“There are young people making some great music,” says the Motown legend in response to the idea that R&B is dead.
ESSENCE recently ran a series on the state of R&B music, detailing both the evolution of the genre and its subtle erasure as Hip-Hop grew to be the dominant sound of the recording industry. But as numerous R&B artists walked the black carpet at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles November 20, it was clear rhythm & blues is far from dead. And even legends like Smokey Robinson will tell you so himself. “I tell people all the time when they say, ‘young people are making all this crazy [music,]’ there are young people making some great music, you know what I mean?,” Robinson told us at the AMAs. “Music is in great hands.”
Lucky Daye, who was nominated for Favorite R&B Artist, echoed that sentiment, as did fellow nominee Brent Faiyaz as well as “X” singer Tinashe. Check out our full interviews in the video above to see what these singers had to say about the state of R&B music.