The Best European R&B Artists You Shouldn’t Overlook
R&B, which has its origins in African-American communities in the 1940s, exploded throughout North America and, eventually, the world.
Rhythm and Blues have undergone many changes over the years, but its soul can be heard in European artists who want to combine traditional elements of their own countries with hometown funk. Let’s look at a few talented examples.
Titiyo – The Queen of Swedish R&B
Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Titiyo is often considered to be the Queen of Swedish R&B for her multiple achievements, including four Grammis wins.
Although only one of her singles reached the U.S. the single “My Body Says Yes”, she is incredibly popular in Sweden, where two of her six albums reached number one on the Sverigetopplistan (Sweden Record Chart), and four hit the top 10s .
Titiyo still writes and performs regularly, so if you’re ever in Sweden, check her out. She’s inspired many up-and-comers, like Ester Kirabo and Adrijana. In between shows, try out Kazoom Casino available in Swedish to brush up on the language.
Ace Tee – Germany’s Solo TLC
German-Ghanaian artist Ace Tee’s track “Bist Du Down?” sounds like something you’d hear in the mid-90s, and that’s a very good thing. Train Wilda, the mastermind behind Ace Tee, has the artistry and talent of Destiny’s Child all in one human, and it’s unlikely she’ll be stopped.
Ace Tee is making a lot of moves, new music, and great tracks as of late. She’s leading a new guard of artists in both Berlin and Hamburg, where she currently resides. Since her merch drop, which calls back to the days of Janet Jackson and Aaliyah, she’s telling everyone she’s not just a revival; she’s breaking the mold. Ace Tee is effortlessly cool in her new song, White Tee.
Maître Gims (Gims) – The Unstoppable French Artist
Gims, who states his influences as Nate Dogg, 50 Cent, and Eminem, seems to venture into R&B more frequently than his idols would suggest. His music combines Hip Hop, Rap, and R&B flawlessly, so flawlessly, in fact, that he’s topped the French singles charts 4 times and became the most performed artist on French television as of 2018 thanks to his hit, La même.
During his career, he’s worked with international artists such as Pitbull, Sia, Lil Wayne, and Sting, but his solo career is abound with achievement. He’s sold over 5 million records, won 5 awards, and has his own documentary. Check out his newest album, Le Fléau, on Spotify.
Rels B (Rels Beats) – Spanish R&B’s New Face
R&B en Español has a long history and many recognizable faces, but without a proper Grammy-nominated category, it’s often missed. The Latinx has historical ties to R&B, starting with Afro-Cuban roots, a lot of which is found in Rels B, a Spanish artist with incredible talent.
Often considered one of the great values of the new wave of Spanish Hip Hop, he uses a lot of R&B and Soul in his tracks. In 2016, he premiered the music videos Tienes El Don and Skinny Flakkkkkkk on YouTube, which garnered a lot of attention. He has had multiple audio-visual projects that deserve a listen, like I Know, Nueva generación, and Rock & Roll.
Zucchero Fornaciari – The Father of Italian Blues
As the most famous mention on this list, Zucchero is one of the few R&B artists from Europe that still enjoys great international success. Zucchero is credited for introducing Blues to Italy and enjoys swapping between R&B-boogie pieces and Italian Ballads. His music can be called unique, especially for Europe, as he always seems to come up with bombastic tracks.
Zucchero has worked with hundreds of U.S. artists, including The Blues Brothers, Macy Gray, and Queen. With a long career that spans over 4 decades, he’s a musician you can’t afford to pass up. We recommend his hits Baila, Senza Una Donna, Dune Mosse and Cosi Celeste.