Dornik, Notting Hill Arts Club, review: Offers a refreshingly elegant and homegrown feel to R&B

The 24-year-old muses on love against a lavish blend of electronic futurism

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The Independent Culture

Hailed as Britain’s answer to American modernist R&B saviours Frank Ocean and The Weekend, Dornik Leigh, the 24-year-old from Croydon, offers a refreshingly elegant and homegrown feel to the U.S. genre.

Though his band barely fit on the stuffy stage, Dornik, who was once Jessie Ware’s drummer, muses on love against a lavish blend of electronic futurism and soulful longing, filling the small space with the heat of romantic infatuation.

Opening the set with album opener "Drive", Dornik presents the slick and sparky 80's grooves of his idols, Michael Jackson and Prince while current single "Something About You," blends retro-futuristic synths and irregular beats with his high and honeyed vocals.

He shivers with sincerity as his voice drifts smoothly over the clipped synths of "Stand in Your Line" and injects MJ's signature heartfelt sighs into "Mountain", a song that urges an unnamed love interest to leave her current man.

"Second Thoughts" is adorned with crisp, clean beats and a delicate melody, sung with the powerful longing similar to The Weeknd. Unlike The Weeknd's slow jams though, that project a sinister undertone, Dornik displays more innocent traits and his airy vocals set to intense and simmering tunes, breathe some new life into the genre.

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