Written by Sophie Wyatt
Vibrant hip-hop, R&B artist R.A.E exploded into our headphones for the first time back in 2018, and has been continuing to release banger after banger ever since. Her eclectic knowledge of old school tunes has helped her to grow and develop in the powerhouse artist we see today. She has also gone on to be the first Black, female rapper to win Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Competition, and guarantee herself a spot on the next line-up. We got the chance to chat with R.A.E to discuss her musical career thus far and her latest track ‘Not Your Love‘.
So we started at the very beginning with R.A.E. We wanted to deep-dive into what has made her and helped to developed her unique, show stopping sound. She explained to us it wasn’t until the very last second that she truly believed she could do this.
‘When my first E.P Launch Party sold out. That’s what made me really believe music is what I do,’ she laughed. ‘I wasn’t even a year into music at the time but that showed me how powerful I must be as an individual and how much people really love the music I make. I still have a long way to go, but I believe we have a legend in the making.
Since I was 10 years old I always knew that music was the dream, it was inevitable that this would be my career, however In 2018 I was working at a place called Kyra TV as a concept creator and whilst being there I saw a friend of mine who asked me ‘Why are you working here? You’re more than this”’and it was at that moment I decided this would be my last ever job and music was the focus.’
As we slowly start to crawl back to normality, we must remember the trauma that has come with being a creative in this time. As the industry has been turned on its head and hit in a middle different directions, artists have found this time difficult time to be productive and keep a good energy going with fans (understandably). We asked R.A.E how she has found this time.
‘Being an artist during the pandemic has been a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I could still do things such as writing/recording music, had a bit of a needed break, challenging my writing skills and creativity but a curse because there was nowhere to perform. Performances moved to online, and I couldn’t take it anymore, the constant zoom meetings, not being able to connect with you fans physically as well was extremely daunting.’
As festivals start to return to us, we are sadly still missing Glasto 2020/21 (soon to be 22). Glastonbury, like many other festivals, have tried to keep their competitions consistent, even throughout Covid-19. And one of these competitions includes their Emerging Artist Prize. R.A.E became the first Black, female rapper to win this competition and secure her set on Glastonbury’s main stage last year. We asked her how this felt.
‘It was such an amazing accomplishment! Being the first, that’s such a cool title to have attached to your name, especially as I become older, and someone would like to talk about my musical journey to inspire others – sounds very historic. I won the competition in lockdown as well off a song I wrote in 2017 in class, that’s pretty cool if I do say so myself.’
∙ Genre as we once knew it is becoming obsolete. Rather than confining your music to just one genre, how would you describe your music in a sentence? (or more).
Describing her music as ‘Eclectic and feel-good R&B/hip-hop inspired by the 90’s.’ R.A.E is no stranger to the truthful lyricism that comes with these genres. Her latest track ‘Not Your Love’ encapsulates her lengthy love for 90’s hip-hop and R&B. She gave us a bit more information on how the track came to be.
‘‘Not Your Love’ is about the complications within a situationship. For those that have been in one before you’ll know sometimes it’s up and sometimes it’s down, but it’s all about not allowing the negatives distract you from chasing the bag and focusing own your goals – PERIODT!’
R.A.E left us on a high note. With events starting to return and studios starting to open, she explains that she is carrying on positively and looking forward to her musical future. And we for one, cannot wait to see her continue to flourish.
‘The future looks extremely bright, like the sun. It’s up high in the sky but everyone sees it and when it’s time to shine bright on a summers day everyone is happy, they feel alive and cannot ignore it. That’s what my future is all about, when it’s my time to shine it will be such a bright moment for us all, I just know it. More wins, more money, more billboards, more awards, more ‘first person to’ – it’s gonna be a great year for me and a very successful career.’
Head over to R.A.E’s Spotify page to hear more of her summer time tracks including newest track ‘Not Your Love‘.