Welcome to #TBT Mixtape, Billboard‘s series that showcases artists’ very own throwback-themed playlists exclusive to Billboard‘s Spotify account. The curated set features the artists’ favorite tracks from their youth and childhood.
This week’s spin comes from Gallant. The enigmatic crooner first reached the mainstream back in 2014, with the release of his debut LP Ology, which debuted in the top 25 of the Billboard 200 albums chart and landed him a Grammy nomination for best urban contemporary album. The breakthrough set netted him a support tour with John Legend, a Coachella performance and appearances on Later… With Jools Holland, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and more. He even showcased his acting chops with a role on HBO’s Insecure. Next up? A forthcoming sophomore LP, set for release later this year via label home Warner Bros. Records.
The still fast-rising star shared the first taste of his new era last week with the release of a T Pain-assisted remix of his 2018 hit “Gentleman.” To further ring in his comeback, Gallant put together this week’s #TBT Mixtape as a nod to all of the deep cuts that gave him a robust early R&B education, featuring tracks from Alicia Keys, Omarion, Amerie and — most notably — Donell Jones’ “Feelin’ You.”
“That song was really my shit,” he tells Billboard of the classic. “I remember one time I had this audition for some play in D.C., and [actress/director] Debbie Allen was there auditioning these kids — we were supposed to learn some song and dance and for whatever reason, I decided to just walk in there and sing that song, and then refused to dance. I just walked in there and opened with, ‘Lookin’ sexy with those 7 jeans on…’ Yeah I really blew that.”
Give the silky-smooth set a spin below, and also check out some retro snaps of the triple-threat below.