If Anderson .Paak wasn’t going to be the #1 breakout artist of 2016, it was going to be Gallant. Moving to Los Angeles after graduating from NYU to pursue his airy-R&B music career where it would be most appreciated, he was discovered by Mind of Genius, the label most famous for housing electronic producer Zhu. His first single, “Weight in Gold,” track 7 here on Ology, was premiered by Zane Lowe on Beats 1’s first show for Apple Music back in June 2015. From there, Gallant would go on to open fifteen shows for Sufjan Stevens and even be named “the #1 moment of the entire festival” by Billboard at Coachella 2016.
“Oh my goodness! I told you!,” screamed an ever-excited Jimmy Fallon after Gallant’s performance of “Weight in Gold” on the Tonight Show this past May – “watch out for this guy!” Looking to be pop-R&B’s next biggest thing, Spotify named Gallant 1 of 15 artists that they believed to be destined to breakout in 2016. After a second single, “Stepping Stones,” featuring Jhene Aiko, Spotify gave him the chance to sing his song “Weight in Gold” with his idol, Seal. As much as I thought “Weight in Gold,” was a great song, it gets even better when Seal sings it. Especially after seeing the video as well, it was clear how much of an influence Seal had on him. “I’m his biggest fan,” Seal claims at the end.
Gallant’s a young guy, at only 24, and his high falsetto surely fits the number, but it’s as powerful as Frank Ocean’s, maybe even Sam Smith’s. Airy-R&B with a jazz and pop background, the record is not only well produced, but well executed. Flowing from one song to the next, Gallant sets up a definite style. Including interesting drums, guitar, piano, and a dark production like a poppier and wavier The Weekned, Gallant sits perfectly over the instrumentation. He capitalizes on a synth sound that seems to only have release and no attack, with groovy percussion and an easy to listen to yet powerful falsetto.
He also comes through with electric guitar on “Talking to Myself” and “Miyazaki,” as well as a drum breakdown on the end of my personal favorite track, “Percogesic,” to add some variety to a very distinct kind of sound. Easily, Gallant could be the next Seal, Brandy, even the next Usher. Called Ology, meaning a subject of study or branch of knowledge, Gallant is still a student, craving to learn from the R&B idols above him. Nonetheless, Ology is still something to study on its own, showcasing a brilliant knowledge of the modern R&B style and paving a way of its own.