After an outstanding debut to Cardiff, supporting Jess Glynne on her UK tour, Raye wowed the ears of many with a mind blowing performance. Being a hotly tipped artist of 2017, we thought we would grab a chat with Raye after her set at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.
You have appeared on BBC Radio 1, MTV and Apple ‘Ones to watch for 2017’. That’s quite the achievement!
And Vevo! We are going in! It’s very exciting.
In that case, looking forward to 2017, what are your plans?
I think now we will have everyone’s attention with these sound polls, so hopefully put out some music and fingers crossed, enter the charts, do shows and play festivals.
Are you looking to release an album?
We are working towards an album. But when I release an album I want everyone to be buying it so I think you have to build up to that but I’m excited! I want to make it exactly how I want to.
You’ve already performed with Charlie XCX, Jonas Blue, Stormzy and Nas. Is there anyone else that you’d like to collaborate with?
I just love people who love music and people who work hard at it, so I’m just really attracted to all types of musicians and singers and writers. I would love to work with Twenty-One Pilots, they’re massive, a kind of rocky band.
I read that you called yourself a feminist, is this something you believe in?
I just think this is a really male dominated industry even today and I know it’s said everywhere and people are really hammering it home but you realise when you go into sessions and you’re working with all men. I’ve never worked with a female producer I don’t think. I’ve been doing hundreds of sessions now across the past 4/5 years and you know you do feel very outnumbered. I love my team! But there’s just me and 10 boys. And there is that extra pressure, I’m just trying to wear whatever I want, you know what I mean? Cause that’s how I feel comfortable, and that’s what I wanna be in. My label is like you need to show a bit of skin and you’re like rah, sex is so important to people, as a female why is that expected of me? Why are other male performers allowed to be big, eat what they wants, strut on stage and it’s all about their voice. But I’m a girl and I’ve got to be in shape and all of this. So I’m all for feminism! Girl power. Breaking the mould and what is expected of you.
You’re here in Wales tonight, where else would you like to perform?
I’d love to do India, I’d love to be so successful that India is like ‘yo, come do a gig’. That would be wicked. But we have had such a fun time going all across the UK. It’s really interesting to see the difference in travelling 2 hours this way and the accent being so different, we’ve had a blast.
You went to Brit School, do you think there are alternative avenues to get into the music industry, such as going straight into the thick of it or going to school/uni to learn the trade?
Ah it almost seems so simple to get into once you’ve found a way in. But there are A&R’s everywhere and the internet is as rife as ever. Soundcloud is so easy to get your tunes out there (although it’s becoming a paid thing which is bullshit) so if you do work hard and get demos together which you are really proud of then you could probably just fly it over to a couple of emails. Put tracks out and play it to as many people as possible. It is a bit of luck but it is more likely than it ever has been that you will be heard.
Who are your inspirations ?
I love that female vocal tone, so I love Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James. Women who just own it!
You played your hit Bet U Wish at tonight’s gig. Is there a message behind that?
Oh yeah, that was me venting. I was only young but there was this silly guy that I fell for and it served as a good inspiration for the song.
Do you have a particular set up or routine when it comes to song writing?
For ideas and motifs, everywhere and anywhere. I think that’s the healthy thing to do because if you’re sitting in a room where there’s just a mixing desk and a computer you’re going to be like, right where to start. So finding motifs from your life, what you’re doing, tube, train, out and about. But when it comes to putting it together you kind of want to be in your own space with whoever you’re working with, vibing off them, as long as it takes to get it down. Just being comfortable. I don’t need anything specific. Just my phone, a voice note and lyric ideas.
I heard you shout out to the crowd ‘follow my instagram’, do you think social media is a good platform for music?
I wasn’t going to waste the opportunity performing in front of so many people, obviously it’s a bit wet to be like ‘follow my insta’ but it works and I want people to, if they like my music, to follow me and they can see what’s happening next. I think it has become an important tool.
If you were going to write a bio about yourself, what would you say?
I’m 19, I’m Swiss, Ghanian and English. I like music and food and chilling with friends. All that good stuff.
That’s such a diverse heritage, do you think that influences you?
Yeah, I think definitely culture and music do influence me. Different food, languages, I love it.
Catch the live review for Raye here: