Victoria Monét Helps Us Rediscover R&B Classics Through Curated Playlist
In celebration of Black History Month, EDITION enlisted the aid of Black artists across all music genres to curate playlists comprised of songs that have connected with them the most. Each record they’ve chosen highlights fellow artists they’ve grown to appreciate over the years alongside their thoughts on the impact the tunes have on their artistry and lives.
This week, we feature a soundtrack riddled with classic R&B tracks expertly curated by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Victoria Monét.
In 2020, Monét independently released her critically acclaimed EP, JAGUAR. The milestone year also spotlighted her brilliant songwriting skills with contributions on Grammy-nominated records by Chloe & Halle, Ariana Grande, and more. In 2021, Monét released her summertime hit, “Coastin,’” – which took a nod at ‘70s funk and showcased her power-packed vocal chops. Going into 2022, Monét is set to release a brand-new project (details are under wraps for now).
Listen to Monét’s selections below and read on for the inspiration behind each song she chose.
“Isn’t She Lovely” - Stevie Wonder
As soon as this song plays, aren’t you transported to happiness instantly? That’s the power of music. This song, in particular, is about the birth of a little Black girl, which I feel makes the world a better place in itself.
“The Sweetest Taboo” - Sade
Sade’s tone is unforgettable. There are so many taboos that we have had to deal with as a culture and individually while just trying to exist in our truth. While explaining a love story perfectly, the song sounds like an escape. This is my favorite song from the band.
“What’s Going On” - Marvin Gaye
Marvin reflected the times perfectly with this song. It is a timeless classic that will resonate for generations to come.
“My Girl” - Temptations
This song made me fall in love with my existence as a girl. It always felt so warm and like pure sunlight, and it also made me feel so special that my birthday was in May! It is such a nostalgic part of my childhood musically, and it is now dedicated to my daughter. I played it for her in the womb constantly, and now it puts her to sleep and relaxes her. It’s her song now.
“Jaguar” - Victoria Monét
This song feels so fun, like a get-together. The horn section reminds me of Mardi Gras or halftime at an all-Black college or a celebration.
“Misty Blue” - Dorothy Moore
Black people have so much soul, so many stories of heartbreak to tell. How we express ourselves in our art will always be gut-wrenching and true. Dorothy’s soulful tone is undeniable, and you’re going to feel her every word while listening! From the strings, classic percussion, background singers, and that voice, it’s magical!
“Wonderful World” - Louis Armstrong
I love how this song feels so much. I can imagine a candle-lit father-daughter dance at a wedding, a sweet Black couple walking in a moonlit park, or a night of wine and laughs with this song in the background. It feels like a beautiful moment captured through sound—a classic staple in Black music, in my opinion.
“The Tracks of My Tears” - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
The songwriting on this song is incredible. Smokey is so smart, and his voice is extremely endearing. Musically it screams Motown, which will forever be a large part of Black music history. This will always sound like a scene of a movie. It’s a perfect song. A pure classic.
“Sweet Love” - Anita Baker
If you’ve ever been in love, this song nails the good feelings it brings! Anita has another one of my favorite tones ever. As soon as this song starts, every Black woman will feel something similar. Shoulders go up, we sing along, two steps will happen. It’s that indescribable feeling that unites us culturally through incredible timeless music.