Massari - "So Long" (Universal): Born Sari Abboud, Massari is a Lebanese-Canadian R&B/pop singer who achieved commercial success early with his self-titled '05 debut album going gold in Canada, and earning international airplay. He has had a few career ups and downs since, but signs are he'll have a great year in 2017.
Universal will release his third album, Beirut, later in the year, and this lead single is already charting.
The video for it has quickly earned 1.38 million YouTube views, helped no doubt by the photogenic presence of Pia Wurtzbach, a former Miss Universe who poses as his love interest in the clip.
Driving its success is the seductive melody and his velveteen voice. The song may chronicle the demise of a relationship, but it has a gently breezy feel about it that suggests light at the end of the tunnel. There's a subtle middle-eastern flavour to the sound, and it is the fusion of R&B, pop, and world music strains that helps set Massari apart.
A press release advises that Beirut is produced by Daheala, Nasri, Danja Handz, Sad Money and Moon Willis, and "combines both countless nuances of world influenced music as well as current acoustics."
Massari is managed by Sal&Co/Maverick, the team behind The Weeknd, Belly, and NAV, so he's in good hands.