Nashville’s Bren Joy is leading the new wave of R&B. The 23-year-old singer, songwriter, lyricist, and pianist incorporates unique chord structures and progressions into songs that fuse jazz, hip-hop, pop, gospel, and experimental soul. Those sounds, along with inspiration from artists like John Legend, Kirk Franklin, and The 1975, can be heard on his 2019 EP, Twenties, which was written while Joy studied music at Belmont University. Twenties conveys youthful euphoria on songs like “Sweet” and “Henny in the Hamptons,” both of which have surpassed two million streams on Spotify. Joy continues to perform in support of the project, with scheduled performances at Roots Picnic in Philadelphia and at Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, both happening in May.