Words: Mateusz Niesmialek | Photography: Drew de F Fawkes
The heavy snowfall on March 8th, International Women’s Day, surprised many across the UK. However, thanks to British singer Raye, the Roundhouse was transformed into a lively 1950s jazz club filled with enthusiastic fans, all warmed up by the British singer’s electrifying performance. The sold-out show featured Raye performing her debut album, My 21st Century Blues, with a live band in white tuxedos and the brass section playing like their instruments were an extension of their bodies.
Raye became an independent artist in 2021 after signing with Polydor Records for seven years. The 25-year-old singer-songwriter from London now has complete control over her artistic vision. The My 21st Century Blues-based set was full of songs with raw and unfiltered lyricism, combined with her musical talent, reflecting the highs and lows of life. Raye does not shy away from tough topics in her music. She expresses that she feels liberated creatively, and it is the most content she has been in her career.
Throughout the concert, Raye was incredibly humble, regularly thanking fans for their support, and her gratitude shone through. In a poignant moment during the performance of “Body Dysmorphia,” Raye stripped down to a white bra, briefs, and socks, showing her physical and emotional vulnerability. She sang about her struggles with her body and admitted that she really hates it. “Ice Cream Man,” written about sexual harassment, was another hard-hitting song that resonated with the audience.
Raye is possibly bet known for dance tracks including ‘BED’ with Joel Corry and ‘You Don’t Know Me’ with Jax Jones, but this performance focused on her new album. She spoke openly about the challenges of working with a label that tried to mould her into an EDM artist and how this affected her earlier work. Despite its commercial success, she opened up with the audience, saying these are her least favourite songs. However, Raye performed some of her greatest hits in acoustic versions, accompanied only by a piano, as a tribute to her loyal fans.
One of the night’s most touching moments was during the song ‘Buss It Down’ when Raye’s fans raised cards reading “She got buss it” in a concert action to show their support and love for the artist. This moment highlighted the deep connection between Raye and her fans, who were clearly moved by her powerful lyrics and captivating voice.
Raye’s concert was an incredible and emotional experience that showcased her immense talent and creativity. Her passion for her craft and dedication to speaking out about important issues left a lasting impact on everyone in attendance. Raye’s live performances are not to be missed, and she is a true force to be reckoned with in the music industry. But if you missed yesterday’s event, don’t worry! Raye announced on the stage that she would return to London soon…