BBC Sound of 2017 Poll – Insight

When a New Year rings in, we find ourselves wanting new things to complete the cycle of rebirth, whether it’s a new attitude, new clothes or even new music. The BBC Sound of List helps us do this. It began in 2003, with the aim of showcasing the most promising artists (they must be the main artist on a UK top 20 before the end of October the previous year) for the upcoming year – previous winners have included Adele, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, HAIM, Years & Years and Jack Garratt.
2017 saw Ray BLK top the list. Ray BLK is an unsigned soul singer-songwriter with roots in rap. I had the chance to interview the 22 year old South London songstress, on the red carpet at the Rated Awards in September 2016. I can definitely say that her genuineness and infectious personality infiltrates into her music.
Her stage name Ray BLK stands for ‘Building Living Knowing’ and many of her lyrics are inspired by her love for English Literature. Her first EP, the Havisham EP, was themed around Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations – whilst studying the novel she said, “I was so inspired by the story. I felt like Miss Havisham was like a lot of women around me, who got their heart broken and turned cold and began to hate men.” She has collaborated with artists such as Stormzy and Wretch-32 and has featured on the NME 100 List of Essential New Music for 2017.
It will be interesting to watch how her journey unfolds in 2017 and she said: “Winning the BBC Sound Of 2017 has to be the most surprising thing that’s happened to me thus far.” If the alumni of winners are anything to go by, I think it’s safe to say we can expect magic from her this year. 
Listen to Ray BLK’s latest song Patience (Freestyle) released 6th January below.

Ony Anukem

Single Review – The Invisible feat. Anna Calvi – Patience

The London Experimental Pop trio have released another single collaboration following on from their previous effort with Jessie Ware. Their new album Patience is out tomorrow and this week they’ve teamed up with the talented Anna Calvi for ‘Love Me Again’. The track features rolling beats and easy, shifting riffs with resonant electronica covering the space in between. Dave Okumu’s breathy and smooth vocal are played off against Calvi’s fading falsetto and the whole arrangement and combination of tones make for a well rounded and slick piece of music. A great effort leading to what seems to be an album of equal quality.

Owen Riddle

Single Review – The Invisible – So Well

The London electronic trio led by Dave Okumu have been labelled by the band themselves as ‘experimental-genre-spanning-space rock with a hint of humour. In all seriousness, the group has been known for generating well produced, yet emotive sounds and they hope to keep this up with their third studio album Patience. ‘So Well’ is the third single from the June 10th album features Jessie Ware on vocals. It has warping and pulsating electronica alike in a sound that laps back and forth in considered, but powerful waves of sound. Dave’s deeper tones pick up Ware’s pop melodies and bring the track a near constant vocal hook. It is a track that is spacious and wistfully delivered and a credit to the group.

Owen Riddle