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Raye shares “deeply personal” new single ‘Genesis’: “It is a prayer, a plea and a cry for help”

NME | Music News | June 7, 2024

Raye has shared an expansive and “deeply personal” new single, ‘Genesis’ – you can listen to it below.

The multi-BRIT Award-winning singer-songwriter previewed the track live at a special pop-up exhibition in New York City earlier this week, saying she was “so proud” of how it had turned out.

READ MORE: Raye: “I became a ‘rent-a-verse’. People knew my songs, but they didn’t know me”

Today (June 7) Raye released the studio version of the ambitious, seven-minute song – which marks her first material since her critically acclaimed, Mercury Prize-nominated debut album ‘My 21st Century Blues’ (2023).

“There is a Nina Simone quote, ‘It is an artist’s duty to reflect the times’. This quote is everything to me and I believe the best way I can try to do this is through my art and my music,” she said in a statement.

“There is so much darkness and pain in this world we live in, and I wanted to create something both as deeply personal and as raw as I could find myself to be about my own mind and the world I see around me.”

Raye continued: “The song is a seven-minute piece that I have crafted and scrutinised over the last year and a half, experimenting with different genres and sonic expressions, beneath all the layers and the lyrics, the underlying message is ‘Let There Be Light’.

“It is a prayer and a plea and a cry for help, and I really hope this song will be able to bring some hope, the way this music does for me, to those who need it most.”

In the gospel-tinged first part, Raye sings about how she’s “been sober for some months“. “But I can feel the demons waiting on my downfall/ Since I’m so ugly and irrelevant/ I’ve been losing friends as if I’m tryna get rid of them,” she adds.

The single goes on to incorporate elements of jazz, hip-hop and R&B, with the dramatic second part boasting a dark brass section. “Bang-bang, that’s depression at the door again,” Raye states at one point before rallying against “fake democracy“, war and “government lies“.

Part three sees the artist repeat the plea of “let there be light” over a jazzy, big band instrumental. She sings: “The nurses and the doctors, God bless the NHS/ Let the pay rise, let the pay rise up/ Let there be li-li-li-light.”

You can listen to Raye’s ‘Genesis’ in full above.

In other news, Raye, who has spoken out numerous times for songwriter rights, recently won the Ivor Novello award for Songwriter Of The Year. Her BRITs 2024 wins included Album Of The Year (‘My 21st Century Blues’).

In a four-star review of the LP, NME wrote: “Raye recently said that such bold and brave declarations wouldn’t have been released had she still been signed to a major label. Granted her creative independence, though, the hard-fought ‘My 21st Century Blues’ is unequivocally Raye from start to finish.”

The post Raye shares “deeply personal” new single ‘Genesis’: “It is a prayer, a plea and a cry for help” appeared first on NME.

Written by NME | Music News


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