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The Croon Goons: Men who sing from their souls, still exist

View our list of the top 5 Soul artists (Croon Goons) you should push. List features Miguel, Jesse Boykins III, James Blake, Rashad, and Sampha.

View our list of the top 5 Soul artists (Croon Goons) you should push. The list features Miguel, Jesse Boykins III, James Blake, Rashad, and Sampha.

Instead of writing singular posts about all of the artists I have discovered through one contact or the other, I decided to join forces with my contributors to start a Croon Goons segment. Miguel, Jesse Boykins III, James Blake, Rashad, and Sampha are my top five artists to push and support of the moment.



When it comes to Miguel, there’s not much to say. His résumé shows the work that he is capable of. He’s worked with Alicia Keys, has some hits with Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole and a beautiful song with Mariah Carey. This Los Angeles-native has shown that he’s quite versatile with his skills and has accepted that he may be underrated but he’s not letting that get to him. Miguel definitely has Soul and incorporates a style that balances the smooth and traditional feel with the new-wave sensual side of today’s R&B. — Ryan White


Jesse Boykins III

If anyone were to define soul or look it up in a dictionary, they could possibly see a picture of Erykah Badu, D’Angelo and Maxwell sitting in a circle, painting a picture of Jesse Boykins III and saying “He’s Soul at its purest form”. It may sound cliché but listeners can tell immediately before that first note, that he is soul. His sound is incredibly smooth and remarkably genuine. Does he have Soul? Just listen to a few covers of his, it should be a no-brainer. — Ryan White


James Blake

There’s a certain sadness that lingers around England’s producer, and singer-songwriter James Blake. It’s rare that you hear such a melancholy voice over fused with electronic music, but it’s a cocktail that Blake has perfected. With a sound that is as cold and rugged as a London winter, it seems as if Blake sacrifices a little of himself in every word he sings. There may be pain and tears in this crooner’s voice, but it is definitely a joy for the rest of us to witness. — Zuri Ward



Rashad would be your grandmother’s top pick for a real Soul musician. In addition to his incredible voice, the Columbus, Ohio fly-guy gives listeners an entire musical experience. Most commonly seen in artists/producers like The Dream and Ryan Leslie, Rashad understands his voice is an instrument. While he may very well be signing lyrics atop a pre-selected track, Rashad has a way of blending his voice with strings and drums. He does it so well that it’s hard to believe his voice isn’t an organic piece of the beat’s instrumental makeup. It’s clear that he becomes his music, and brings out a soul sound that shines in any genre. — Zuri Ward



The UK’s Sampha is somewhat of a superhero. Sampha has the power to read you up and down while making the hair on your neck stand up from his rigid highs and lows. His mellow whispers can rock you to sleep—only you’ll be too captivated by his voice to close your eyes or your ears. Every tune is so raw and relatable that it’s hard to believe they weren’t written on the spot. Sampha is addictive. One listen and he’ll easily be your new favourite artist. — Zuri Ward


Written by Richardine Bartee

Her unprejudiced love for people, the arts, and business have taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, and a GRAMMY U Mentor. She is the North American Press Agent and US Business Manager for Oxlade; Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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