Loren Smith: Breaking Free with R&B
Growing up with a love for the late, greats like Whitney and Michael – it was no doubt that Loren Smith fell into music. With his family being another inspiration and showing him support, he’s been chasing that musical dream and seems to have caught it. Likened to Luther Vandross, his classic R&B style is nothing short of stunning and when it comes to being compared to the iconic singer, Smith notes, “I feel no pressure, actually. There’s only one Luther, and I couldn’t be him if I tried, but I appreciate the compliment very much.” With that though, R&B isn’t what it used to be.
Remember back in the ‘90s when every station was spinning either Brandy or Monica, and groups like Boyz II Men always seemed to be number one on the charts? Today that’s less of the case and it was made apparent by Tyrese last year when he went on about the lack of soul in mainstream nowadays. When presented with this notion, the always positive Smith was insightful when he said, “Music evolves and there’s been a huge demand for and in the newer genres. Unfortunately, I also believe the entertainment industry has shifted to focusing too much on physical attributes and not enough on talent, among other things. I grew up on 90s R&B and I’m positive like the X Files, and Star Wars, it’ll be back before you know it.”
While the radio isn’t spinning R&B like it used to, that doesn’t mean it’s faltered Smith’s career. Last year his single, “Break Free,” was a hit and a lesson of sorts to the singer as he still has things in his life he’s yet to break free from, like understanding that he’s enough, “I need this reminder most when I feel ignored as a singer, an artist, or as a person. I believe that’s why I tend to write songs with uplifting messages. I hope my songs encourage others the way they do me.” He’s only human and how he feels, that’s universal in theory, but we think he’s more than enough – especially after he dropped a cover of N’SYNC’s must-have holiday track, “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.” Smith admits he’s a proud fan of the boy band, and the main man of the group; Justin Timberlake.
Covers aside, Smith is working on something he can only say is “HUGE” and “AWESOME,” but that’s all he can share. We’ll have to just keep our eyes on his Twitter for more. Maybe it’s a duet with his favorite ‘90s R&B giant Janet Jackson, or connecting with The Voice judge he admires; Pharrell Williams, or returning to Fiji where he said he was, “…overwhelmed with how much people appreciated the music and how hospitable everyone was.”
Tyrese isn’t alone when it comes to making R&B a mainstay in the mainstream anymore. He’s got artists like Loren Smith working just as hard, if not harder. Make sure to keep all eyes and ears open throughout 2016 for more from this musical man!