R&B, particularly UK R&B, is in rude health right now. Up and down the country, rhythm and blues producers, singers and songwriters are finding their voices and pushing the sound into new and exciting vistas. One such artist is transatlantic singer Bassette. Born in Bermuda, the up-and-coming singer moved with her family to Scotland and then Sheffield, though both Scottish and Yorkshire twangs are noticeably absent. When asked why she thought the genre was in an age of prosperity, the artist attributes it to “needing an update,” and that update has never sounded more potent than in her own delicate blend of sultry and sweet, backed with minimalist beats that make ingenious use of negative space.
“I would describe it as alternative R&B, like future R&B. It’s very downtempo vibe, very chill. My vocals are very jazz-influenced. I listen to a lot of Amy Winehouse, Motown and a lot of jazz people. It’s very minimalist production as well.”
Throughout our conversation, the concept of minimalism keeps returning to the fore. The use of empty spaces is clearly audible in her music, both in her vocals and in the production that backs it, but it’s also a word that Bassette readily uses to describe her style and appearance. “My style is pretty basic and simple, to be honest,” she explains. “Very minimalist but this shoot made me want to step up my wardrobe and out of my comfort zone a bit more!”