Best R&B Artist
After quickly making her mark on the Minneapolis music scene, 21-year-old singer/rapper/producer Ness Nite left for New York City in March, with a Los Angeles move planned for later this year. The artist born Vanessa Reliford proved to be a musical wunderkind while in Minnesota, finding an audience and acclaim before she so much as released her debut EP. She deftly balances genres, crafting a forward-thinking yet intimate take on R&B that brings to mind contemporaries like FKA Twigs, SZA, and Kelela. After those early accolades and achievements, including her spot as a finalist in the Star Tribune’s 2016 Are You Local? contest, Ness released her debut EP last summer to immediate raves; among Nite Time’s highlights is closing song “Yes,” a collaboration with City Pages’ Best R&B Singer of 2016, Nick Jordan. Recently signed to the fledgling Los Angeles label POW Recordings, Ness is riding an unstoppable wave of momentum.
Readers’ Choice: Lizzo