In April 2017, Rihanna introduced those who were unaware to a rising vocalist named H.E.R. The former posted a slow-motion video of herself sinking into one of H.E.R.’s most notable melodies, “Focus,” which the Cali native performed during her BET Awards 2018 debut (June 224).
Not only did the 20-year-old vocalist display her easy, breezy singing, she also played a few notes on an electric guitar before swaying into her “Best Part” collaboration with Daniel Caesar. In VIBE’s Next profile, H.E.R. shared that Prince and Alicia Keys inspired her to become well-versed in instrumentation. “I wanted to appeal to pop music, R&B music. I wanted to be genreless because Prince is genreless. He doesn’t do anything specifically for one genre,” she said. “I wanted to be Lauryn Hill and touch the women and be empowering. Alicia Keys [is] the same way. She was different because she could play classical piano, sing and also appeal to women. That was what I feel like I modeled myself after.”
Caesar later joined his fellow R&B aficionado for his role on “Best Part” before they ended with a sample of “Nothing Even Matters” by Lauryn Hill and D’Angelo. “Best Part” is a melody off Caesar’s debut studio album, Freudian. The 10-track project received rave reviews since its release in August 2017. The “Transform” singer’s project also received two Grammy nominations that included Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance for “Get You” with Kali Uchis.
“The way I can justify how well [my music is] doing and exactly why that is is because I went through it,” Caesar said to Billboard. “And I know it came from a real place. [Listeners] cling to it; they need it.”
Indulge in their performance below.
— #BETAwards (@BETAwards) June 25, 2018