Rita Ekwere, better known as Ray BLK is a British singer and songwriter who was originally born in Nigeria, but moved to Catford, London at a very tender age. Influenced by greats such as Missy and Timbaland, she began pursuing a career in music at the age of ten. Her stage surname BLK is a representation of her three main values; building, living & knowing, which are greatly reflected in her art.
To best describe Ray BLK’s music we would have to compare her to artists like SZA, Jorja Smith, or even NAO. Her selection of funky, languid productions greatly accompanies her raspy, soulful undertone.
Starting with her first single, 5050, Ray BLK sings a theme that many women can relate. With power in her tone, she makes the message clear and empowers her audience in her introspective lyrics. The visual for this record gives the ‘unapologetic black girl’ feels which is the foundation of her sound.
Another prominent song of hers is My Hood. Experiences are the catalyst to many of her records and in this one she sheds a sensual-like light on a dark place. The 24 year old relives memories of the place she grew up while serenading the sadness that follows. With a feature from Stormzy, the realities of her hood are reflected, respected and accepted. Her artistry is mirrored in the video of My Hood as her ideas are portrayed in a gritty, dark yet enlightening form.
The beauty in Ray BLK’s music platform is her perspective on subjects some artists are afraid to speak on. For the music video of one of her popular singles, Chill Out featuring SG Lewis, she uses this platform to advocate for transsexuals in the Caribbean, specifically Jamaica. The portrayal of innocence is shown when the subjects carried small white animals that represent purity and connection.
Ray BLK has features with Gorillaz, Dan Capelan, and more. Her joyable, light- spirited musicality blends with her bold and gritty words, which portray her beliefs and aspect on every day issues.
Ray BLK is definitely an artist on The Come Up and we look forward to hearing some more dope tracks from the rising star in the near future. – Nicole Scarlett.