Single Review – RAY BLK – Doing Me

Winning the BBC’s Sound Of isn’t always an absolute indication of greatness but with previous winners Adele and Sam Smith’s obvious global success the poll really isn’t something to be ignored. Particularly when it some to the obvious attention it can generate for new artists. And London singer/rapper RAY BLK is without a doubt worthy of more attention. New single ‘Doing Me’ surges, throwing back to 90’s RnB with some Lauryn Hill honesty and frank talk about lust, love and the need to be true to yourself in the face of the judgemental; ‘A short skirt doesn’t mean that I want it, my appearance doesn’t represent my wallet, this is for the ignorant ones with opinions, keep your two cents inside your pocket.’ With the help of producer Jimmy Napes ‘Doing Me’ is an uplifting, US styled RnB summer anthem but that isn’t to say BLK has let go of her London roots. Lyrics are still heavy with her authentic British slant; ‘It’s about being yourself no matter what and not caring about judgement. People are going to judge you whether you do bad or good so you have to do you regardless.’ Watch out for RAY BLK at Reading and Leads and Glastonbury.

Hayley Miller

Single Review – RAY BLK – Patience (Freestyle)

The saying goes “Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet;” and Ray BLK proves this is true. Her latest single “Patience (freestyle)” has that, lazy Sunday pyjama day feel to it. It’s as if she is telling us a story, as she explores the age old “get rich or die trying” culture that is prevalent amongst millennials. Ray BLK stresses the importance of not sacrificing quality in a bid for a quick win and how “slow and steady wins the race” and if her BBC Sound of 2017 award is anything to go by, maybe we should take some notes. The track is an easy listen with a catchy hook and I’ve had it on repeat the past couple of days. It really showcases the singer-songwriters soulful vigour, something that is so rare in the current day. This year is set to be a big year for singer, so I suggest you keep your eyes and ears peeled! 

Ony Anukem

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