Although I typically stick to listening to strictly Rap music on a day to day basis, I do have a few go-to genres that I like to mix in so I can break up some of the monotony. R&B is one of those genres because it’s just so soothing and artistic. The artists put their heart and soul into their music, and their passion can be heard behind every single word they sing which isn’t typically the case in Rap or Hip-Hop most of the time. Although Frank Ocean might be my favorite singer, it’s very rare that we get new music from him, so I’ve looked into other artists and I’m thoroughly impressed by quite a few of them. One of these artists is Roy Woods, who has been rising through the ranks of the music industry fairly rapidly and for good reason as well. His versatility and spot-on harmoniousness as a singer have constantly opened doors for him, and his forthcoming album Dem Times is sure to be a mind-boggling success.
In order to announce this new album, Woods dropped off the project’s first single entitled “I Feel It”, and an accompanying music video as well. The production is made up of reverberating, futuristic sounding synths, industrial percussive noises, and succinct, impactful drums. As the song begins, Roy’s humming adds more layers to the already meaningful beat, and this is played up even more by the time he begins singing. His voice is intense and vehement as he sings about some very momentous and important things in his life. There is a sort of natural rasp in his voice that makes his vocals come off as much more natural than some other singers in the industry, and he even emphasizes this during certain lines to stress just how serious and significant his words are.
As he makes his way throughout his first verse, his lyrics are punchy and hurried, leading to a feeling of anxiety and concern that is going through his mind. His second verse is a lot more typical, as his delivery speeds up certain words at the beginning of lines and stretches out others at the end. There are certain building moments throughout the track, as his voice gets much sterner and more impassioned and the beat begins to add in elements to truly bring the emotion and heartache to its peak. As is the case for a lot of R&B songs, Roy is in a lover’s quarrel that he’s having trouble navigating through, as he knows that he and his girl both simultaneously feel the same things occurring at once. He recognizes the pain he seems to always feel when falling in love, but he’s never felt this way about someone before, so the struggle is even tougher. He basically just always wants to be there for her whenever she needs someone, no matter what she needs or when she needs it.
The video is just as fiery as the song and meets the vibe pretty perfectly. As the track begins, Roy and a beautiful woman seem to be hanging out at an apartment and enjoying themselves. Certain shots are quick, hazy cuts that mash together, adding to an impression as if the time they spend together is all a blur. Another scene features Roy on the rooftop of a building, as the emotion on his face while singing matches the emotion within his words flawlessly. Although certain scenes come off as if they’re having the time of their lives together, other clips seem to show frustration and tension building between the couple. This strain in the relationship is very subtle and almost unnoticeable at first because as they eat dinner, play games, and get very close with one another, they seem to be as strong and solid as ever, which clearly isn’t the case as the visual progresses. As his singing gets much more brash and intense, the video follows along as the couple seems to burst into an all-out argument with one another. They never seem to resolve their issues by the end, but rather resort to just smoking some weed and lying in bed, giving off the impression that they’re just sick and tired of the place their relationship has gotten to.
There’s no denying that Roy Woods’ voice is incredible, but it just has a way about it that makes it stand out in my mind beyond a lot of other singers. While a good amount of other major artists heavily adjust their voice with effects and alterations, it seems as if Roy’s naturally raw and gritty sound elevates him more than any major effects ever could. His emotions are evident within every word he sings, and it connects so much more with his fans because of this. Dem Times was set up to be a massive success, to begin with, but this first single truly elevates it and raises my hopes even more than ever before. I can’t wait to see what else he has in store for us, but “I Feel It” is surely good enough to hold us over for a little while until we receive more updates on the album, so make sure to check it out as soon as you can.