Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
Rachel Keen, aka Raye, is a cool pop artist making cool pop music. Some of her tracks are even quite enjoyable to us uncool pop fans. I’m not convinced she’s the future pop star that the music industry seems to be anticipating (let’s chat again when she has at least one Twitter fan account and a song they might play on Capital), but I am intrigued to see what her campaign is building up to. Is there a chart-friendly tune at the end of all this careful positioning, or in other words, does she have a King? The 18-year-old Londoner studied at the BRIT School, and first made an impact in 2014 with the Hype Machine hit Hotbox. Rather than jumping into a record deal, she kept releasing new songs on Soundcloud, and fortunately the hype didn’t die down – she signed a deal with Polydor a few months later. Her music is electro-R&B, with 90s references, yet still somehow futuristic. Recent single I, U, Us was co-written with talented Swede Noonie Bao and Charli XCX, who also directed the video. It’s featured on her EP, Second (yes, it’s her second EP), along with another track that’s worth a listen, Shhh.