-By Devanshi Kashyap (10th B, Abhinav Vidyalay)
Discovering various genres of music has always been something I truly enjoy. While in process, I came across R’n’B, and ever since then I’ve been a huge fan of this genre.
Rhythm and Blues, often abbreviated to R’n’B or R&B, is a music genre first developed by Black artists in America in the 1940s. This genre was called ‘Race Music’ originally, but since it came off as offensive, it was renamed to ‘Rhythm and Blues’ by Jerry Wexler in 1947 when he was editing the charts at Billboard. Derived from various other genres like gospel, jazz, folk and traditional blues, it’s been refined through the present day.
In the 40s and 50s, it was all blues with lots of guitar and jazz happening in the song, with lyrical storytelling.
Moving forward, in the 80s, 90s, favored and 2000s onwards, it became more hip hop and electronically influenced. RnB was used to refer to soul and funk songs too! This was now known as ‘Contemporary RnB’.
Some examples - Bills, Bills, Bills by Destiny’s Child, Waterfalls by TLC, Remember the Time by Michael Jackson, Let’s Get Married by Jagged Edge, Endless Love by Lionel Richie & Diana Ross, Umbrella by Rihanna, Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd, Cry Me a River by Justin Timberlake, etc.
Current Scene in the Music Industry
As an Rnb enthusiast, it breaks my heart that RnB now isn’t as popular or favoured as it was before since today’s generation cares much less about ‘soft’ or ‘emotional’ music. The majority of the people today jam with EDM songs (the complete opposite of Rnb lol).
Though, it hasn’t disappeared just yet. Other genres like soul/neo-soul have both developed with RnB and are now major influences in the music we hear now.
In Bollywood, songs like Sham by Amit Trivedi & Nikhil D’Souza, dooriyan by Zaeden, Raabta by Arijit Singh are some examples of influenced RnB. The Kpop industry takes influences from the RnB genre as well. Some notable examples are Kingdom Come, Automatic by Red Velvet; DayDream, Back 2 U by NCT; Replay, Excuse Me, Miss, by SHINee; Palette by IU; woo ah by Crush, etc.
Lastly, I’d recommend everyone to listen to the examples listed and explore more of this beautiful genre. Also, feel free to drop more RnB songs in the comments!
Thank you for reading.