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The modern it girls of R&B: Tinashe, FKA Twigs and more

By Aaron Tamazou

R&B is a constantly evolving genre, but recently at Attitude HQ we’ve had a surge of exciting new young ladies playing on repeat. Here’s our pick of the new faces you should know by now, who are sure to be making big waves in the very near future.

This Danish singer and songwriter takes her name from her middle and last initials (Marie Ørsted), while the word MØ means ‘maiden’ or ‘virgin’ in old Norse. She’s constantly touted as the Danish Grimes, veering very much on the electro side of R&B, and she also features on the Iggy Azalea track Beg for It. Oh, and if you were wondering how to type Ø on your keyboard (because we came this close to scrapping her from the list) it’s option + O.

Seinabo Sey

Another Scandi-star (they do it best, after all), 23-year-old Seinabo Sey (pronounced Say-na-bo Sea) is of Swedish-Gambian descent and draws on this as her main influence, making for a product that’s not like anything you’ll have ever heard before. The Beyonce-enthusiast blends soul and electro to great effect, and her amazing debut single Younger scored No.1 hits on Hype Machine and Shazam last year. She’ll exhibit new music in Brighton this May where she plays The Great Escape festival.

Lion Babe

Jillian Harvey and Lucas Goodman make up the new duo Lion Babe, but it’s clear to see where the name comes in. Goodman’s soul and funk-infused beats are the backdrop to lion-maned Harvey’s sultry vocals and fluent movement, and since forming they’ve collaborated with the likes of Childish Gambino, Pharrell Williams and Mark Ronson. Fun fact: Jillian is the daughter of Vanessa Williams (who played unapologetic bitch Wilhelmina Slater in Ugly Betty!).

Another duo (If The Voice can do it, we can too) consisting of French-Cuban twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz, who claim to have a musical sixth-sense with one another (they hum the same songs at the same time, even if they’re apart!) Singing is done mostly in English but also Yorùbá, a Nigerian language used in Cuba, and is done so alongside piano and percussion compositions with an electronic edge. Their debut album is out now and you’re likely to have seen their faces plastered across billboards on the London underground of late.

FKA Twigs
Twice Brit-nominated last night, Twigs’ critically hailed debut album LP1, with its trip-hop experimental track listing of songs that are mostly about carnal pleasures and also reference her days as a backing dancer for the likes of Jessie J and Kylie Minogue, was the most hotly tipped for last year’s Mercury Prize. In two shows at London’s Roundhouse recently, she put on an unforgettable show artfully exhibiting the bizarre contortion her and an eclectic group of friends were capable of, and vogued to a distorted sample of the famous Madonna track. She’s also having regular intercourse with R-Patz.


Los Angeles-based Tinashe has probably been around for the longest of the lot, and if you’re not familiar with her velvety brand of edgy R&B, you might recognise her from a recurring role she had in Two and a Half Men a few years back (well, we’ve all had bad jobs). Her music draws comparisons to The Weeknd and Aaliyah, much like Twigsy, and she’s charted well stateside with hit single 2 On, featuring Schoolboy Q. Cute, cool and creative, Tinashe has all the makings of a perfect R&B-tinged pop star. She performs at London’s Heaven next Monday (March 2nd).

Words: Aaron Toumazou