LIVE REVIEW: RAYE

RAYE, freshly announced as the runner-up for BBC Sound of 2017 performs her first ever headline show in London.

XOYO, London

9th February 2017

2016 has been a dream come true for 19-year-old Raye. She has managed to collaborate with some of the biggest current DJs as well as achieving runner-up status in the BBC Sound of 2017 poll. Thousands have heard her vocals on the radio on her two collaborations: By Your Side with Jonas Blue and You Don’t Know Me with Jax Jones.

RAYE’s opening number is her latest song, Shhh, an alternative R&B track with a quick tempo then slow chorus. It’s climactic, with a melody that creates anticipation. It’s fast and spacious at the right moments. The strobe lighting intertwines nicely with the beat and pace of the song, giving the performance that extra edge.

Sporting a casual look with track bottoms and jacket, the singer barely holds still for the entirety of the gig. Raye’s comfortable, laid-back style seems to aid her energetic performance, as she jumps around constantly, whilst managing to give a faultless vocal performance. The band’s tightness is evident, their performances flawless.

Amid her active performances, she sits down at the keyboard to perform her ballad, Sober. She explains how she hasn’t performed this song in front of a crowd before. In return, the audience is silent throughout and erupts in a loud applause as the song ends. Her vocals shine through even more in this song, echoing a tone as beautiful and clear as that of Emeli Sande. The lyrics draw a story in the most honest way possible. It’s about a troubled relationship dominated by drink. However, her songwriting abilities don’t come as a surprise. Her songwriting expertise has already been showcased. She’s already written Charlie XCX’s After The After Party and All Cried Out by Blonde. The melody is just as captivating, and her vocals are at their peak. The crowd goes crazy during You Don’t Know Me and for the final song – I, U, Us, where she gets everyone to sing along.

For anyone who walked into the gig not knowing much about Raye, they wouldn’t believe that this is her first ever headlining show. At 19, Raye is full of confidence that will surely continue to inspire her success. At this point, it looks like the world is her oyster, and she is strikingly aware of that.

Maria Galea

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