Future Class Of 2017: RAY BLK

Written By Sam Murphy on 01/16/2017

Illustration by Bianca Bosso.

The Future Class Of 2017 is 15 acts that we believe are poised for greatness this year. Last year we tipped Sampa The Great, Kiiara, Dua Lipa and more to do big things and over the next week we'll be rolling out individual features on each both here and on Cool Accidents. Today, we begin with British soul singer RAY BLK

RAY BLK is already having a fantastic 2017. The British singer took out the BBC Sound Of 2017 prize beating out tough competition from the likes of Maggie Rogers, Anderson .Paak, RAYE and Jorja Smith. She may have seemed like an underdog in the competition based on the fact she's got no backing from a major label but one listen to her excellent debut EP Durt and you'll understand exactly why she's poised for greatness.

Growing up on a diet of Missy Elliot, Lil Kim and Biggie, RAY BLK makes honest, unfiltered R&B music with a retro heart. She's drawing plenty of comparisons to Lauryn Hill but that's because she's so autobiographical with her lyrics. On My Hood she sings vividly about finding a way out of the hood and on Baby Girlz she's telling a tale of a girl that fell pregnant as a teen. The whole EP paints an effortless picture of where she's from and where she's going.

While previous BBC Sound Of winners like Ellie Goulding and Years & Years have been destined for the top of the pop charts, RAY BLK's an unsigned artists who seems more destined for the type of career that Chance The Rapper has had. My Hood could be a hit but as a part of the Durt EP it's far more impactful. She's the type of artist that's going to release records that succeed as a cohesive project, something that so many big artists achieved last year - Solange, Beyoncé, Rihanna.

In 2017, expect RAY BLK to release the type of record you'll tell your kids about in years to come.