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Destin Conrad’s SUBMISSIVE Tour is Transporting its Audience to R&B’s Golden Era, with his own Modern Twists

Evan Dale // March 17, 2024

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The crowd is invested in the experience. Hell, they’re invested in the art itself. Not a track goes by during the intermission where the Golden Era R&B jams being DJ’d into the Marquis Theater – a small albeit hallowed venue that doubles as a safe-space for those in search of some late, late night pizza in downtown Denver – aren’t being belted word-for-word by an audience that was largely born long after any of the tracks were released in the first place. But for those who are truly here for the scene – with all its meandering emotionality and unparalleled vocalism – R&B is timeless, not tethered to any epochal boundary.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Destin Conrad is from Tampa, Florida. But like a good haul of them – blissfully spinning their tales of love, lust, and loss into what will almost certainly come to be known as another Golden Era in its own right – his sound transcends any preconception of style or era, existing in its modern framework just as it would have as easily melted into the soundscape of the 90’s or early oughts.

And when he takes the stage at the Marquis, he and his audience alike take a step not back in time nor forward, but completely outside of its spell altogether. You see, Destin Conrad has one of those voices that – choose your cliché, but we’ll say – makes time stand still. Breaking onto the scene in 2019, and releasing a project a year since 2021, including this January’s SUBMISSIVE2 – after which his current tour, minus the number, is named – he’s made a signature out of a triangulation between downtempo and spacey beats, emotionally wrenching and relatable poeticism, and an expectedly vocal-forward approach which all tend to coalesces into particularly short tracks that speak to his youth and his generation’s preference for shortform media.

One 90-second clip after another, his performance mirrors his mellow, sensual confidence. Pulling his way around the mic stand and into harmony with the dark room – often lending his mic to the audience in the process – he gives his whole self to the emotion of the performance, and also lends himself to the crowd. Reciprocating with fierce admiration not only for Destin, but for his art, it’s clear that the youthful yet studied audience – which so seamlessly went from belting Nelly and Kelly Rowland’s Dilemma to going word-for-word with Conrad’s most recent single, SAME MISTAKE with Alex Isley – holds him as an extension of that same, timeless R&B tradition.

So, if you’re looking to defy time for an evening while getting deeply in touch with your own emotions, check your city for dates, because Destin Conrad’s SUBMISSIVE Tour is rolling through the West Coast into April.

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