It’s an interesting time for R&B. Once a staple of the charts, the genre has been stretched in multiple directions in recent years. For some fans R&B means the futuristic, Daft Punk collaborating sounds of the Weeknd and PartyNextDoor, for others, it’s a revival of the now classic 90s sound that launched it into the stratosphere. Elsewhere the genre has melted into the rattling snares of modern trap or been stripped back to it emotional peaks and troughs as part of a wave known best as ‘purple’. No matter what comes to mind when you think of R&B its impossible to deny the diversity in the genre right now.
Few artists embody that diversity better than Brooklyn native Adrian Daniel. Born and raised in NYC’s most populous borough he’s been melding forward longing slow jams with the city’s rich history of soul, jazz and proper old school rhythm and blues for years. On his new album FLAWD, he takes his fusion even further, lending his falsetto to soaring, dramatic instrumentals and smooth, seductive tracks alike, making a case for himself as one of the most dynamic voices in the scene right now.
FLAWD gets its official release tomorrow, but we managed to convince Adrian to give us an exclusive first listen to the project a day in advance. As well as streaming the full album twenty-four hours ahead of its release we’ve also got Adrian to break down five of his favourite tracks from the project and explain how they came to be. Listen to FLAWD below and find out the stories behind the song after the jump.
Adrian Daniel: ‘Roxanne’ is a conversation between me and the person of this story and is the opening credits to the movie. It picks up from where my last project Disillusions ended. After realising things were not what we thought it was, it was time to have a hard conversation about where we were in the relationship. I wrote it on the 3 train at 4 AM.
AD: It’s exactly what the title is. You get to a point in life where you realise that you can go to the end of the earth for someone, but it will never be enough. I wrote this at 2 AM, the producer Ian had sent me the beat at around 1 AM. This is an important track on the album because this is something you have to accept in your life in order to heal. You can’t fix everything.
AD: This song is important in the narrative of the album because it something we all do at some point in our journey of finding happiness with others. We meet people that are toxic to us but we end up staying in it, taking the pain every day knowing it won’t change. In some weird way, we love that person more because they are the only one who can trigger this type of reaction out of you. It’s a flaw in itself.
AD: This song is special to me. I wrote it at midnight after I got back from some party. It’s a moment we all have when we get quiet with ourselves and start to reflect on everything. It happens only for a moment then, most of the time, we snap out of it. That’s why the song is the length it is on the album. Its a moment of weakness.
AD: This song is actually a part of ‘Roxanne’. They were originally one song then I thought it would be better to make them the beginning and end of this album. ‘Dreaming’ is me trying to rationalise everything that has happened and prepare for the future. I think life is a dream sometimes and living in a world where you love someone that could never love you back is a nightmare. It’s also a tribute to one of my musical idols John Mayer.