Rocking up on stage in a Louis Theroux t-shirt and baggy jeans, Raye could be mistaken for a Cardiff University fresher. That is, if your average fresher has been suggested to hold the same sassiness as Rihanna but with blonde curls bouncing across the Cardiff Motorpoint Arena with such energy that you felt compelled to dance alongside her. As an audience you could only marvel at how the 19 year old commanded the stage with such authority that it appeared it was created for her. But then again she has been in the game since the age of 13.
Her first EP Welcome to Winter offers up tracks such as Bet U Wish where her powerful vocals are layered upon an R&B infused electronic beat. Another EP followed in 2016, suitably entitled Second which gives examples of her ability to create more pop based tracks such as I, U, US . It also features her track Ambition which features, grime legend, Stormzy, who is quite a supporter to have. But the list of admirers Raye holds doesn’t stop there, she can count Raleigh Ritchie, Charlie XCX and Ellie Goulding among her many fans/collaborators. But it is currently the tour with Jess Glynne that has brought Raye to Cardiff.
Raye certainly knows how to entertain a crowd, she vibrates her energy throughout the arena by insisting we join her in singing the chorus of I, U, US. If the audience hadn’t heard of Raye before the night they certainly recognised her distinctive voice as she began performing her collaboration with Jonas Blue on the track By Your Side which has been climbing the charts since its release in November. She followed up her stand out tracks with her cover of the ever popular Rae Sremmurd song Black Beatle in which she transforms the song from being mainly known as the backdrop to the mannequin challenge to a unique and powerful cover of her own.
Raye could not have set the stage better for her following performers, Wretch 32 and Jess Glynne. No doubt she caught the attention of many new fans in the audience that night who could relate to the ‘I run things on my own terms’ scenarios (we had a ‘cheers to that’ moment when discussing the ‘silly boy’ who her track Bet U Wish was written about) being played out in her melodic tracks. One thing for sure is that Raye is only set to grow and make bigger waves than she already has so watch this space, this is no average 19 year old.
Catch the interview here: