Purple rose petals covered the floor at Gramps Wynwood while the R&B duo BluLine the Artist whispered sweet nothings into my ear. I swear we locked eyes as they harmonized. I felt they were only singing to me, but when their pop-driven R&B music stopped, my trance was broken. I discovered a handful of girls drooling along with me. The two curly-haired Puerto Rican boys stole everyone's hearts. They possess a sound never before heard on the Miami music scene, which makes their glistening smiles and good looks even more tantalizing. As the lights came up in Wynwood, I realized (1) this is what the Miami underground music scene has been missing and (2) I just cheated on my boyfriend.
When you think of a boy band, three things come to mind: well-coordinated dance moves including pelvic thrusts, girls throwing their panties onto the stage, and jealous boyfriends hating on their girls' #ManCrushMonday Instagram posts. As for BluLine the Artist members and brothers Robert, age 29, and David Ruiz, age 28, all three options are germane.
Born in Chicago, Robert and David were raised by their ex-gang member father after their mother died of breast cancer. Their father is now a pastor, and his profession helped bring music into their lives — just not in the way they wanted it. “We grew up in the church,” David says. “Our father pushed us to sing gospel, but our hearts weren’t in it.”
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Although secular music wasn’t his favorite, their father did play Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and Marvin Gaye from time to time. That allowed the brothers' musical aspirations to spread outside of the typical Sunday-morning hymn. After moving to South Florida in 2015, they were able to develop a sound free of religious influence and their father’s opinion. “Of course he wants us to sing with the church, but the music we make now reflects who we truly are: spiritual, not religious,” David says.
It’s never easy rebelling against your father’s wishes, but BluLine the Artist's edgy sex appeal, panty-dropping lyrics, and efforts to place traditional R&B in a new light are unique in Miami’s rising R&B scene. Their latest EP, In the Dark, captured an honest story line of their past relationships, wild sexcapades, and truths — all of which make this a daring move coming from a “preacher’s kids” background. “Yeah, my dad has heard it,” Robert mumbles. “The lyrics aren’t his favorite, but he supports us.” The project includes six romantic songs and one feature from South Florida’s King Hoodie, allowing a bridge between R&B and Southern hip-hop.
As for Miami’s R&B scene, BluLine the Artist fills a void in traditional R&B. “We feel like there aren’t any artists that truly sing and dance like us,” David says. In a world where alternative sounds and weird vibes take the lead, The brothers provide a breath of fresh air with their baby faces, alluring vocals, and hard-hitting songwriting. Although the state of R&B is fluid, BluLine the Artist plans to bring sexy back by sticking to its roots and faith in classic R&B vibrations.