It would so happen that in the same week EBONY.com selected Russell Taylor for INTRODUCING months ago, VH1 chimed in with a co-sign. Taylor bested 400 other online contestants to be crowned the channel’s first-ever crowdsourced You Oughta Know winner; VH1 unveiled the New York native’s “War of Hearts” video back in December. We let a few months pass as “War of Hearts” grabbed heavy rotation on Centric, VH1 Soul, and then everywhere else at once (VH1’s Black Ink Crew, ABC Family’s The Fosters, a nationwide AT&T commercial, etc.).

“War of Hearts,” Taylor’s passionate thank-you note to a loyal lover, is the perfect song for a newlywed couple’s first dance or a “break-up-to-make up” valentine for your boo thang. The song’s success ain’t too shabby for Taylor, who’s shared stages with a bevy of stars from Mary J. Blige to Patti LaBelle. But his sudden success came as no surprise to Taylor’s “souljers” (a.k.a. his longtime supporters); he’s has long been considered a best-kept secret of NYC’s indie R&B scene.

Look out for Russell Taylor’s third studio album, War of Hearts, when it drops this March on his own Indigo Blue label. Lucky tri-state-area souljers can check out this soulful singer’s free show at BAMCafé in Brooklyn on Sunday, February 9. For Russell Taylor, the war of hearts marches on.—Sun Singleton

Follow Russell Taylor on Twitter @Rsoulstar and his personal site, russelltaylor.net.

Sun Singleton is a Virginia-born singer/journalist based in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @sunsing.

Welcome to INTRODUCINGEBONY.com’s showcase for the hottest independent artists bubbling up underneath the mainstream music industry! On a weekly basis, we'll feature video visuals and info on some of the most talented artists around the country. EBONY.com’s INTRODUCING helps these indie artists spread their voices internationally! Music acts: email digitalpitches@ebony.com to be considered.