Vevo, the world’s leading music video network, announces the release of Ray BLK’s live performance of “Dark Skinned.” “Dark Skinned” follows Ray’s previous Vevo live performances of “Action” and “In My Bed” in 2019.
Known for her no-holds barred lyrics and straight talking, whether it’s on or off the mic, Ray BLK (real name Rita Ekwere) is going to speak her mind. “I always have to get everything off my chest,” says singer-songwriter. “As an artist and somebody who’s been blessed with a platform, I feel like it is part of my responsibility.”
Ray’s musical journey began at the tender age of 8, scrawling lyrics in school notebooks which caught the eye of a teacher who placed her on a music program for gifted and talented pupils. By 13, she was crafting her first body of work with school friend and future record producer and songwriter MNEK, forming the group New Found Content. Years later, following an English Literature degree at university. Ray released a mixtape of ripped beats entitled ‘Havisham’, a hip-hop, R&B, and neo-soul hybrid inspired by the jilted Charles Dickens character. It was then she adopted her stage name, taking ‘Ray’ from her surname and ‘BLK’, an acronym of her three most important values: Building, Living, Knowing.
The following year saw the release of ‘Durt’, Ray’s critically acclaimed first EP which featured collaborations with Stormzy, Wretch 32 and SG Lewis and won Ray a legion of new, non-local fans. Ray was also announced as the first and only unsigned artist to win the prestigious BBC Sound of Poll for 2017, also receiving a best newcomer nomination at the 2016 MOBO Awards.
In 2018 she signed to Island Records and released her eight-track project Empress, focusing on a message of female empowerment. Her willingness to address difficult topics with deftness is second to none, from touching on domestic violence to partnering up with charities to do talks at schools about consent, after speaking publicly about her own experience with sexual assault this year. She has also been making herself heard as a host of Beats 1 agenda show on Apple Music, a gig that was extended by popular demand.
The 26 year-old artist is celebrated for music that makes a statement, with messages of tough love, a catalogue of quotables and a renewed focus on self-love. Ray has also faced obstacles in the industry as a black, dark skinned woman – another topic she has frequently and openly discussed. “It’s about being told no and always remembering to tell yourself yes.” Her discography has already seen her hailed as the queen of UK R&B, but the best is yet to come.
“Dark Skinned” is now streaming on all platforms. Keep up with exclusive content from artists all over the world on YouTube.com/Vevo.