As great a year it has been for the music world as a whole this year, one genre that I have not really heard a lot of releases for is R&B. I can really only think of a couple of R&B tracks that have come out this year I love; Jhene Aiko’s ‘Triggered’ has definitely been my favorite song in this genre this year for sure. Fortunately for us R&B lovers, last week Justine Skye dropped her Bare With Me EP, finally giving us some new songs to listen to. Justine Skye has been rising fast over the last couple of years in the music and social media world. She originally became popular with her boyfriend on Tumblr, with both of them being well known for being online fashionistas. She used her online fame to start building her music career, releasing a few popular mixtapes in the 2010s that ended up getting her Atlantic Records(and later Roc Nation). Her online popularity has ended up helping her make some very famous friends, such as Jaden and Willow Smith, and this has also helped out her music career. I really dig Justine Skye’s vocal delivery and style; it reminds me a lot of some of the popular R&B artists of the 2000s, such as Destiny’s Child or Ciara. She does not tend to use this style for the instrumental aspect of her music, though. Sonically, she uses a lot Carribean and reggaeton style melodies, which probably stems from the fact she was raised by Jamaican parents. There is also a bit of an neo-funk aspect to her music as well that reminds me a lot of Frank Ocean or Childish Gambino. If you are into R&B music, do not miss Bare With Me, because it has something for all lovers of the genre, young or old.
I gave you a little, now you asking for too much. I let you hit it once, now you asking for two blunts…
I really love the opening track of this EP. ‘Too Much,’ which features a non-hip hop artist who is a frequent collaborator with the hip hop world, James Fauntleroy, has that nice and smooth Caribbean tone that I mentioned in the previous paragraph. It is obvious that she is inspired by Latin music because this instrumental has as much of a Latin feel as a song can have without actually being a Latin music track. I love her writing style on this song. It almost feels like she is sing-rapping these lyrics,and it reminds me a lot of Post Malone or The Weeknd. I also love the aggressive nature of these lyrics. Justine Skye does not seem like the right woman to mess with. The next song, ‘Secrets,’ has a much softer tone than the opening track. This song reminds me a lot of Jhene Aiko. The instrumental sounds a lot like something that could be on Jhene’s Souled Out EP. Those of you that know me and my music taste know how much I love Jhene, so as you can imagine I really dig this track a lot.
Bitches runnin’ ’round sayin’ they gon’ make time. For you, I know I could do time . You ain’t gotta hold tight on my waistline. You, you the only one on my mind…
The third song of this EP, ‘Bulletproof,’ is probably my personal favorite song on the project. The song starts out with a pretty melody being made by steel drums and a beat being made by conga drums, and the island vibes that this song has are so smooth and nice. The song gives me major ‘pick up the phone’ vibes; if any song on this EP was to go viral, I could see it being this one. Lyrically, this track is not nearly as intense as most of the rest of this EP. Justine sings about how loyal she is to her guy and reminds him that her eye will never stray from him. ‘FAV’ is by far the most pop-sounding song of the EP. This song gives me major Ariana Grande vibes. Lyrically it even sounds like something Ariana might do. Although Justine obviously does very well with this style, I personally prefer her more Caribbean and neo-R&B stuff.
‘When You’re Ready’ is the most classic sounding R&B track on this record. The easy and slow guitar driven instrumental sounds a lot like the pop/R&B from the early 2000s. Justine is able to switch up her style so seamlessly, and it is pretty amazing. It seems like she can make any type of music in the general R&B field. Lovers of classic R&B will definitely love this one. The last song of this project, ‘MAYBE,’ is my other favorite song on the EP. This is another neo-R&B joint that reminds me so much of Jhene Aiko. I really love how funky and futuristic the instrumental is on this one. Justine’s voice is perfect for this track; it makes the song flow so well and just makes me want to dance. I would love to hear her make a whole project in this style because she is so good at it.
Bare With Me does a really excellent job at showcasing all of what makes Justine Skye a rising star in the R&B field. Her retro-sounding voice and mature writing style will definitely draw in the more traditional fans, whereas her modern neo-soul and Caribbean instrumentals are so fresh and will definitely draw in younger fans. I am excited to see Justine grow as an artist even more, and this EP makes me very pumped to hear new music from her in the future! Check out Justine Skye’s Bare With Me below!