Toronto is the epicentre for enigmatic R&B artists right now, with dvsn, Safe, 11:11, Majid Jordan, and Roy Wood$ all advancing a movement forged by PartyNextDoor and The Weeknd. The latest newcomer to join these ranks is Louis Val, an 18-year-old from Ajax with a voice that’s expressive beyond his years.
On “White,” Louis Val unleashes his instrument over a sparse, guitar-based beat, slipping between a silky-smooth falsetto and a breathy, melodic rasp. The track was produced by CVRE, who has handled sonic duties for other members of Toronto’s new class of dark, atmospheric R&B artists, including Safe and Lais. Toronto rapper Tyriqueordie helps transform the song’s second half, spitting frenetic bars on top of a filtered drum break and a slinky bassline. Though Louis Val has plenty of company in his lane, this breed of dark, atmospheric, vividly emotional R&B sets him apart immediately.
“I talk about a shorty from the hood I used to mess with, and I’m trying to express the pain she would try to hide,” Louis Val told Complex. “She would take any drug just to feel numb for a couple hours.”
Listen to “White” below. Stay tuned for Louis Val’s debut EP Limbo Pt. 1, which should be dropping sometime soon.