19 years ago when Lauryn Hill released her debut album ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’, Ray Blk might have been five at the time, but it seems she was taking notes. ‘Don’t sell yourself just to make it, stay true to yourself, don’t give a damn what others think of you and stay in your own lane’. That is the message Ray Blk reiterated during her London show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire tonight with her mum in the audience and school friend, MNEK.
We love an artist who can deliver on the vocals live, after all that is what being a singer is all about. Ray’s voice carries with it the right emotion to complement each song. When she sang, ‘Gone’ you could sense the loss Ray felt as she reminisced and thought of the one that got away. As Wretch 32 came on to the stage, the crowd soon fell out of the somber mood in amazement.
What Ray is telling us to do and be, Ray is doing it herself. If you are offended by people who are comfortable enough to be themselves and encourage others to do so, Ray may not have much to offer you. Her performance tonight was full of uplifting energy and freedom. It just felt like several Londoners came out to support one of theirs in a rather intimate setting, as Ray sang her rendition of Adele’s ‘Hometown Glory’ it became even more apparent, that Ray was home.
With a lot of us losing faith in politicians, people that govern us and the people who serve and protect us, it seems we are finding new ways to express ourselves and make sure we are heard. Ray is just another young artist using her voice to speak up for the people whilst restoring hope to the youth. Ray confirmed she is currently working on her album which she says, ‘it’s all about empowerment’. Ray is still not signed to record label. She is the epitome of putting your head down, blood, sweat and tears, hard graft.
Ray performed ‘Patience’ the track that tells a story that is analogous to her music career. Ray is taking her sweet time and through it all she is developing herself and growing with each project as her friend, fellow Londoner Stormzy once told her, ‘to be patient and take your time’. To prove just how strong their friendship is, the worldwide superstar himself Stormzy graced the stage to help Ray in rounding off the show with their track ‘My Hood’.
In a society that is constantly telling us ‘that butt needs to be a bit tighter if you are going to attract anyone, your wardrobe needs to have that £10,000 coat you can’t afford’, Ray is the no she shit taking kinda chick telling us the opposite, saying you are pretty cool the way you are. Ray is the striving, hardworking person, determined and ambitious individual who inspires others who is only 24 and managed to sell out the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire.