Sounds Like: Your man asking if he can spend the night at the end of a date.
For Fans Of: Miguel, Trey Songz, good guys that promise to love you in the morning
Why You Should Pay Attention: The music of Adrian Marcel offers a tonic to the unbridled machismo prevalent in this year's R&B crop. His songs, co-written with childhood friend Myariah "Jane Hancock" Summers, suggest emotional warmth instead of "these-hoes-ain't-loyal" toughness. Some may joke that singers like Marcel are too sweet and thirsty for love. But he draws strength from being "weak," as evinced by 7 Days of Weak, a well-received 2013 mixtape hosted by his mentor, neo-soul icon Raphael Saadiq. As a teen growing up in East Oakland, California, Marcel attended UC Berkeley's Young Musicians Program and performed at "the Juneteenth Festivals, the New Parish, anywhere that was open for me to perform." Now signed to Republic and relocated to Atlanta, the 23-year-old has toured with Kelly Rowland and The-Dream, and his buzzy "2AM" has logged nearly 1.5 million views. With lyrics like "I'm turned up in this bitch, drunk off that liquor, "2AM" proves he can get ratchet, too. But it's his honeyed, mid-range vocals that make the seduction a memorable one. A second mixtape, Weak After Next, is due sometime this year, but there are no plans for an album. "Why rush an album when you want to build with your fans and supporters to where no matter what you put out – you can put three songs on the album and they're gonna go [buy] it, because they know those three songs are going to be your all?" he explains.
He Says: "When I feel something, I feel it one hundred percent, and I give my all to that emotion. I feel like, right now, everybody's tough and hardcore. That's cool, there's nothing wrong with that at all. But for me…I'm very in tune with my emotions and who I am and what I feel. I'm not afraid to be vulnerable. I feel like that's the basis of R&B: rhythm & blues."
Hear For Yourself: "2AM," which begins with Marcel and Sage the Gemini turnt up in the club, and ends with Marcel making love to a lady in his whip. By Mosi Reeves