CityPages, an online news publication based in the twin cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis in the mid-west have just named one of their area musicians, Mayda, as the best R&B artist of 2010. I know, 2010 isn’t over yet, CityPages is such a localized site, and Mayda isn’t exactly R&B (though she has her moments) but it’s still a big recognition for the budding artist who continues to expand her style and cultivate a following. Congrats Mayda!
The R&B category seems to get trickier each year, as contemporary artists are mixing elements of funk, soul, and rhythm and blues in with more modern genres like dance and house music, hip hop, and indie folk, pulling the genre into a myriad of different and equally appealing directions. Mayda is no exception. Her R&B-infused pop is undeniably fresh, as she swings between pared-down acoustic struts, full-band funkadelic blasts, and electronic drumbeats and synth flourishes that would make the Purple One proud. The result is a slick, expansive, and evolving pop sound, aided in part by producer and mentor Michael Bland (who drummed with Prince in the early ’90s and currently plays with Nick Jonas), whose Sonic Matrimony Collective label released Mayda’s first full-length, The Interrogation, last year. The prolific young soul singer is just beginning her journey, but it’s hard not to anticipate big things from the petite yet larger-than-life pop songstress.