This year, a rising tide of modern soul artists have emerged who resembles some lost tribe of Marvin Gaye. They prioritize old-school sensuality and self-expression over trendiness as Gaye did, and don’t care about boxing their music in with labels like “neo-soul.” These soul musicians are devout romantics (as Gaye was), and their baby-making music is just as frankly erotic. Cresting this wave of new soulsters is Chris Turner, an Oakland-bred singer whose nimble falsetto has backed up Chris Brown, Kelly Clarkson, Bilal and, most recently, Esperanza Spalding on record and tour.

Turner is a member of the Romantic Movement, a bicoastal Native Tongues/Soulquarianesque collective including singers Jessie Boykins III, Mara Hruby and producer/DJ Melo X among its membership. This new-school music alum and doting father of two has already been voted a Music Matters Artist-to-Watch by the viewers of BET’s 106 & Park.

Splashes of acoustic folk, dubstep, doo-wop, hip-hop and classic R&B balladry à la Stevie Wonder color Turner’s LOVELife Is a Challenge, a free mixtape released in January that U.K. DJ/tastemaker Gilles Peterson named Album of the Week upon its debut. Turner remains hard at work on his forthcoming début album, LOVEchild.

“My music is my testimony, my life, the challenges of love,” says Turner. “From being a young father, to being broke, to being in love with more than one woman, [I make] honest art. I am merely a middleman trying to bring you and true love together. LOVElife is my melodic contribution that highlights the significance of loving yourself, sharing growth, and learning to forgive.”

Get into Chris Turner’s deliciously sexy sounds with your special someone and prepare to lose each other beneath the waves. — Sun Singleton

Savor the sounds of Chris Turner at his site, iamchristurner.com, then follow him on Facebook, and Twitter @CHRISturnerLC.

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