Hxry Credit: Jon Nano

Chicago R&B artist Hxry got his start as a producer—at least as far back as 2016, he was releasing stylistically scattershot instrumental tracks on Soundcloud—but he got his first real taste of success as a vocalist, with his 2018 song “Reasons.” Atop a fluttering synth melody and a suave, minimal rhythm section, Hxry gently sings sweet nothings in a watery, processed voice, occasionally blurring his words even as he crystallizes his romantic intentions. Hxry’s following ballooned after “Reasons” landed on popular YouTube channel Majestic Casual, which focuses on chill R&B and hip-hop. On his self-released debut EP, January’s Piece of Mind, Hxry uses artfully clanking percussion and glistening, elastic synths to prop up his singing, though he’s also clearly gaining confidence. On “Mr. Freeze,” the way his voice saunters over the neosoul instrumental makes him sound just as cool as the guy in the title.   v