Today is the big day – Valentine’s Day. Couples all over the world are buying gifts, celebrating love, and, if they’re lucky, ending the night with some “extracurricular activities”.
Here are ten essential Ottawa R&B songs to soundtrack your Valentine’s Day.
This Luv – Jeff Sanon
This is one of the older songs on our list, but it’s absolutely essential for Valentine’s Day. If you let a special guy or girl get away and you want them back, start your Valentine’s Day by sliding into their DMs with this song and let Jeff Sanon talk to them for you.
About You – City Fidelia
Mixed by 613Tino, here’s another song for the one that got away. Send them this song and let them know you’re still thinking about them.
City Fidelia said of the song’s message and how this song came together, “I’ve been thinking about making an acoustic song for a long time. However, the skills I developed over time by working with Andrew Waines gave me the confidence to make a song like that. I came to Andrew with the melody of the hook and from there he helped me build out the rest of the song. The song is about reflecting on an old relationship that means a lot to you. Embracing the beauty in the ups and downs that came with the relationship. Anything you love in life will be a challenge.
ON 1’s – JAIoftheRise
If you don’t feel like you need a man or a woman this Valentine’s Day or you went through a recent breakup, JAIoftheRise has an anthem for you with “On 1’s”. Blast this song on the way to work and belt out, “I don’t need your love”.
According to the artist, “This track depicts the struggles of holding on to severed bonds and deciding when its time to finally let go.”
Similar to other songs on our list, the class6 and Ozzyxvii produced and LJ engineered track came about spontaneously.
“The song was made very spontaneously right in the studio”, JAIoftheRise told SHIFTER. “Me and LJ went back and forth with ideas which really helped build the versatility in the record.”
DJ Prosper feat. Mely Mel – All That I Can Say
If there’s anyone you need to say sorry to this Valentine’s Day, play them this song from Ottawa Senators DJ and long-time rapper, DJ Prosper, off his album #Live. On “All That I Can Say” featuring Mely Mel has a nice, chill acoustic vibe.
Ride – Hueso and JKing
Producer and engineer RIPVCTR strikes again with “Ride” off Hueso and JKing’s joint album UNTOLDSTORIES. This is the song to play when you’re riding home in the car with your man or girl after your Valentine’s Day plans. It’ll get them ready for JYDN’s “Inhibitions” and D.R.E.W.’s “3AM” later in the night.
When asked about how the song came together, Hueso said, “We actually has an 8-hour session and ‘Ride’ wasn’t even on the album originally. There were only supposed to be 10 songs and that was it. At the end of the session, we somehow ended up making another beat and we were able to write on the spot and make another special song. Afterwards, I messaged JKing and told him that I think we should put it on the album because of the story it tells. We wanted to tell our love stories in our own way.”
For more music like this, check out SHIFTER’s Capital Essentials: Ottawa Hip-hop and R&B playlist on Spotify.
Number One – MarvinKann and Honee Haye
Once you get home from dinner with your Valentine and you’re just sitting on the couch wondering what to do next, this is the song to throw on. This is more island vibes than R&B, but it’s still absolutely essential for Valentine’s Day. MarvinKann and Ottawa-native (and former Noah “40” Shebib protegée) Honee Haye mesh so well with their vocals.
Inhibitions – JYDN
If the mood still hasn’t been set the next song to throw on is “Inhibitions” by JYDN. This is one of the best R&B songs I’ve heard in a long time. Not just in Ottawa or Canada; I mean period. The production and melody are on point.
Released in late 2019, the song was a long time in the making.
“The engineer/producer is Kevin-Dave out of Montreal. The song came together in early 2019, we met through some mutual contacts while in a session in L.A. and hit a vibe, ” JYDN told SHIFTER. “We decided we were gonna meet up and make something special in Canada. I drove to Montreal and stayed a couple of days and the first thing we made was ‘Inhibitions’. We made the song in a couple hour. The chemistry in the studio was extremely organic”.
3 AM – D.R.E.W.
Ottawa’s R&B girl group is back with their latest single “3 AM”, released today just in time for Valentine’s Day. With lyrics like, “How many times do I have to say, ‘Fuck me good?'”, this has to be the most sexual song on our list. If you find yourself still up at 3am tonight with your girl or man and still haven’t had any Valentine’s Day action, add this to your playlist to set the mood.
When asked about how the song came together, D.R.E.W. member EazyFinesse told SHIFTER, “RIPVCTR is me and my cousins’ go-to engineer, so it was him who did the mixing and recording at his studio…I came across the beat a while ago on YouTube. It’s from a producer named Arum Beats. We wrote and recorded the song around eight to nine months ago, but always had the plan of dropping it as a Valentine’s Day record. Now here we are”.
Deep – Mélissa Vales
D.R.E.W. worked their magic and now it’s happening. You’re closing. Now it’s time for Mélissa Vales’ “Deep”. Play this song while you’re “in the act”. This song is straight sexy, from the beat to Mélissa Vales’ vocals.
According to Vales, the song is about getting to know someone deeper.
“This is the perfect cuffing season song. It’s chill, mysterious and sexy and is about getting to know someone at the root, ‘deeper’. It’s about looking beyond the surface, sexually and spiritually. In short, I wrote this song as an an invitation to vulnerability. My producer Trey Timeless and I were killing time at the end of a session and he showed me a beat he had produced. Right away, I knew I had to hop on the mic and lay down some quick vocals. This song illustrates the pattern of my recent relationships. I’ve been through this so many times…Since I’m still not the best at clearly communicating my feelings, I put that in a song!”
Water Runnin – Maurice Moore
What Valentine’s Day list would be complete without Ottawa’s King of R&B, Maurice Moore? Last December, Moore released the self-produced song “Water Runnin”. If Mélissa Vales’ “Deep” is a bit to intense for you and you want some classic R&B vibes for that special moment, “Water Runnin” is the song for you.
BONUS: Baby Girl (Celebrating You) – JustJamaal the Poet
Here’s a bonus track for you guys. JustJamaal the Poet bridges the gap between R&B and hip-hop on “Baby Girl (Celebrating You)”. We’ve included this in a previous music video roundup. It’s a good example of mature, black love.