DIXSON, Queen Naija, James Fauntleroy, And More New R&B Music For A Mistletoe Jam

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Whether you’re in the streets or chilling at home with a special someone, there’s going to be an R&B song to soundtrack your experience. DIXSON is making new “friends” while Queen Naija is detailing life after the honeymoon phase. Leslie Odom Jr. is getting candid about some personal moments as Lyfe Harris enlists JVCK JAMES, and Ye Ali to give us their confessions about past relationships.

James Fauntleroy finally unveils his debut album as a front-facing artist, thus opening a new chapter. Budding singer, TeaMarrr does the same. Meanwhile, Ego Ella May closes one. Yet, Tamar Braxton and the We Sound Crazy podcast are making history as Inayah frees herself from the shackles of a long overdue breakup. Tis the season to tune the world out or get your home in order, both figuratively and literally with VIBE’s top new R&B picks.


DIXSON is back with “FRIENDS,” an instant classic marking the beginning of his next musical era (and trust us, you don’t want to miss out). Produced by Camper (the genius behind hits like “ICU”) and co-written by DIXSON, TA Thomas, and Terrell “Tre” Roper, the intimate track is a sultry and bold number where the crooner plays off the Biggie Smalls line, “Tell your friends to get with my friends. And we can be friends.”

In the chorus, he sings, “You and your friends / Me and my friends / We can make plans for thе night / Got a couple bands / Need a Superman / I’ll be your kryptonitе / A** so cheeky / Watch it like TV / Bite it, I’m greedy.” If this is the appetizer for the new DIXSON music headed our way, prepare accordingly for the main course. “FRIENDS” was first teased on the new record on his ‘CLOSE FRIENDS’ broadcast channel via Instagram.

Queen Naija – After The Butterflies

Queen Naija’s highly-anticipated EP is complied of 10 loaded anthems that spotlight real-life relationship woes, regardless of how happy something may be perceived to be. We’re drawn to the collaborations with Ella Mai, Monica, and Eric Bellinger, but we’d agree with Queen: the definitive track from the project is “Self Love.”

She sings, “I gave all of my love away/ I thought that maybe it would bring some good to me/ I sacrifice for those who wouldn’t do the same,” before declaring in the chorus, “Me — can’t nobody love me like, can’t no one fulfill my needs like me.” Here’s an honest look into life after the honeymoon phase and many of us need this vulnerable reality check.

James Fauntleroy – The Warmest Winter Ever

James Fauntleroy is releasing his debut solo album and naturally, it’s holiday themed. The journey to The Warmest Winter Ever began nearly a decade ago and has now culminated into this cohesive, timely work of art.

“This project delves into the enchanting world of Christmas, and many aspects of this holiday, from embodying Santa Claus to becoming Santa’s helper,” the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter shared in a statement. “It presents a fresh perspective on holiday music. ‘The Warmest Winter Ever’ is a collection of songs released from 2014 up until now, exploring themes of romance and Christmas across 25 tracks that are sure to get you in the mood.”

When explaining why he chose for his solo debut to be a holiday one, Fauntleroy told Billboard, “It feels natural to me because when I’m thinking about it in terms of my legacy — not what I’m trying to build, but where I’ve come to at this point — I think that it’s so unusual to have your first album be your Christmas album, but considering all the s**t I make, it makes it the perfect first album.”

The full LP arrives on Dec. 8.

TeaMarrr – You Should Prolly Sit Down For This

TeaMarrr’s debut album, You Should Prolly Sit Down For This, is one of them ones. As she reflects on figuring out life in Los Angeles as an indie artist and the moments in her life that sparked her healing, the singer bares her soul as a means to show us how she found her way back to herself. “This album is about the church girl from the East Coast who takes a wild turn in the wild wild west and ends up lost in the belly of the beast. It’s a musical map guiding her way back,” she expressed in a statement. She also described her music as “for your ears, but the natural fruit kind.”

“I want [my fans] to feel seen and want to come see me live one day so I can share the light that God gave me to shine.” If you’re inspired by the likes of Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill, and Rihanna, TeaMarrr a.k.a. “Lil Tea Cup” should be next on your radar. Sit down, listen, and don’t sleep on TeaMarrr.

Tamar Braxton – “You Bring The Love”

In partnership with We Sound Crazy, Tamar Braxton has debuted the first single to be premiered by a podcast. “You Bring The Love” is Braxton’s new holiday ballad, co-written and produced by the podcast’s co-hosts, Claude Kelly and Chuck Harmony.

The mother of one sings about how that special someone brought the love back into the season and essentially makes Christmas bliss a year-round feeling. It is her first holiday release since Winter Loversland, which was released almost a decade ago to date in November 2013. With this debut, We Sound Crazy will continue to distribute original music from some of the industry’s finest acts.


Ego Ella May has issued the final installment in her FIELDNOTES series. Her single “Undone”—inspired by the book I May Be Wrong by Bjørn Natthiko Lindeblad—marked the beginning of the end of the musical journey that began during the 2020 lockdown.

“So much has changed,” she noted. “So many lessons have been learnt and put into this music, but the best part is that I’ve been lucky enough to work with my friends on this project; Dougie Stu, LVTHER, Sam Posener and Wu-Lu. I’ve co-produced three out of the four songs and I’m incredibly proud of that.  It’s about coming back to yourself time and time again, it’s about love, it’s about growth pains and it’s about listening to your inner voice. God speaks in whispers.” Indeed, he does, so listen attentively.

Lyfe Harris feat. JVCK JAMES and Ye Ali – “Crazy Things”

Lyfe Harris is joining forces with JVCK JAMES and Ye Ali for another 2000s R&B-inspired hit, “Crazy Things.” Produced by Justin Wiggins, these men contributed to the sonic narrative in a pivotal way by reflecting on their respective, lingering emotions from a past relationship.

Lyfe shows how he lost a woman he loved because of his own mistakes and immaturity. Ye’s perspective stems from a “crazy” situation with a woman who wanted him to prioritize her over his career. As for JVCK, he played the friend role to a woman he cared for who always chose the wrong men until one late night call turned into more. They both gave in to each other.

“’Crazy Things’ serves as a testament to his ability to capture the essence of human experience through music,” notes Lyfe.

Leslie Odom Jr. – When A Crooner Dies

In the midst of Leslie Odom Jr.’s latest Broadway run, the almost EGOT winner is back with his new album, When A Crooner Dies. Odom describes the LP as his most personal album where uses his unparalleled talent to paint a soul-stirring picture about himself at the core. “I realized I needed to be the example of conviction that I’m looking for,” he told Parade Magazine.

Odom’s leading the full release with the single, “Loved.” “The song’s kinda like a mediation on inheritance and family lineage,” he explains. “A love…passed down like fine china or good land from one generation to the next.”

Inayah – “For The Streets”

Inayah is back outside with her newest single, “For The Streets.” The breathtaking vocalist’s latest offering is empowering and familiar as she uses Fantasia’s classic hit, “When I See You,” to pave the way.

“You ain’t been on my mind/ Ain’t got no feelings inside,” she unapologetically sings on the chorus. “When I see you/ I hate when I see you/ And now we outside/ Don’t speak, don’t try to say ‘Hi’/ When I see you/ It’s f**k you when I see you.”

It’s thee bounce back anthem for those who’ve finally freed themselves from a relationship that’s passed its prime and now opted for a stress-free life.

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