Interview

RAY BLK

RAY BLK is one of south London’s blossoming musical talents. Growing up on Ludacris, Lily Allen, and Amy Winehouse, it’s no surprise to anyone that she would follow suit as a songstress with an inspiring sound. And given her talent it’s even less of a surprise that she recently won the esteemed BBC Sound of 2017 Poll.

Ray got her start whilst studying English Literature at university, when she started uploading her music to Soundcloud in lieu of an imminently-due dissertation. People took notice. People including Stormzy who’s featured as a guest verse on ‘My Hood’, Ray BLK’s bittersweet love letter to her SE6 postcode, that has become a staple for any connoisseur of new music.

Hi Ray, to start off, can you tell us what BLK stand for?

Yes. Building, living, knowing. All these things are important to me. I believe in building foundations for your future, I believe in living and having as much fun as you can whilst you’re still alive and knowing because education is very important to me. Just keep educating yourself throughout your life. Read about other cultures. Watch documentaries.

My Hood is about your hometown Catford? What’s special about this place to you?

Well, really, when I wrote it, I just didn’t like my area at the time. I have a bittersweet relationship with Catford. To put in plainly, it’s not a great place to live. But there are little things about it that make it special. There’s a crazy man that everyone knows, he’s called Kritz. Everyone knows him and loves him. ‘My Hood’ is about having this kind of relationship with your surroundings.

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When it comes to performing live do you find it easier than being the studio?

I probably enjoy both just as much. But I like the process of creation. Live shows are like the ta-daa moment. I like being on stage to connect with people who have come to watch, especially when I did my first headline show. People were actually coming to watch me, and they knew the words, it was very nice.

Who’s exciting you at the moment in music?

I’m very excited for Stormzy actually, who I worked with. I know he’s big already but it really feels like this is just the beginning. I’m also excited for Jorja Smith and my pal Kojey Radical – It’s great to see him grow as a person, he’s a young visionary. I’m sure he’ll do fashion, he’s just very artistic and I’m really excited for him.

And how does music reward you personally?

I guess music is a safe place, going to that realm and just zoning out. Also, I’m just a bit of a student, so I always like to learn from other people and other genres. I just started listening to classical. It’s so beautiful and so relaxing. I just love studying music.

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