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Ray BLK – ‘Access Denied’ review: a move from conscious R&B to sultry commercial pop

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Lastly welcoming her “gangster age”, as she's put it, Catford's own Ray BLK is at last launching her launching album– nearly 5 years after winning her very first fantastic distinction, the BBC's Noise of 2017 survey. In this time, Ray BLK (genuine name Rita Ekwere) has actually ended up being a powerful UK star in her own right, providing positive R&B ballads everything about boosting her listeners. Now, however, ‘Gain access to Rejected' prioritises Ray, and she hopes other ladies do the same.

  • FIND OUT MORE: On the cover– Ray BLK: “I'm not going to adhere. I'm going to be bossy; I'm going to bend”

” Individuals anticipated me to drop an album quickly,” the 27- year-old informed NME in her newest cover story back in April, going on to describe that she “broke the guidelines” since she didn't wish to be pressed into being somebody she's not. Moving far from the acoustic-based, socially mindful music that made her well-known, her launching album takes a more business turn, which makes use of hip-hop and afropop.

‘ Gain access to Rejected' boasts a no-messing introduction with ‘BLK Madonna'. Considered that she's still rather a fresh face to the remainder of the world, numerous may see Ekwere comparing herself to Madonna as a saucy quip. It all makes sense when it ends up being clear that she simply desires to be the finest at her craft, and that no matter where she draws her motivation from, she'll make her method there. Over the chimes of calling piano chords and high-speed hi-hats and claps, she gets back at those who constantly believed she would not make it this far, informing the eavesdroped no unpredictable term that she ” begun so I ain't gon na stop”

We do see a progressed variation of Ray BLK's awareness on the previously mentioned ‘BLK Madonna' and likewise on ‘Dark Skinned', where she assesses her hopes and dreams in distance to being a black female. She informed NME of the tune: “Informing individuals this rhetoric of ‘Your race being such a downside!', which you can't make it through doors– I believe limitations individuals.”

She handles the cynics once again with stated track, likewise handling tokenism and revealing that she wishes to achieve success since of her skill and not since of her skin. This is a tune for those who require a suggestion that being yourself suffices to be a star. “This market is sizeist, ageist, racist, homophobic– whatever,” BLK explained in our cover story. “Every market is. I attempt not to look for recognition on my self-respect in what this market states is essential or how it verifies individuals.”

Taking a look at her newest songs, you can see this good-girl-gone-bad story as she talks more salaciously and clearly about love and relationships, primarily from an angle of self-esteem and self-reliance. ‘Games' radiates a dreamy quality, an accomplishment considering its repulsive nature in locations. The track includes Peckham's proprietor, Giggs– who is the extremely specific one in this case– who assists along Ekwere's tale for this club slow-jam, a she illustrates kids who aren't efficient in love. The hook will get stuck in your head: ” Young boys will be kids, yeah, they all wish to fuck”

Nevertheless, her songs have absolutely nothing on her album tracks, all of which harvest the enjoyable brand-new Ray BLK. The similarity ‘Over You' (which samples the Diwali Riddim and functions happy British-Jamaican Stefflon Don) and ‘Go-Go Woman' (with increasing producer/writer trio Surburan Plaza) epitomise the defiant nature of this “gangster period”. The latter handles an Americanised noise that their clubs might like. ‘Go-Go Woman' boasts smoky braggadocio, best for those minutes prior to a huge occasion– preparing yourself for the club, celebration, a journey, anything: ” I got no time at all to be friendly/ Savage relocations and Savage Fenty; I'm the topic of their envy”

Nevertheless, the knockout track of the album is ‘MIA', which includes whimsical R&B star Kaash Paige. The tune samples ‘Stay With Me' by '80 s funk and soul group DeBarge, its riffs made notorious by the '00 s timeless ‘Silly' by Ashanti. Talking from the viewpoint of helpless romantics intent on fleing together (a style that runs out action on the album, however still works), Ray BLK's smooth and sultry vocals lead to an eargasmic tune. On YouTube, there's a live solo variation of the track: it's irreproachable, with Ekwere's 2nd verse consisting of poetic lines such as ” there's no lonesome when there's just us”. Texan star Kaash's remake is less moving, however she still provides a basic yet efficient function on this concealed gem.

Ekwere has actually been offering the world what she believed they desired for half a years, and now it's time to gather what's hers. Whether that's awards, acknowledgment, or merely her own happiness, her music absolutely shows that the innocent Ray BLK of previously is gone permanently. The album is called ‘Gain access to Rejected', Ray BLK has actually given us the very first look into her renewal, and we're prepared for the flight.


Release date: October 1

Record label: Island Records

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