Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
R. City are currently enjoying their first hit with Locked Away, featuring Adam Levine. You might assume brothers Theron and Timothy Thomas are a brand new act, but in fact you’ve undoubtedly heard the Virgin Islands duo’s work before. R. City is an abbreviation of Rock City, their name as a production team, where their discography includes Man Down by Rihanna, Miley’s We Can’t Stop and Shower by Becky G. They’ve been trying to launch themselves as artists for many years. They were originally signed to Akon’s label KonLive, but their 2009 debut album was shelved when the single Losin’ It failed to chart. After joining Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe label, they flopped again with 2014’s I’m That…, but their luck changed dramatically with Locked Away. Not only has it reached no.3 in the UK with very little promo, but it has been the worldwide Shazam no.1 for 4 weeks. Like many producers-turned-artists, they succeeded with a very radio-friendly sound, current yet unoriginal. Locked Away is like two songs in one, mixing Adam’s catchy chorus with R. City’s reggae-pop verses. I’d rather hear a full song based on Adam’s part, but clearly the combination works for other listeners. R. City will finally release their debut album What Dreams Are Made Of this week, so it’s time to find out if they can forge a career of their own, or they’re only as good as their latest featured artist.