Bally Sagoo very cleverly use Asian sounds and modernise it by the use of modern drum rhythms, or the more traditional Asian sound of Juggy D’s ‘Akheer’ for you to relive those fond memories in the East. There’s a few hip hop moments featuring male MC’s and female MC’s and genuine fun fuelled Bollywood flings to get the whole family dancing.
There’s a nice diversity of sounds in this album to give ‘Essential R&B’ enough variety to keep you entertained. What’s evident is the positivity in the sound. There’s no dark or brooding moments, it’s all happy and culturally enriching. I guess it’s not gonna appeal to everyone, some tracks do border on cheese, yet it’s a good cross section of a still young and rapidly becoming popular scene. I’m sure a lot more is to come from Asian r&b so I see ‘Essential R&B’ as a starting point to what I’m sure will become an institution in the future.