British soul rarely sounds this turned up. UK pop singer and chart-topper Katy B’s third album is an ambitious collaborative effort where she works with some of the biggest, buzziest producers around.
“She’s the Peckham girl who won’t dance to anyone else’s tune: interviewed back on her old manor, Katy B proves the perfect modern British pop star” – The Guardian
Effortlessly moving between genres, she makes sure to put an R&B stamp on each song. Yet Katy B keeps all the opposing styles and approaches from veering into chaos. On the album-opening title track, she unleashes a neo-soul vocal over Kaytranada’s sparkling beat. The song blends effortlessly into the more anthemic “Who AM I.” It’s a Major Lazer-helmed reggae fusion in which Katy B gets her passionate vocals from Craig David.
R&B Meets Grime
Later, R&B meets grime on the hypnotic earworm, “Lose Your Head,” the HeavyTrackerz produced. Katy B turns herself into a ’90s house vocalist on her solo version of British DJ-producer KDA’s “Turn the Music Louder (Rumble).” This is the same song she released as a single featuring B and Tinie Tempah last year.
Lyrically, Kate B works some of the same emotional territories as her reflective 2014 single, “5 AM.” The song muses on the somber side of life in the club. And “Calm Down” features experimentally-minded electronic producers Four Tet and Floating Points. She muses, “When are we ever gonna calm down/Know I should do but I love the sound,” over a rubber band beat.
Katy B has a way to go in separating herself from the influx of UK pop singer stars who dabble in dub. But she’s beginning to pave a path worth following.