When Dante Jones and Drew Love first bonded over a shared interest in music, it felt like a reacquaintance of two kindred spirits. After being introduced through mutual friends, their first contact blossomed into a genuine friendship that went on to produce THEY., an experimental R&B project anchored in approaching the creative process in atypical new ways. Following in the footsteps of producer-artist power duos like Big Daddy Kane and Marley Marl, Timbaland and Missy Elliott or Drake and 40, the two collaborated on an EP entitled Nü Religion, which was released to critical acclaim in 2015.
Last year also saw the guys opening up for Bryson Tiller’s “Trapsoul” Tour, a natural fit given the noir-ish soundscape and emotionally-forward lyrics that mark Jones and Love’s output. However, singles like their newest release “All” still manage to set them apart from artists like The Weeknd, Bryson Tiller, Drake and others who have carved a niche in the alt-R&B and emo hip-hop lane. Multi-layered production that pulls hallmarks from genres ranging from alternative rock, grunge and punk to R&B, trap and neo-soul form a complex new landscape that challenges perceptions of popular music. It’s expected from a group that counts Taking Back Sunday and Kurt Cobain as being just as influential in shaping their sound as New Edition, Jodeci and Babyface.
“All” premiered through Ebro Darden’s Beats 1 radio show yesterday, and will be on THEY.’s forthcoming studio album, Nü Religion: Hyena, slated to release tomorrow. Press play below to listen exclusively through Highsnobiety.
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- Photographer: Thomas Welch/Highsnobiety