Electronic / R&B / Soul
RAYE is an 18-year-old South Londoner whose current CV includes two stellar EPs, a monstrous single in the shape of I, U, Us (co-written with Charli XCX), a writing credit on a future banger (Charli XCX's own After The Afterparty), a collaboration with Nas on the soundtrack to The Birth Of A Nation, features on huge tunes by the likes of Jonas Blue and Jax Jones, and a rib-rattling collaboration with UK rap ballbuster Stefflon Don on an off-the-cuff cover of Desiigner's Timmy Turner (RAYE also co-directed and edited the video).
In many ways RAYE's musicality was pre-determined. Her dad and granddad were both musical, the former playing keys in a band while both of them wrote songs. She'd also caught the songwriting bug from an early age, with piano lessons helping her formulate songs as she moved into double digits. Headstrong and determined, it was around this same time that RAYE decided she wanted to go to the Brit School. Of course she got in, but even before that – at the age of just 14 – she'd landed herself a manager. Once ensconced in such a creative environment, her songwriting talents flourished.
Itching to get started properly, she left the Brit School at the age of 16. More songwriting sessions followed, and while a career as a successful songwriter beckoned, RAYE knew she wanted to be an artist in her own right. She also knew she could offer up a different type of popstar to the ones she could see being successful.
Her instincts were quickly proven correct with the release of 2014's independently-funded Welcome To Winter EP, which housed Bet U Wish (over 1.8m Soundcloud plays) and Hotbox (half a million plays), the latter helping her secure a deal with Polydor after Olly Alexander from Years & Years told the head of the label it was his favorite song. 2016's Second EP, a brilliantly bolshy collection of in-you-face pop bangers centred on a dickhead boy, featured collaborations with Charli XCX (the aforementioned I, U, Us) and Stormzy (the low-slung defiance of Ambition). The steady shift in sound and a move towards something a bit more pop is all part of her masterplan. “I want to be a massive pop artist and I've always wanted to start in the right place so that's with the music I love. I've always wanted to do it in my own way, on my own terms.”
Genre: R&B / Singer-Songwriter / Soul
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