My entree to the R&B singer Ro James came through his highest-charting song and his first single to be released from a major label, “Permission.” Over a looped keyboard melody, the track showcases the 24-year-old’s slinky-smooth vocal chops, as he attempts to woo an unidentified woman into giving him her permission to do who knows what. Like his contemporaries BJ the Chicago Kid and Eric Bellinger, most of James’ songs revolve around topics of love, seduction, and romance, without ever getting too lewd or louche. Young though he may be, James has been hacking away at the walls of the music industry for a while now, penning songs for R&B singer Miguel, whom he met via Myspace in his late teens, before performing around New York with fellow artists Wynter Gordon and Luke James.
Ro James with Maxwell and Mary J. Blige, at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Oracle Arena. $39.50-$149.50; ticketmaster.com