Meet No Guidnce, the London Group Resurrecting the '90s R&B Boyband Era
Stealing hearts with angelic harmonies and making waves across oceans, London’s newest prodigal boyband No Guidnce is delivering us back to the golden age of R&B. With cosigns from artists like Boyz II Men, and legendary acts like Babyface showing up to their show in Los Angeles, it’s clear they’re getting passed the baton with resounding approval.
Consisting of Zeekay, Josh, Ebubé, and Kaci, No Guidnce is a soulful quartet making a name for themselves in an industry actively debating whether or not R&B is dead. With a sound reminiscent of the timeless tracks you’d hear while buckled in the backseat or as your hair is being washed in the sink, it’s impossible not to be transported to a time in which R&B was at its highest reign. Catching the attention of artists like Anderson .Paak, Labrinth, and more, No Guidnce has mastered a sound that begs you to be a kid again, or ravenously in love, or somewhere in between.
Their latest release, the Is It A Crime? EP, consists of four tracks that bow to every cornerstone of romance—the yearning, the mourning, the floating, and the falling. With emotionally dense singles like “Committed” and their title-track hit “Is It A Crime?,” their most significant offering to the industry is bringing us back to the roots of a perfectly crafted love song. To Zeekay, a perfect love song “takes a good story. An experience. I like songs written with a lot of metaphors and wordplay.”
Paying homage to a lost art, boybands were a once vital organ to the industry that has been buried under the sands of ego and individualism. “R&B is more than just music. A proper R&B boyband doesn’t come around too often,” shares Kaci. “I think in the '90s it was poppin’ because everyone was trying to make it, but it’s not really as much of a thing anymore.”
Taking it upon themselves to resurrect a genre both malnourished and overshadowed, they’re only paying respects to the musical eloquence of their very childhoods. “Having grown up in it and having listened to it is why we’re helping bring it back,” shares Josh. Zeekay adds, “Music changed dramatically from 2009 to 2020. There was a change with the deaths of old school stars like Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. I think love has changed, too. How people identify with love, how we define it. I think the young artists whose parents put them on and are grown up now, like Coco Jones and Alex Vaughn, and even people who have been here a long time and didn’t get big until recently like Lucky Daye, are becoming mainstream again and a boyband is what’s missing.”
It only takes a few tracks to be immediately aware of their comfort in their sensitivity and their radical ability to strip to the core of themselves. Each member has individually grown up with open-hearted women figures in their lives, nurturing their vulnerability and giving them permission to lean in. “My family has always been very open. We’ve always had open conversations at home. I’ve always been an emotionally available person,” shares Kaci. Ebubé adds, “I’ve always been close with my mom and grew up with my sister, auntie, and her daughters. I was always in conversation with women and understood how they view life. It’s important that we understand how they view life.” These emotionally nutritious ecosystems could only birth R&B stars, or at the very least men willing and able to be fully seen, and aren’t we lucky to witness it all?
As No Guidnce continues to leave audiences breathless and in awe as they harmonize like it’s a magic trick, we take solace in knowing we were there from the very inception of the British boyband, bowing to a timeworn art while bringing it lightyears forward.