Through the past decade R&B has dramatically evolved, largely as a result of changes in the production, recording and distribution of popular music. The “R&B” of today is almost unrecognizable from the genre which dominated the charts of the early ’00s and brought soul-infused sounds into the pop music scene. Accordingly, fans and artists alike have engaged in a heated debate over the validity of modern R&B with the argument appearing to reach a climax in recent months over comments by Diddy declaring the genre “dead.” He has since announced the launch of his new “Love Records” label in tandem with Motown. While sonically, R&B is unlikely to turn back the hands of time, new artists are emerging drawing more heavily on the raw, vulnerable and sensual sounds of years past. One such incredible artist starting to command attention is the New York based, Oso.

Oso is an R&B artist in the truest sense as he leans heavily on soul-infused lyricism and melodies, however, his playful and excessive style lends itself quite well to modern day. Over the past year he has released several singles that showcase tremendous versatility and potential to grow into a force over the next few years. In each of these singles and accompanying visuals he exudes an unmistakable air of confidence while simultaneously showcasing the trademark of great R&B music, vulnerability. While many vulnerable crooners seemingly fall into a trap of being characterized as “corny,” Oso avoids this pitfall by brining a uniquely light-hearted energy to his sexually charged lyricism.

He was born and raised in Queens, New York, an area we haven’t seen in the R&B picture since the early 00s when New York native Sean “Puffy” Combs was running the show. Artists have mostly flocked to Los Angeles and Atlanta citing better weather or quality of living, however, the grit and multi-cultural influences present in New York are unique to the city and its music. Perhaps the “real R&B” everyone seems to be looking for can be found again under the graffiti covered walls of its outer boroughs. In Oso’s interviews and social content, he doesn’t shy away from his strong Queens accent. The city seems to run through his every move, from his vocal tones to motions and facial expressions.

Oso’s journey reads like a coming of age novel. He was kicked out of school due to poor grades, worked at a local Italian restaurant and finessed his music industry connections chatting it up with regular customers. Eventually he saved enough money and bought his own recording equipment, spending sleepless nights experimenting with the different sounds. This is this kind of story we love, the kind confident underdog we root for.

Oso is gradually claiming his spotlight. Recent collaborations with top creatives such as Tory Lanez, Eric Bellinger, Hitmaka, and Chrishan are placing him firmly in the ones to watch.