This Month’s Artist Spotlight, falls on someone we believe to be the next star of the British R’n’B, the uber-talented, songstress, Ray BLK. The south London singer has grabbed the attention of many people throughout the country with her beautifully strong vocals intertwined with a very London, streetwise style of songwriting. A lot of her appeal is down to the feeling of authenticity and soulfulness that comes across in her music, setting her apart from other singers currently buzzing in the scene. 2016, saw the young star release her second project ‘Durt’ which was a simply outstanding project which featured the tracks ’50/50’ and ‘My Hood’ which features, man of the moment, Stormzy. This 7-track mini album/EP had, not a single weak moment; thoroughly entertaining the listener from start to finish, forcing music fans and critics to open their ears to the new talent that is Ray BLK. This success led to Ray BLK being named by the BBC as their ‘Sound of 2017’ and we sincerely hope that this sentiment is true. 2017 is set to be a year of progression and growth for the singer-songwriter.
50/50 was my personal introduction to Ray BLK’s music and still remains one of my favourites. The song sees Ray sing passionately and directly to a man who she still finds herself wanting, regardless of the games he plays. This song shows the authentic and very London style of Ray BLK, in her songwriting, as well as her delivery and makes her instantly stand out from the other vocalists currently in the scene.
My Hood (Ft. Stormzy)
It never hurts to get, maybe, the biggest and most popular grime artist ever on the track in the form of Mr. Skeng himself, Stormzy, but don’t let that take away from the magnificent performance of Miss BLK on this track. My Hood sees Ray and Stormz both present strong imagery of the London streets that will resonate with any resident of the capital and was one of the musical highlights of last year.
My Hood Ft. Wretch 32 (Live)
This stripped-down version of My Hood shows off just how strong and soulful Ray BLK’s voice is and the talent that she possesses. Her voice with just a piano behind it is hypnotising and elevates this great song to another level with the help of one of the best MCs in the country, Wretch 32.
Chill Out (Ft. SG Lewis)
The title pretty much sums up the vibe of this track and is a perfect song to just lay back and chill to. As expected Ray BLK comes with strong, soulful vocals over the smooth, seductive instrumental and is just another example of how talented she really is. It also shows her talent for songwriting with an infectious hook that will quickly have you singing along.
Patience sees Ray BLK talking directly to artists that are trying to rush their way to the top through the industry and informing them that ‘slow and steady wins the race’. It’s clear to see that Ray BLK makes music for the love of music and not to just a slice of fame which is part of the reason she is one of the most exciting artists in the UK. She also makes her singing and rapping, in this song, sound effortless and it is clear to see that her talent comes naturally.
Baby Girlz is another example of Ray’s conscious, relevant songwriting, seeing her approach the sensitive subject of a young female becoming having a baby way before she is able to deal with a child. A sadly typical story in London, with the father not showing a care and this goes back to what I was saying about the authenticity of Ray BLK’s music, with her unforgiving, brutally honest lyrics.