“This is my story – done my way. It’s about seeing yourself, knowing what you deserve and it’s for girls to wake up and see themselves as empresses.” – Ray BLK
Winner of BBC Music Sound of 2017 (the only unsigned artist to ever win this prestigious award) and MOBO nominated RAY BLK, follows her hard-hitting debut Island single “Run Run” with the release of the equally powerful “Empress“, an ode to black girls glorifying their inner “black girl magic”. In an industry that doesn’t always allow for that, “Empress”, an empowering anthem, is an equally glorious R&B pop thrill. “I want women to see themselves as queens” says Blk.
Directed by award winning Geej Ower, best known for her work on the acclaimed BBC documentary ‘The Poets Will Be Heard’, the striking video, shot at London’s Charing Cross Theatre, features special guest appearances from Maya Jama, Julie Adenuga and some of Ray’s closest friends.
Following the release of “Run Run” last month, Ray Blk spoke with NPR‘s “All Things Considered” – listen to that conversation HERE.
“Tackling social neglect amidst rising youth violence on London’s streets, video director Tom Green masterfully captures the many sides of the story in just under four minutes, as Ray BLK soulfully cries out from her heart on the song.” Complex on “Run Run”
“The track itself is a steady, R&B anthem, with RAY’s emotive vocal making it twice as visceral. The whole thing only clocks up to 3:33, but it hits hard nonetheless.” Noisey on “Run Run”
“The multi-talented act delivers a touching piece on the record as she tackles the universal issue of urban crime. Ripping a page from her personal experience, she takes the listener deep into the grime with her emotional lyrics and angelic vocals over an anthemic soundscape.” Earmilk on “Run Run”
“her playful lyrics shade the specifics of south London life with precision and sardonic wit … ” Fader
“unassuming, uncompromising.” Wonderland
“A powerful new force in music” ELLE
Ray Blk delivers the brash honesty of rap music with her unique blend of soul and R&B spirit. She intricately weaves between genre boundaries borrowing the elements she requires to reach her goals. “I feel proud when my music connects with people,” says the 23-year-old, real name Rita Ekwere, who was born in Nigeria and raised in Catford, South London. Lyrically, RAY‘s music is very candid; she isn’t trying to gloss over situations and paint her life as a fairytale. “I say it how it is,” she admits. “The music that I love is the stuff that gives it to you raw. Then you can really connect with it.” The surname BLK that she’s adopted, is a constant reminder of her values: Building Living Knowing.
RAY BLK‘s EP ‘Durt’, a diverse seven track mini-album, established Ray as an important and powerful new artist in UK music, an artist whose upbringing and surroundings assuredly shaped her vision.
Truly authentic, relatable and always honest, the forthcoming music will confirm that RAY BLK is here for the long run.