Music Scene

Louise McQuade

Who to listen out for next year

Ray BLK and RAYE.

Ray BLK and RAYE.

Over these past few weeks I have been sharing some of the artists that have made the prestigious BBC’s Sound of 2017. The final two acts recommended for you to check out are Ray BLK and RAYE.



Ray BLK has already been dubbed ‘the Lauryn Hill of the UK.’ Huge praise indeed and she was nominated for best newcomer at this year’s MOBO Awards.

Ray educated herself by watching MTV Base, grime station Channel U, and listening to Missy Elliott, Lil Kim and The Notorious B.I.G.

Ray released 50/50 in 2015, a sassy swing at a past boyfriend which secured her a spot on BBC 1Xtra’s playlist plus a ‘record of the week’ from BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens. Her stage surname BLK stands for Building Living Knowing, which she describes as her three main values, and she says she wants to connect to fans through her lyrics.

Ray recently self-released her debut mini album ‘Durt’, featuring collaborations with Stormzy, Wretch 32 and SG Lewis, available on soundcloud and Spotify.


At just 18 years of age, singer-songwriter RAYE already has an impressive amount of material under her belt, a result of eight years of songwriting, singing and recording.


A student at the Brit School, she released her debut EP ‘Welcome To The Winter’ in 2014 which gained huge support from Years and Years.

Singer Olly Alexander raved about track ‘Hotbox’ to Polydor records, helping RAYE secure her record deal.

Since then, she’s gained more famous fans. Charli XCX co-wrote her single ‘I, U, Us’. In return, Raye worked on Charli’s current hit, ‘After The Afterparty’.

Nas recently asked her for a guest vocal on his single War, while Stormzy and Jonas Blue have also sought her vocals.

Currently supporting Jess Glynne on her arena tour but no Irish dates. For now check her out on Soundcloud and Spotify.

Ed’s back
ED Sheeran has returned to social media exactly a year after quitting.

Last year, the singer announced his extended break from social media, stating that he wanted to focus on recording and “travel the world and see everything I missed”.

Returning a little later than expected, Sheeran has now posted a blank blue image to his Twitter, Facebook and Instagram account, fuelling speculation that he could be set to announce his next album or release new music. His new album has reportedly been finished.

Alternative Christmas playlist additions
BY the time Christmas Day actually comes around you can get pretty sick of Wham, Band Aid and Wizard! So here are some alternative options to add to your Christmas playlist, relaxing, beautiful tracks that will work perfectly for your Christmas dinner (or any dinner) soundtrack:

• Bon Iver – Holocene.
• Little Dragon – Twice.
• Chloe Foy – In The Middle of The Night.
• Weyes Blood – Seven Words.
• Isaac Gracie – Terrified.
• Leonard Cohen – Suzanne.
• Elbow – Mirrorball.
• Bell X1 – Lamposts.
• Gavin James – For You.
• Leon Bridges – Coming Home.
• Gallant – Weight in Gold.
• Fenne Lily – Top to Toe.

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