trailblazing Nigerian R&B singer Ray Blk announces her highly anticipated debut studio album ‘ACCESS DENIED’ set for release on September 17th via Island Records. A highlight off her upcoming project, Ray drops her anthemic new single “M.I.A.” featuring Def Jam artist and “R&B legend in the making” (NME) Kaash Paige, who has worked with the likes of Travis Scott, Alicia Keys and Moneybagg Yo.
Speaking about the upcoming album, Ray says: “I’ve been looking forward to this moment of releasing my debut album since I was 13 in the studio with MNEK learning how to write songs and knew for certain I wanted to be a singer. Access Denied is for those who like myself, know disappointment too well and have learned to create boundaries as a coping mechanism for self protection. I’ve opened up about how the childhood I had made me guarded, how disappointing relationships made me fear love and how being told no so many times in the music industry kicked me down, but I got back up. I want people to listen to this record and value themselves enough to deny access to those who are undeserving, and to also value themselves enough to keep believing in themselves when they’re denied access to certain spaces and say yes to themselves when the world tells them no.”
Featured guests on the 14-song set include Giggs, Stefflon Don, Kojey Radical, Suburban Plaza and of course Kaash Paige. The album has been years in the making and Ray is thrilled that she will be able to share her artistry, heart and soul with her fans.
Her new single “M.I.A” ft. Kaash Paige launched today with a Hottest Record on Annie Mac’s show and a Targo Embargo on 1XTRA.
“MIA is my summer anthem as we’re released from lockdown,” Ray explains on the inspiration behind the track. “It’s just about escaping, or being with someone who feels like an escape, like you’re on holiday and just at peace, away from the noise. After being in lockdown for so long and being overwhelmed or feeling low, I’m ready to be out with the people I love the most in our element with this playing in the background as the soundtrack to our summer.”
Ray has spent lockdown writing and recording her long-awaited debut album which promises to be one of the cultural highlights of the year, reminding everyone what a truly special and unique artist she is. She also wrote and performed “Warriors”, the lead track from the hugely acclaimed 8 times BAFTA nominated film “Rocks”, which has also been nominated for Sync Of The Year at this years Music Week Awards.
Read more via her recent NME cover story HERE.
Proving her versatility Ray hosted a 12-week run of the Apple Agenda Show with Mabel, Mahalia, Ghetts and many more. She also fronted a special Black History Blackout Radio show for Apple music showcasing her passion and knowledge about Black women in music which included interviews with industry luminaries Ms Dynamite and Estelle. Also, following her highly acclaimed Oxford University and Ted talks, Ray was also invited by Cambridge University to discuss what Black History Month means to her and share her experience as a Black woman in the entertainment with the Cambridge Union.
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