Posted inMusic

Nigeria’s Joeboy makes life-affirming pop music

Throughout the next few months, Chicago will host several concerts featuring contemporary Nigerian pop stars, and Joeboy in particular is a must-see. Born Joseph Akinwale Akinfenwa-Donus, the 24-year-old singer attracted international attention in 2019 for his summery single “Baby,” a love song with a loping chord progression and an overarching yet understated chipperness that’s ready […]

Posted inMusic Review

Dreamer Isioma yokes their wildly maximalist aesthetic to their pop-star ambition on Goodnight Dreamer

In March 2020, Chicago singer-songwriter Dreamer Isioma released their breakthrough EP, Sensitive, whose slyly funky title track became a slow-burning hit—in a little under two years, it’s racked up nearly 70 million Spotify streams. Isioma is clearly a pop star in the making, and treats the history of recorded music like a grand buffet: they […]

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The modern soul of the O’My’s sounds smoother than ever on No Swimming

As the O’My’s, singer-guitarist Maceo Vidal-Haymes and keyboardist Nick Hennessey carefully control the heat they apply to their luxurious contemporary take on soul, so that it smolders instead of burning off the roof. The Chicago duo mostly stay cool and low-key on their latest EP, No Swimming. During the songs’ hushed passages, Vidal-Haymes’s almost hornlike […]

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Chicago polymath Cam Be melds funk, R&B, and hip-hop to lift up struggling spirits

Chicago composer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist Cam Be draws on his community to invigorate his already bold musical ideas. On his new second album, Summer in September (on his own Camovement label), Cam and an ensemble of friends create immediately gratifying fusions of soul, funk, hip-hop, and R&B. Feel-good jam “Fade Away” opens with 16 people […]