Although he may not be the genre’s biggest star, R&B singer-songwriter JAHKOY has been carving out his own space for quite some time now. Through haunting vocals, brittle emotion, and surviving industry politics, he’s back and more assured than ever.
Since catching fire in 2014 with his debut release “Poison” and “Hold Your Hand,” which arrived a year later, the Canadian starlet has been architecting his own world. It wasn’t long after that he got picked up by Def Jam and subsequently dropped records like “Odd Future” and the ScHoolboy Q-assisted “California Heaven,” which to this day is amongst his most-streamed records. The song appears on his debut EP, Foreign Water, a culmination of all his experiences in different places all in one place. Although short-lived, JAHKOY would eventually leave his major-label imprint and take the independent route.
2021, while still a fairly odd year to navigate for most musicians, saw JAHKOY at his finest. After rolling off the heels of the previous year’s successful record “Exes & Summer Flings” with Fabolous, he kept the momentum going with the release of 323. The EP, which is also the area code for Los Angeles, signified a new era as the singer focuses on his own desires and agency. “Mary Blige” and “Face2Face” are two songs that outline the extended play, with JAHKOY delivering well-paced verses and soulful melodies throughout its entirety.
Closing off the year, JAHKOY unveiled his eagerly-awaited album Tangible—a 14-song composition of arguably the Toronto singer’s best work to date. Both in terms of production and substance, the project is a testament to artistic freedom. As his first true full-length project as an independent artist, he doesn’t conform to anyone’s vision or formula, but rather his own. Stand out cuts include “Hot Seat,” “Arch Yo Back,” and “Shoulda Known Better” with Allyn to name a few; Tangible cohesive blend of moody, mid-tempo instrumentation that leave listeners with a better idea of who JAHKOY is as an artist and radiant voice in R&B.
Whether it be the way he composes his songs or how they build on one another, there’s a lot to love about the rising singer and songwriter. Stream JAHKOY’s new album below.
Elsewhere in music, Savannah Ré is providing a fresh face to Toronto’s R&B scene.