Sometimes you hear an artist and you just know that they’re destined for greatness. It happened so often here at SoulBounce HQ that we decided to place rising stars who were on the verge in a class all their own that we called Bounce-Worthy. Many of our picks have gone on to do great things, so much so that we decided to compile a list of some our most notable alums for the Best Of Bounce-Worthy, Volume 1 (which featured the likes of Adele, Little Dragon, Hiatus Kaiyote and Sam Smith).
Since it’s a new year and and you’re getting a new look at us, we figured it was high time that we brought you another round of stellar Bounce-Worthy alums who prove that, when it comes to music, SoulBounce be knowin’! Read on to see the illustrious folks who made the cut.
THEN: Picture it, 2010. A young rising star going by the name of Aaron Camper caught our eyes and ears in September of that year as he made the transition from backing a who’s who of stars to stepping into his own solo shine. He wowed us with his Welcome To My World mixtape, which included an impressive cover of Boyz II Men‘s “Water Runs Dry” and duet with none other than Brandy on his song “Second Thought.” So, of course, we were checking for him.
NOW: The singer-songwriter has remained a constant presence on the pages of SoulBounce since 2010, both as a solo artist and for his work behind-the-scenes as a songwriter. On the solo tip, he released a consistent stream of singles over the years and even dropped his impressive EP Hi-DEF in 2018. These days he goes by the name CAMP and dropped his latest EP, Therapy, in November 2021.
THEN: We first learned of Brooklyn-based group Phony Ppl back in 2012 when they released their debut set Phonyland. The then nine-man group flipped hop-hop, soul, jazz and other genres into their own unique sonic blend, giving listeners a thrilling taste of what the future of hip-hop and R&B could sound like on songs like “I Wish I Was A Chair” and “Current Events.” It sounded so good, we had to make them Bounce-Worthy.
NOW: The Phonies have come a long way since their humble beginnings. Now a tight quintet, the crew managed to garner attention with their subsequent albums — including 2015’s Yesterday’s Tomorrow (which featured their perennial ballad “Why iii Love The Moon”) and 2018’s mō’zā-ik. In 2020, the group collaborated with the chief hottie Megan Thee Stallion for their collaborative jam “Fkn Around” and released their cut Joey Bada$$-featuring cut “On My S**t.” The crew recently wrapped their Nowhere But Up tour and are rumored to be working on some new new for release in the near future.
THEN: It wasn’t Alex Isley‘s illustrious soul pedigree that landed her a Bounce-Worthy feature in 2012. It was her heartfelt debut EP The Love/Art Memoirs that got our attention and her skill as singer, songwriter and producer that held it there. She continued to show her talent off shortly after, dropping second EP DreamsInAnalog later that year and partaking in a host of collaborations that let us know that she’d be a force for years to come.
NOW: Alex has kept the momentum going throughout the years by consistently dropping quality project after quality project — including her album LUXURY and EPs The Beauty Of Everything and The Beauty In Everything, Pt. 2. She’s become best known for her collaborations, however, with the singer working with the likes of Terrace Martin, Kenyon Dixon, Devin Morrison and PJ Morton. In the past year, she’s been working with frequent collaborator Jack Dine, Moonchild and Butcher Brown and featured on the soundtrack of recent STARZ dramedy Run The World.
THEN: A young artist by the name of Moses Sumney was barely into his career when his cover of Lianne La Havas‘ “Lost & Found” landed him on our radar in 2012. The then 20-year-old also showed some promise with a rough demo of a song named “Patience Is A Vandal” that had us thinking that the young man had great potential.
NOW: Needless to say, we were right. Moses went on to self-release an EP in 2014 before landing a label deal and releasing his debut album, Aromanticism, in 2017. In 2020, his star rose even more with the release of his double album græ — featuring songs such as “Cut Me” and “Me In 20 Years.” In 2021, Moses released his first-ever live album and film Live From Blackalachia, to much-deserved critical acclaim.
THEN: UK soul man Samm Henshaw wasted no time in cementing his presence after landing himself a Bounce-Worthy spot in 2015. He soon dropped a succession of singles that kept us moving and grooving throughout the years as we waited (and waited) on him to drop a debut album. He still kept us entertained, though, even landing coveted festival spots and touring with Allen Stone before the pandemic hit.
NOW: We would be waiting a while when it came to Samm’s debut album. He continued to release a string of singles (even collaborating with brands like Samsung for his single “All Good”). Then he finally released his Untidy Soul in January of this year. The set proved well worth the wait and showed that the singer-songwriter could hang with the best of them.
THEN: Texan singer Leon Bridges stepped onto the scene back in 2015 with his debut album Coming Home, which found the crooner trying on a throwback soul sound that made him an industry darling and got him inducted into the Bounce-Worthy club. The then-25-year-old showed a musical prowess well beyond his years that almost guaranteed GRAMMY gold in his future.
NOW: The singer continues to live up to the promise of his beginnings. He has been nominated for several GRAMMYs since 2015 (and even landed one for his 2018 single “Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand” from his Good Thing album). In 2021, he released his third album, Gold-Diggers Sound, to even more critical acclaim as his sound continues to evolve beyond its initial classic soul roots. In addition, he’s also joined forces with fellow Texas artists Khruangbin for a set of EPs, 2020’s Texas Sun and this year’s Texas Moon.
THEN: Singer Gallant came across our desk in late 2015, just ahead of the the 2016 release of his debut set Ology. This was thanks to the set’s singles “Weight In Gold” and “Open Up.” Ology proved to be a stellar introduction, netting the singer a 2017 GRAMMY nomination for Best Urban Contemporary Album.
NOW: Gallant has proven to have one of the more interesting trajectories of our Bounce-Worthy alums. Post Ology, the singer released a string of singles in 2018 (including Top 10 R&B hit “Doesn’t Matter”) before scrapping the album that was to be his sophomore effort. Then, in 2019, he made good on the promise of a new album with his official sophomore release Sweet Insomnia. After that release, the singer wasted no time with his EP Neptune in 2021, marking the start of this career as an independent artist. Now that he’s fully in control of his musical destiny, we expect to hear more from Gallant as he begins to further push the boundaries of his sound.
THEN: Singer-songwriter KIRBY, who was going by Kirby Lauryen when we deemed her Bounce-Worthy in 2016, had the co-sign of none other than Brandy to thank for stoking our interest. Known equally for her pen game and her angelic voice, the artist had us swooning with her bluesy ballad “Loved By You” and has had our heart ever since.
NOW: We didn’t cross musical paths with KIRBY for a while, but when she came back on the scene, she came back with a bang. In January 2019, she dropped her debut EP Sis. and had us grooving along to her sassy lyrics and well-crafted grooves. She’s kept her momentum going in the three years since with a constant stream of music — including a slew of singles and her album Sis. He Wasn’t The One. As if that wasn’t enough, KIRBY was also recently tapped to provide the theme song “Black Leaves” for ABC’s limited series Women Of The Movement.
Tank And The Bangas
THEN: New Orleans band Tank And The Bangas knows how to move the crowd and they had us moving as they bounced into our hearts and earned a place among the Bounce-Worthy in 2014. The group’s feisty sound was infectious and the way that lead vocalist Tarriona “Tank” Ball flipped between singing and rhyming was something to behold.
NOW: Tank And The Bangas still got it going on. Actually, they’re doing things even more larger than life now that they’re a tight quartet. The band has been featured on a number of national platforms, including on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert series, and even have a Best New Artist GRAMMY nomination under their belt. They’re gearing up to release their latest album, Red Balloon, this May and have prepared audiences for the set with singles “No ID,” “Black Folk,” “Stolen Fruit” and “Big.”
THEN: Singer-songwriter Lucky Daye first came on the scene as an American Idol contestant before he switched to behind the scenes to craft songs for the likes of Ella Mai, Ne-Yo and Mary J. Blige. However, he was added to the Bounce-Worthy gang in 2018 after we got a listen to his romantic track “Roll Some Mo'” and his EP I. We later learned that EP was just the first in a three-part rollout of his GRAMMY-nominated debut album, Painted.
NOW: In the four years since we chose him as an artist to watch, Lucky has literally been everywhere. He’s popped up on soundtracks, released a GRAMMY-nominated EP of duets called Table For Two and continued to collaborate with iconic artists such as Earth, Wind & Fire and Alicia Keys. He’s also ready to release his sophomore set CANDYDRIP, which is set to arrive March 10th.