The Seattle music scene has always been known for churning out some top-quality talent, and in the sensationally versatile singer, songwriter and all-around musical Renaissance man Ronnue, the city produces one of the most interesting vocalists it has in over three decades. Ronnue’s last record, Introduction 2 Retro-Funk, was a smash hit for the PNW underground star, and on the strength of its most raved about material – singles “Be Your Freak” and “Something About U (The Retro-Funk Mix)” – a lot of indie fans have grown excited about what he’s going to produce in 2020. Having conquered the college charts in 2019 (“Be Your Freak” peaked at #1 on NACC Hip-Hop Add’s), this is a performer setting his sights on the primetime in this new decade.
Introduction 2 Retro-Funk produced two singles that charted significantly well both at home and abroad (“Something About U (The Retro-Funk Mix)” climbed to #4 on European Indie Network, #11 on Airplay Magazine’s chart and #2 on Digital Radio Tracker, while “Be Your Freak” got as high as #11 on NumberOneMusic), and after scoring an AOTY award from Indieshark Magazine, it became difficult for anyone to dispute its importance to both the man and the musical culture that helped create it. I myself was really taken aback by the record’s beefiness, and more than anything else, its unpredictable groove patterns.
Among the college crowd, Ronnue’s Introduction 2 Retro-Funk has been lighting it up like nobody’s business lately, and one main reason might be its sleeper hit deep-cuts, like the Figuz-featured “Why” and monolithic “17 Days (The Hood Mix),” which is undisputedly one of the heaviest R&B/pop crossover tracks I heard in the latter half of the 2010s. There’s no awkward fluff in the record’s tracklist nor, for that matter, amidst any of the material that Ronnue has released in his career, which isn’t something that I’ve seen in a lot of the music his closest rivals to the south in Cali (and elsewhere) have been submitting lately.
BE YOUR FREAK (REMIX) https://soundcloud.com/ronnue/be-your-freak-remix-fet-roc-phizzle
As I noted, international attention has yet to be an issue for this artist as well, with European indie outlets paying particularly close attention to his work as over 600 different disc jockeys picked up Intro in just the last couple of months. There aren’t a lot of players of his caliber on the opposite side of the Atlantic at the moment, and I think that as long as Ronnue keeps cultivating his melodic abilities with as much dedication as he has in the last few years, he could absolutely fill the old fashioned, pop-vocal void for global audiences on a long-term basis.
SOMETHING ABOUT YOU (RETRO FUNK REMIX): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qI0pdST_YM
For a generation that made kings of aesthetically-unbound wizards like Kanye West and Drake, Ronnue is emerging as the natural successor to the throne in an age almost too ready for the kind of sound he’s breaking off right now. Boldly intuitive and as influenced by the urban pop beat as it is an unnamed R&B subgenre still taking shape before our very ears in 2020, his music is definitely making a major splash on both sides of the country this year and, at the moment, it’s pretty hard to imagine the steam driving his moniker into the headlines dissipating anytime soon. Whether the corporate labels are ready for his style or not, Ronnue is whipping out the big guns and going as hard as he can after the affection of fans this year.
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