RAYE: Electro Pop and R&B Reinvented

Photo Credit: Dan Medhurst

Raye has worked with artists such as Nas, Avelino, and Charli XCX. She is setting the stage for a long-term musical career with a growing list of hit songs that she has worked on by her writing credits and vocal chops. Rachel Agatha Keen was born on October 24, 1997, in London. Her mother is of Ghanaian-Swiss decent and her father is English. As a high school student, Raye was enrolled in the prestigious BRIT School but dropped out after not meshing with the curriculum. Musically Raye was influenced by gospel and soul music as a child. Her parents listened to artists like Kirk Franklin and Stevie Wonder. Other artists like Nina Simone and Jill Scott helped shape the way that Raye expresses herself through music.

In December 2014, Raye released her EP Welcome to the Winter. The simple EP showcased Raye’s ability to tell a story while expressing herself. In seven tracks, listeners travel through some of Raye’s experiences without being weighed down by emotions. Songs like “Bet U Wish” bring out a level of confidence from the artist that is nearly infectious. The popular EP was streamed millions of times on the platform SoundCloud. On August 11, 2016, Raye released Second. The five-track EP draws influence from Raye’s R&B and pop sensibilities. Melodies within the project have greater confidence in them amd they also play up Raye’s vocal talents. Lead single “I, U, Us” reflects on the feelings Raye had in a relationship that went sour. Her work on the track “Distraction” granted another way to see the artist with her ability to create from a culture that is not hers.

The pop highlights of Side Tape brought another wave of avid fans. Released on May 4, 2018, the EP has an island flair mixed with R&B rhythm that is a great place for many people searching for music to add to their playlists. With the anthem song, “Cigarette” featuring Stefflon Don and Mabel, Raye shows off her sultry side in song form. Raye’s most recent release of her EP titled Euphoric Sad Songs, takes fans through different stages of emotions. “Love Of Your Life” focuses on that growth that happens within a person after dealing with traumatic and triggering events. The ability to grow throughout hardship is a message that listeners find in a lot of Raye’s music. The project creeps in the direction of pop with disco and funk influences. These tracks seem to have a carefree sound to them that makes them easy to remember and give them a high replay factor.

Raye’s take on electro-pop and R&B music puts her in the same musical company with high-ranking artists like Rihanna or Lana Del Rey. With the combination of her singing, songwriting and performance, Raye will not be slowing down on the creative front anytime soon. She has showcased music that highlights various aspects of her sound while she continues to reinvent and push boundaries within her music. Listeners can connect with her high-vibrational energy through her soulful songs. Since her break in the music industry, Raye has shown listeners that she has a talent that can take her the distance.

Written by: Carlton Rolle

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