Trailblazing Nigerian R&B singer Ray Blk releases a new video for her single “M.I.A.” A highlight off her eagerly-awaited debut album ‘ACCESS DENIED’ (September 17 on Island Records), the single and new visuals feature Def Jam artist and “R&B legend in the making” (NME) Kaash Paige, who has worked with the likes of Travis Scott, Alicia Keys and Moneybagg Yo.
Produced by acclaimed East London film director Darnell Depradine (Aitch, Potter Payper, Jacob Banks), the video serves up pure feel-good summer energy as we see Ray enjoying quality time with family and friends and familiar faces such as Kojey Radical and MNEK. The video switches gears and delivers a slinky evening scene as Ray and Kaash escape onto the streets of London and Los Angeles, respectively.
On the video, Ray says: “For the video I wanted to have a bbq with my friends and family because the essence of the song is just about having the best experiences with someone you love, as being surrounded by my friends and family is when I feel my best and in my element. We shot it in South London but it looked and felt like we were away somewhere, similar to the lyric in MIA about your loved one feeling like a vacation, because it’s not about where you are, but who you’re with.”
Darnell Depradine says: “I’ve wanted to work with Ray for a long time so I knew we had to make something amazing. Everyone really worked well to make it a special day, we literally had a bbq gathering to make everything be authentic and I feel we really got that feeling we wanted,”
Today, trailblazing Nigerian R&B singer Ray Blk announces her highly anticipated debut studio album ACCESS DENIED set for release on September 17th via Island Records. A highlight off her upcoming project, Ray drops her anthemic new single “M.I.A.” featuring Def Jam artist Kaash Paige, who has worked with the likes of Travis Scott, Alicia Keys and Moneybagg Yo.
Speaking about the upcoming album, Ray says: “I’ve been looking forward to this moment of releasing my debut album since I was 13 in the studio with MNEK learning how to write songs and knew for certain I wanted to be a singer. Access Denied is for those who like myself, know disappointment too well and have learned to create boundaries as a coping mechanism for self protection. I’ve opened up about how the childhood I had made me guarded, how disappointing relationships made me fear love and how being told no so many times in the music industry kicked me down, but I got back up. I want people to listen to this record and value themselves enough to deny access to those who are undeserving, and to also value themselves enough to keep believing in themselves when they’re denied access to certain spaces and say yes to themselves when the world tells them no.”
Featured guests on the 14-song set include Giggs, Stefflon Don, Kojey Radical, Suburban Plaza and of course Kaash Paige. The album has been years in the making and Ray is thrilled that she will be able to share her artistry, heart and soul with her fans.
“MIA is my summer anthem as we’re released from lockdown,” Ray explains on the inspiration behind the track. “It’s just about escaping, or being with someone who feels like an escape, like you’re on holiday and just at peace, away from the noise. After being in lockdown for so long and being overwhelmed or feeling low, I’m ready to be out with the people I love the most in our element with this playing in the background as the soundtrack to our summer.”
Ray has spent lockdown writing and recording her long-awaited debut album which promises to be one of the cultural highlights of the year, reminding everyone what a truly special and unique artist she is. She also wrote and performed “Warriors”, the lead track from the hugely acclaimed 8 times BAFTA nominated film Rocks, which has also been nominated for Sync Of The Year at this years Music Week Awards.
Rising anti-pop star Baby Queen enlists emerging Australian artist MAY-A for new track “American Dream,” out via Island Records/Slowplay.
Speaking about the track, Baby Queen aka South Africa-born Bella Latham reveals, “This song compares a childlike infatuation with the idea of the American dream, which in hindsight is a bit of a fallacy, but there were people that did get to experience it and reach the prosperity they’d heard about. I’m really into manifestation – not in a spiritual way, just in a very practical sense. I think if you put all your energy into something by talking about it all the time or thinking about it, the course of your life will naturally bend towards that thing. This song is me manifesting my dream to be with a certain person. It’s essentially a song about a childlike crush you are cheeky enough to plan out inside your own head.”
While MAY-A adds, “This song is super fun to be a part of. Bella and I were talking online for a bit about music. I was a big fan of her song ‘Want Me’, so I feel really psyched that she wanted to bring me on to this track. It’s a fun one to sing!”
NY artist Leyla Blue is the daughter of two photographers. She credits the city of New York for awakening her musical talent and becoming a professional songwriter at 16. She was accepted into the Clive Davis Institute of Music at NYU. She has taken a bold and empowering stance on her music talking about mental health, or misogyny.
“It’s a weird conundrum,” the singer admits. “But when I make sense of something myself and own up to it, I feel empowered. I can’t control the chemicals in my brain, but I can understand it and direct it towards something productive. My OCD and eating issues have absolutely what has made me who I am, so I’m just telling my story and hope that inspires others to be open about their own story.”
Her newest single is simple and strong. The guitar and vocals draw in the listener on this acoustic song about inequality and more. Blue is a recent signing to Island Records, and we look forward to more.