Raye’s rematch is an escape from the majors

Raye’s is basically one of the greatest recent revenge stories, in international pop. He begins by signing for a multinational and ends up with a hit that finished at the top of the world charts, but as an independent. The name of Rachel Keen, born in 1997, who left from the south of London to conquer the music biz, had been circulating in the pop scene for years before the growing explosion of “Escapism” that began last October: entering the right lap even before attracting the attention of Polydor – who in 2014 would have put her under contract – starting from 2016 Raye begins to sign songs as an author then recorded by stars such as Charli XCX, Jax Jones, the Little Mix, Rita Ora, John Legend, Ellie Goulding, David Guetta and even her majesty Beyoncéestablishing itself as

one of the most sought-after and requested pens of high-class pop. The self-ray is really just a means by which Raye seeks breakthrough: get to face it. But not everything goes according to plan. It’s 2021 when the singer-songwriter blurts outin a tweet intended to raise many reflections in the record industry and to push other colleagues to share similar outbursts (starting from Halsey): “I signed a four-record deal in 2014, but was never allowed to release just one album. All I care about is music. I’m tired of suffering for this”.

Two years after sharing that tweet, Raye is finally topping the world charts. Not as an author, but as a songwriter. With a song sung by her. And now she looks down on almost all the artists for whom she has signed hits over the years, always remaining in the shadows. After break with Polydor, the voice of “Escapism” she got back into the game as an independent, rolling up her sleeves. Going all out: “Now there’s more power for independent artists and artists who don’t have big financial backings to get their music to more ears. The artists’ need for these huge infrastructures is decreasing – he said, in a long interview with Vulture, referring to multinationals – I hope that people understand more and more that you don’t necessarily have to record for a major label to have a career in the music business”.

The numbers speak of a phenomenon to tell. Preview of the album “My 21st Century Blues”, released last February“Escapism” – which Raye recorded together with the 25-year-old US femcee 070 Shake, real name Danielle Balbuena, launched by Kanye West – from October to today totaled 378 million global streams on Spotify. Also thanks to a big success on TikTokwhere the hit went viral: the song was used in over a million clips posted on the social network. Thanks to a hammering media campaign, which also saw Raye perform in two of the most popular TV lounges, the “Late with Jools Holland” in the United Kingdom and the “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in the USA, “Escapism” has been a success on both sides of the Atlantic: it has sold the equivalent of 30,000 copies in Austria and Norway, 45,000 copies in Denmark, 600,000 copies in the UK,

one million copies in the US. In Italy the song was awarded the Gold Record for the equivalent of 50,000 copies sold.

A lysergic dark pop anthem, the single – co-written with Mike Sabath, already songwriter of hits for Lizzo, Meghan Trainor, Liam Payne, Little Mix and Selena Gomez – was born in a log cabin in Utah: “We rented a car and we went up there, in the middle of winter. ‘Escapism’ tells the story of an escape. The lyrics talk about the importance of letting go, going out on your own. It’s the result of a messy period (he alludes to experiences with drugs and alcohol to forget the end of a relationship, ed), but as human beings it’s just a question of surviving”.

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