Sunday, 10 February 2013

Whatever Happened To RnB? - Top 5 Covers By VanJess

Remember when RnB was about smooth grooves and sultry vocals instead of hard hitting dance beats? In this weekly feature, I take a look back at some of the best RnB artists of yesteryear, sharing their signature videos and underrated hits, as well as looking at what they’re up to nowadays. Previous posts have focussed on Ashanti, classic Mary J.Blige album My Life, Destiny's Childs debut single No, No, No and the groups live comeback appearance at the Superbowl Halftime Show this year. 

Today I'm going to share my favourite RnB covers by Youtube sensation VanJess, who have racked up millions of hits online for their unique interpretations of current chart hits and classic RnB tracks. Ironically for a group who became famous from recording covers, these the two sisters are all about originality as they mix it up with acapella vocals, beatboxing and piano playing to create their own signature sound. Let's see what all the fuss is about by counting down their Top 5 best RnB covers, starting with number five.

5. Unthinkable by Alicia Keys

This piano cover of Alicia Keys' ballad 'Unthinkable' is a perfect showcase for the girls stunning harmonies and I actually kind of prefer this version to the original.

4. Waterfalls by TLC

VanJess are clearly huge fans of classic RnB from the 90s and their cover of TLC's signature hit 'Waterfalls' is a beautiful homage to an era now long gone. I also LOVE the Left Eye rap which they nail perfectly!

3. Obsessed by Mariah Carey

This is the first cover that I heard VanJess perform and it's still one of my favourites. Their breakdown of 'Obsessed' highlights how great the song actually is and even though their version is quite short, the beatboxing and harmonised vocals are on top form here.

2. Hard by Rihanna

In my opinion, 'Hard' is one of Rihanna's most underrated hits and I love how VanJess switch the vocals back and forth between the beatboxing and backing vocals. The whole thing seems completely effortless but must have taken a lot of practice to make perfect.

1. 90s RnB Medley by Montell Jordan, Aaliyah, Blackstreet, Mack Morrison, 2Pac & Dr Dre and TLC 

This tribute to a classic era of RnB is perfectly executed and the way that the girls flip between the various tracks is just genius, especially towards the end when the songs all blend into one. Watch below to see the extent of the girls talent and then youtube their second 90s medley which sees the girls perform even more classic RnB hits in a similar vein.

As a little sneaky extra, I thought I would also share with you the debut single VanJess have recorded now that they are signed to a label. 'Drumroll' is a Caribbean flavoured uptempo number that shows off what the girls can do with hard hitting beat behind them. See what you think.

So what do you think of VanJess? What's your favourite cover of theirs? And are you a fan of their original music? Let me know by commenting, liking and sharing below. And remember to come back next Sunday for another edition of Whatever Happened To RnB?

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