The cause and effect of artistic influence has always been complex. In the last five years, PBR&B catalysts like Frank Ocean…
The cause and effect of artistic influence has always been complex. In the last five years, PBR&B catalysts like The Weeknd have precipitated a certain movement, themselves working from older pop-chart R&B formulas like The Dream’s Love trilogy. Derivates have since dispersed into heterogeneous variants of these original works, the most recent example being Sholomo and Jeremih’s collaborative No More EP (2014), which serves as an entry-point for downtempo experimentalists like Teebs and Samiyam to bring R&B elements into their production.
‘Realla’ is the latest single release form Californian DJ Jennifer Lee (TOKiMONSTA) and the most recent feature in the unworkable matrix of ‘downtempo-alt-RnB.’ We’ll avoid the question of whether these terms have become pejorative yet, as they surely have, and this really does more harm than good. Besides, ‘Realla’ is simply too enticing to warrant contempt. Los Angeles newcomer Anderson Paak features, and his smokey expressions lead his audience through another new derivative: dare we say, “post-EDM”?
Crass as it may sound, Lee has toured with Skrillex and Diplo. But with her being signed to Flying Lotus’ label Brainfeeder, surely this would be missing the mark? Whatever term we give to ‘Realla’ will detract from its own originality: an enjoyable and thought-out experiment in blending influences.