FULL ALBUM: RAY BLK – Empress [iTunes Plus AAC M4A] Zip Download

Name: RAY BLK – Empress
Genre: R&B/Soul
Released: 26 Oct 2018
Quality: M4A – 256 kbps [iTunes Purchased AAC]
In 2017, RAY BLK became the first unsigned artist to win the BBC’s Sound of… award, a robust indicator of pop’s next big thing that had previously been bestowed upon Adele, Sam Smith and Years & Years. However, its significance was initially lost on the London singer-songwriter born Rita Ekwere. “I was just enjoying the fact that I’d won this thing and more people knew my music,” she tells Apple Music. “I didn’t realise that any pressure came with it until people kept asking about it. I thought, ‘Oh, sh*t. I should be feeling pressure?’”

Within a few months, the weight of expectation had come to bear. “I started going into the studio with more of a critical eye and ear instead of just making what feels good,” she says. “It took quite a while to come back to myself and realise that I’d won because of who I am, not because I need to sound like Adele or Jessie J. Then I started to enjoy being in the studio again.”

Taking a break from dating also helped inspire a collection of soul and R&B that stresses the importance of knowing your own worth. “I took the time to love myself and build up self-respect, because I came out of a relationship where I was really disrespected,” she says. “I had to really ask myself how I allowed somebody to treat me so badly for so long, and I realised it was because I wasn’t respecting myself. I feel like people aren’t told to love themselves enough, especially in the social media age. It was really important for me to remind people that they’re amazing as they are and uplift them.”

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That theme is most explicit in the gospel-flavoured “Don’t Beg”, a stinging kiss-off to a no-good boyfriend. Elsewhere, her rich voice embodies swagger, vulnerability and wit as she paints absorbing portraits of grief (“Paradise”), the struggles facing London’s young (“Run Run”) and a daughter’s love and gratitude for her mother (“Mama”).

“I’m hoping people get to know the different sides to me,” she says. “I’m somebody who is conscious of what’s going on in the world right now. But I’m also like every other girl my age: I like to have fun, I go through relationships, sometimes I feel myself, sometimes I don’t. What makes me so happy is if people listen to a song when they’re feeling down about themselves and it helps them feel better. That’s like: accomplished, goal done.”
Track list:
01. Run Run
02. Paradise
03. Got My Own
04. Girl Like Me
05. Mama
06. Empress
07. Don’t Beg
08. Just a Kid

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