Hailing from South London, more specifically Croydon, RAYE (real name - Rachel Keen) was brought up in a musical family - her parents met at church - both of them musicians in the parish, and her musical heritage goes right back to her Grandfather, who was a songwriter and musician in his own right.
Since the age of 10, she’s been writing her own music, slowly developing all the time to become the artist she is today. Along the way, Raye has become confidently adept at various different instruments including the cello, flute, and piano, alongside honing her production skills (and learning to play the guitar).
Music has always been a huge part of Raye’s life. Brought up on the classic soul/jazz maestros of the 40’s and 50’s like Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole etc - this is where her love for songwriting and melody began. Since then her influences, have aligned with the times, citing Drake, and her all time hero Lauryn Hill as huge sources of inspiration.
Her debut EP ‘Welcome To The Winter’ features 7 tracks, all of which documenting the thoughts and trivialities of a young adult’s life. ‘Hotbox’, written at the age of 15, specifically details an experience Raye personally had. Finding herself on the top deck of a Croydon night bus, she was greeted by a group of 20-somethings who decided it would be socially acceptable to light up a joint, and “hotbox” the top deck. Raye recalls this experience as a moment of realisation, that people at this young age like herself, have to passively inhale a lot of crap, whether they like it or not.
Raye’s subtle take on warm, electronic-infused R&B is one that instantly captivates the listener. Carefully drawing inspiration from a finely tuned set of musical eras, genres, and artists; rarely is it the case that a songwriter and performer at such a young age is able to serve up such well-rounded, impressive, and exciting music.