This is a list of Contemporary R&B and Soul West Coast Swing Songs that have been on my playlists for the last year. Obviously with only 30 songs, there will be many great songs that aren’t on here, but this is a good list to get you started if you’re looking for some popular rhythmic songs for your playlist.
R&B and Soul music make great straight rhythm songs for west coast swing for a few reasons. Typically, the beats are very easy to find in this type of music. When you compare this to acoustic or rock music, the base beats and rhythms in R&B and Soul are very easy to find. Additionally, a lot of R&B and Soul came out of Blues culture, so while the swinging eights are typically gone, the musical lineage is not as far removed from the roots of the dance as pop music is. Additionally, the tempo of much of this music is good for dancing. Of course this doesn’t mean every R&B / Soul song is good for west coast swing, but as a general rule, it makes for easier dance music than some other genres.
I find that R&B and Soul songs make a good bridge between blues and pop music, so when playing for a mixed crowd, you’ll find my west coast swing playlists heavy with these contemporary songs. I tend to enjoy their groovy feel and use them heavily in the mid tempos. They also tend to be more acceptable to a larger demographic of dancers than some other genres.
30 Contemporary R&B & Soul West Coast Swing Songs
- Tina Arena – I’m in Chains – 92 bpm
- India Arie – Back to the Middle – 92 bpm
- D Lee – Sweet June – 92 bpm
- Ne Yo – Sexy Love – 94 bpm
- Joss Stone – Don’t Start Lyin To Me Now – 94 bpm
- Ne Yo – Champagne Life – 96 bpm
- Anthony Hamilton – Woo – 97 bpm
- R. Kelly – Love Letter – 98 bpm
- Leela James – Music – 98 bpm
- Usher – What’s a Man to Do – 98 bpm
- Jaheim – Ain’t Leavin Without You – 99 bpm
- Eric Sermon ft Marvin Gaye – Music (explicit) – 100 bpm
- Anastacia – Absolutely Positively – 101 bpm
- Gerald Levert – DJ Don’t – 102 bpm
- Shaun Escoffery – Aht Uh My Head – 102 bpm
- Gaelle – Give it Back – 104 bpm
- Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love – 104 bpm
- Toby Lightman – So Natural – 105 bpm
- Michael Lynch – Miss You – 105 bpm
- Koffee Brown – After Party – 106 bpm
- Charlie Wilson – Never Got Enough – 107 bpm
- Ben L’Oncle Soul – Soulman – 107 bpm
- Ne Yo – Because of You – 110 bpm
- Nate James – Give me the night – 110 bpm
- The Walk
- Jennifer Hudson – Spotlight – 110 bpm
- Baby Face & Des’ree – Fire – 112 bpm
- Mario – Let Me Love You – 118 bpm
- Lloyd – Dedication to my Ex – 119 bpm
- James Morrison – Nothing Ever Hurt Like You – 120 bpm
As I said before, with only 30 songs, surely we’ve missed a few great contemporary R&B and Soul songs that are great west coast swing music, but this list should be a great starting point for those trying to build their music collections.
What songs do you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments!
If you liked these, also check out my 33 Contemporary West Coast Swing Songs You Should Already Have, and 25 Blues West Coast Swing Songs