Ray BLK — Access Denied (Download Free album Zip File)
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Finally embracing her “gangster era”, as she’s put it, Catford’s own Ray BLK is at last releasing her debut album – almost five years after winning her first great accolade, the BBC’s Sound of 2017 poll. In this time, Ray BLK (real name Rita Ekwere) has become a formidable UK star in her own right, delivering confident R&B ballads all about uplifting her listeners. Now, though, ‘Access Denied’ prioritises Ray, and she hopes other women follow suit.
“People expected me to drop an album instantly,” the 27-year-old told NME in her latest cover story back in April, going on to explain that she “broke the rules” because she didn’t want to be pressured into being someone she’s not. Moving away from the acoustic-based, socially conscious music that made her famous, her debut album takes a more commercial turn, which utilises hip-hop and afropop.
‘Access Denied’ boasts a no-messing intro with ‘BLK Madonna’. Given that she’s still quite a fresh face to the rest of the world, many might see Ekwere comparing herself to Madonna as a cheeky quip. However, it all makes sense when it becomes clear that she just wants to be the best at her craft, and that no matter where she draws her inspiration from, she’ll make her way there. Over the chimes of ringing piano chords and high-speed hi-hats and claps, she gets back at those who always thought she wouldn’t make it this far, telling the listened in no uncertain term that she “started so I ain’t gonna stop”.