Raye ¦ My 21st Century Blues

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My 21st Century Blues is the debut studio album by English singer and songwriter Raye. It was released independently by Human Re Sources on 3 February 2023.[5][6] The album is Raye's first project following her departure from Polydor Records in 2021. Largely co-written and produced by herself, she worked with notable names including Mike Sabath, BloodPop, Punctual, and Di Genius. The album features guest appearances from 070 Shake and Mahalia. My 21st Century Blues received acclaim from critics, with some publications including Variety naming it as one of the best albums of 2023.[7] It lyrically explores themes including Raye's struggles with addiction, misogyny, insecurity, body dysmorphia, and sexual assault.[5][6]

Spawned by the release of several singles "Escapism" (featuring 070 Shake), topped the charts in Ireland, Denmark, and United Kingdom, and entered the top ten in over 20 countries. It won "Best Social Trended Song" at the Global Awards, "Best Contemporary Song" at the Ivor Novello Awards, and was nominated for "Best Independent Track" and "Best Independent Video" at the AIM Independent Music Awards. It also received a nomination for "Best British Pop Single" at the Popjustice £20 Music Award Show. A fifth single titled "Ice Cream Man", peaked at number 69 on the UK Singles Chart, while the sixth single "Flip a Switch" featuring Coi Leray reached number 35.

The album debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart with 15,516 units, becoming her first top ten album in the UK.[8] It charted in over 13 other territories, including reaching number 58 on the US Billboard 200. It was nominated for "Best Independent Album" at the AIM Independent Music Awards, and also shortlisted for "Album of the Year" at the 2023 Mercury Prize.[9] In 2024, it won British Album of the Year at the Brit Awards,[10] in which it re-entered the UK Albums Chart the following week at #5.[11]


In an interview for Rolling Stone UK, Raye stated that her debut album features some of her most personal songwriting to date, including her struggles with body dysmorphia, anxiety, and sexual assault. She credits some of songs on her album as helping her as part of her healing process by adding:

"Some of these songs have helped me process. I had just been needing to hear them in a more beautiful form. Like "Body Dysmorphia," it sounds so ugly in my head, but when you put it into that song, it makes it a little bit easier for me to digest. A lot of these stories are very medicinal and very raw and therapeutic for me. I think it's been really important for me to take it there, as hard as it's been sometimes."

Raye also talked about the first time she self directed a video for the song "Ice Cream Man" which details her experience with sexual assault. My 21st Century Blues also features tracks that were written by Raye from previous years, with many songs being cut from the final tracklist because they didn't fit the theme of the album.[12]

Release and promotion

In September 2022, Raye went on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge to perform "Black Mascara" and a cover of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill".[13] On 13 October 2022, Raye announced the project on her social media along with the release of the songs "Escapism" and "The Thrill Is Gone". Following the dual release, Raye performed both songs on Later... with Jools Holland.[14] Raye later performed "The Thrill Is Gone" on The Graham Norton Show.[15]


On 30 June 2022, Raye released the lead single "Hard Out Here", which was her first independent release following her separation from Polydor Records.[16][17] The second single, "Black Mascara", was released on 24 August 2022 after previously being teased at the end of the "Hard Out Here" music video, two days before originally scheduled.[18] A dual single release, "Escapism", and "The Thrill Is Gone" was released on 12 October 2022.[19] "Escapism" would later chart at number 1 in the UK Singles Chart. On 2 February 2023, a day before the album release, the fifth single, "Ice Cream Man", premiered on BBC Radio 1 as Radio 1's Hottest Record. The seventh single, Worth It gained popularity after it was selected to be used for the soundtrack to Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken.


In support of the album, Raye embarked on a mini tour in October and November 2022 entitled The Story So Far, which marked her first headlining shows in Europe and North America. The tour consisted of an acoustic, intimate setting with a seated audience and Raye discussing her career in between performances of her discography in chronological order.[citation needed] This was followed by the My 21st Century Blues tour, which commenced in February 2023.[20] A second European leg was announced in January and commenced in November 2023.[21]

Live album and concert film

On 16 October 2023, Raye released the live album My 21st Century Symphony (Live at the Royal Albert Hall), recorded at her concert there on 26 September 2023. The album is a collaboration with The Heritage Orchestra who accompanied Raye in her performance alongside the Flames Collective as a gospel choir. The tracklist includes every song from My 21st Century Blues alongside several orchestral interludes.[22] A film of the concert, directed by Paul Dugdale and entitled Raye at the Royal Albert Hall, aired on BBC One on 3 January 2024.[23]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Financial Times[29]
The Guardian[2]
The Independent[30]
The Line of Best Fit7/10[31]
The Telegraph[34]

My 21st Century Blues was met with universal acclaim by music critics, receiving a score of 82 out of 100 on review aggregator Metacritic.[25] Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? gave it 7.6 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus.[24] Writing for Clash, Alex Rigotti felt that "In her haste to tell her story, "My 21st Century Blues" suffers from a frenzied second half that cushions the gut-punch it could have been".[26] Hayley Milross of The Line of Best Fit writes that "My 21st Century Blues will be labelled as an iconic debut" and that "the album has excellent high points [which are] tracks that showcase what brought Raye to the forefront in the first place."[31] Ben Tipple from DIY states that the record "[are] mirroring Raye's desire to explore all facets of herself, and it is autobiographical to its core, whether touching on heartbreak, discrimination, or distorted self-image."[27] Neive McCarthy of Dork called Raye "unstoppable on her latest offering" and added that she's "tackling every hardship that has befallen her of late and doing so with smooth, jazz-leaning vocals and slick beats."[28]

In a positive review for The Guardian, Alexis Petridis writes that "Whatever its failings, though, there's enough in the way of potential hit singles – moreover, potential hit singles with attitude and character to spare – on Raye's debut to ensure that her current success amounts to more than a sympathy vote or a flash in the pan."[2]

Year-end lists

My 21st Century Blues on year-end lists
EsquireBest Albums of 2023[35]
VarietyBest Albums of 2023[36]
ConsequenceBest Albums of 2023[37]

Track listing

My 21st Century Blues track listing
1."Introduction"Rachel Keen
  • Austin Lichtenstein
  • Pete Miller
Mike Sabath0:57
2."Oscar Winning Tears"Keen
  • Keen
  • Sabath
3."Hard Out Here"
  • Brandon Colbein
  • Sabath
4."Black Mascara"Keen
  • Keen
  • William Lansley
  • John Morgan
5."Escapism" (featuring 070 Shake)
  • Keen
  • Sabath
6."Mary Jane"Keen
  • Keen
  • Sabath
7."The Thrill Is Gone"
  • Keen
  • Isabella Sjostrand
  • Keen
  • Anton Goransson
  • Sabath
  • Raye
  • Sabath
8."Ice Cream Man"Keen
9."Flip a Switch"Keen
10."Body Dysmorphia"Keen
  • Keen
  • Sabath
11."Environmental Anxiety"
  • Keen
  • Jenna Felsenthal
  • Keen
  • Sabath
  • Raye
  • Sabath
12."Five Star Hotels" (featuring Mahalia)
  • Sabath
  • Luca Buccellati
  • Miller
13."Worth It"
  • Raye
  • Sabath
14."Buss It Down"
  • Keen
  • Eyelar Mirzazadeh
  • Keen
  • Antionette Smith
  • Sabath
  • Raye
  • Sabath
  • Miller
  • Raye
  • Sabath
  • Miller


  • All tracks are stylized with a stop at the end


Adapted from album liner notes.

  • Raye – vocals, songwriting (2–15); production (6–9, 11, 13–15); background vocals (7, 12–14); string and horn arranging (13)
  • Mike Sabath – production (1–3, 5–15); songwriting (2, 3, 5–8, 10–14); engineering (5, 6, 8–11, 14, 15); piano (2, 6, 8); bass (2, 6, 8, 11, 12, 14); drums (2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12); synthesizer (2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 11); string arranging (2, 3, 5–7, 13); Mellotron (5, 9); guitar (6–12); background vocals (7, 13, 14); horn arranging (7, 13); strings (12)
  • Jenna Felsenthal – vocal engineering (2–15); songwriting (11)
  • Pete Miller – songwriting, piano (1); production (12, 14, 15); piano, B3 (14, 15)
  • Adam Krevlin – string engineer (2, 5–7, 13)
  • The MoonGirls – drums, bass, Wurlitzer electronic piano, (7, 13); B3 (7); guitar (13)
  • 070 Shake – vocals, songwriting (5)
  • Mahalia – vocals, songwriting (12)
  • Franky Fox – engineering (1, 13)
  • Jacob Braun – cello (2, 3, 5–7)
  • Paul Cartwright – violin (2, 5–7)
  • Austin Lichtenstein – songwriting, voice (1)
  • Tia Ferguson – background vocals (1, 7)
  • Justin Tranter – songwriting (3)
  • Brandon Colbein – songwriting (3)
  • Charlie Bisharat – strings (3)
  • Punctual – songwriting, production (4)
  • Anton Göransson – songwriting (7)
  • Isabella Sjostrand – songwriting (7)
  • Michael Harris – engineering (7, 13)
  • Tristan Hurd – trumpet (7, 13)
  • Alex Young – tenor saxophone (7, 13)
  • Alex Csillag – trombone (7)
  • Tim Mckay – baritone sax (7)
  • BloodPop – songwriting (8)
  • Di Genius – songwriting, production (9)
  • Eddie Benjamin – songwriting, guitar, bass (12)
  • Kennedi Lykken – songwriting (12)
  • Alex Robinson – vocal engineering (12)
  • Luca Buccellati – production, drums (12)
  • John Hill – songwriting, synthesizer (13)
  • Akil “Fresh” King – songwriting (13)
  • Sean Deschamps – cello (13)
  • DSharp – violin (13)
  • Eyelar Mirazazadek – songwriting (14)
  • Antoinette Smith – songwriting (14)
  • Jon Castelli – mixing (all tracks)
  • Dale Becker – mastering (all tracks)


Chart performance for My 21st Century Blues
Chart (2023–2024)Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[38]97
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[39]38
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[40]139
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[41]25
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[42]30
French Albums (SNEP)[43]97
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[44]34
Irish Albums (OCC)[45]13
Lithuanian Albums (AGATA)[46]80
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[47]34
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[48]16
Scottish Albums (OCC)[49]4
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[50]95
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[51]17
UK Albums (OCC)[52]2
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[53]1
US Billboard 200[54]58
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[55]8


Certifications for My 21st Century Blues
RegionCertificationCertified units/sales
New Zealand (RMNZ)[56]Gold7,500
United Kingdom (BPI)[57]Gold100,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history

Release history and formats for My 21st Century Blues
Various3 February 2023Human Re Sources[58][59]


  1. ^ Richards, Will (6 January 2023). "RAYE talks scoring UK Number One single with 'Escapism': "It's the ultimate validation"". NME.
  2. ^ a b c Petridis, Alexis (2 February 2023). "Raye: My 21st Century Blues review – major label escapee makes revenge taste sweet". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 February 2023. Her confident DIY debut, mixing house, pop, blues and dancehall, is a vindication
  3. ^ "The Smashing Pumpkins, Peach PRC & More: This Week's Best New Music". The Music. 3 February 2023. Retrieved 5 February 2023.
  4. ^ "Spotify". Spotify.
  5. ^ a b "RAYE announces debut album titled 'My 21st Century Blues'". REVOLT. Retrieved 27 November 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Raye announces debut album 'My 21st Century Blues'". DIY. Retrieved 27 November 2022.
  7. ^ Willman, Chris; Aswad, Jem; Garcia, Thania (29 June 2023). "The 20 Best Albums of the Year (So Far)". Variety. Retrieved 11 July 2023.
  8. ^ Paine, Andre (22 February 2023). "Escape plan: Raye's artist services team on the ascent of a 'global superstar'". Music Week. Retrieved 4 March 2024.
  9. ^ Snapes, Laura (27 July 2023). "Mercury Prize 2023: Arctic Monkeys tie Radiohead's record for most nominations". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 July 2023.
  10. ^ Heching, Dan (2 March 2024). "Brit Awards 2024: See who won". CNN. Retrieved 3 March 2024.
  11. ^ "RAYE experiences massive chart uplift following record-breaking BRITs wins". Official Charts. 8 March 2024. Retrieved 12 March 2024.
  12. ^ Mier, Tomás (1 February 2023). "Raye Is Brutally Honest and Finally in Control on Her Debut Album that was considered her authentic self. Getting There Wasn't Easy". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2 February 2023.
  13. ^ Skinner, Tom (8 September 2022). "Check out RAYE's haunting cover of Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill'". NME. Retrieved 27 November 2022.
  14. ^ "Guests for Later… with Jools Holland tonight have been confirmed". www.nationalworld.com. 15 October 2022. Retrieved 27 November 2022.
  15. ^ "Find out who's on The Graham Norton Show tonight". Darlington and Stockton Times. 20 January 2023. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  16. ^ Magnocavallo, Fabio (1 July 2022). "RAYE – Hard Out Here". EUPHORIA. Retrieved 27 November 2022.
  17. ^ Mier, Tomás (1 July 2022). "Raye Is 'Done Being a Nice Polite Pop Star' as She Debuts Unapologetic Comeback". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 November 2022.
  18. ^ "RAYE unveils new single "Black Mascara"". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 27 November 2022.
  19. ^ "RAYE delivers new tracks "Escapism." featuring 070 Shake and "The Thrill Is Gone."". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 27 November 2022.
  20. ^ Olaroya, Ezra (3 February 2023). "RAYE Drops Much-Anticipated Debut Album 'My 21st Century Blues'". Complex. Complex Networks. Archived from the original on 3 March 2023. Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  21. ^ Carter, Antwine (3 February 2023). "Raye Mocks Old Record Label While Promoting 'My 21st Century Blues' Debut Album". Hyperfresh. Archived from the original on 3 March 2023. Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  22. ^ Jones, Simon. "'RAYE with The Heritage Orchestra - My 21st Century Symphony'". Press Party. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  23. ^ "RAYE at the Royal Albert Hall". BBC One. Retrieved 4 January 2024.
  24. ^ a b "Raye – My 21st Century Blues". AnyDecentMusic?.
  25. ^ a b "My 21st Century Blues by RAYE Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic.
  26. ^ a b Rigotti, Alex (20 January 2023). "Raye - My 21st Century Blues". Clash.
  27. ^ a b Tipple, Ben (1 February 2023). "RAYE – My 21st Century Blues Album Review". DIY.
  28. ^ a b McCarthy, Neive (1 February 2023). "RAYE – My 21st Century Blues". Dork.
  29. ^ "Five stars for Raye's exhilarating debut My 21st Century Blues — album review". Financial Times. 3 February 2023.
  30. ^ Brown, Helen (2 February 2023). "Raye review, My 21st Century Blues: Polydor will be kicking themselves after hearing this exceptional debut". The Independent.
  31. ^ a b Milross, Hayley (31 January 2023). "RAYE opens her heart on her long-awaited debut My 21st Century Blues". The Line of Best Fit.
  32. ^ Mylrae, Hannah (2 February 2023). "RAYE – 'My 21st Century Blues' review: a triumphant, hard-fought debut". NME.
  33. ^ Cliff, Aimee (8 February 2023). "Raye: My 21st Century Blues Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 9 February 2023.
  34. ^ "Best Albums of the Week". The Telegraph. 3 February 2023.
  35. ^ "The Best Albums of 2023". Retrieved 21 August 2023.
  36. ^ "The Best Albums of 2023". Retrieved 21 August 2023.
  37. ^ "The Best Albums of 2023". 12 June 2023. Retrieved 21 August 2023.
  38. ^ "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 13 February 2023". The ARIA Report. No. 1719. Australian Recording Industry Association. 13 February 2023. p. 6.
  39. ^ "Ultratop.be – Raye – My 21st Century Blues" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  40. ^ "Ultratop.be – Raye – My 21st Century Blues" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  41. ^ "Raye Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  42. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Raye – My 21st Century Blues" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  43. ^ "Lescharts.com – Raye – My 21st Century Blues". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 February 2023.
  44. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Raye – My 21st Century Blues" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  45. ^ "Official Irish Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  46. ^ "2023 6-os savaitės klausomiausi (Top 100)" (in Lithuanian). AGATA. 10 February 2023. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  47. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 11 March 2024. Retrieved 8 March 2024.
  48. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Raye – My 21st Century Blues". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 March 2024.
  49. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  50. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Raye – My 21st Century Blues". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 March 2024.
  51. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Raye – My 21st Century Blues". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  52. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  53. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  54. ^ "Raye Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  55. ^ "Raye Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  56. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Raye – My 21st Century Blues". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 10 March 2024.
  57. ^ "British album certifications – Raye – My 21st Century Blues". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 5 April 2024.
  58. ^ "RAYE – 'My 21st Century Blues'". raye.orcd.co. Retrieved 27 November 2022.
  59. ^ "My 21st Century Blues". Apple Music (NZ). 4 January 2023.


Veröffentlichungen von Raye die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

My 21st Century Blues

Raye auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Raye 2023 im Pryzm in Kingston

Raye (* 24. Oktober 1997 als Rachel Agatha Keen in London)[1] ist eine britische R&B- und Pop-Sängerin und Songwriterin.


Rachel Keen wurde im Londoner Stadtbezirk Tooting geboren. Im Alter von zehn Jahren begann sie, ihre ersten Lieder zu schreiben und mehrere Musikinstrumente zu erlernen. Mit 14 Jahren wurde sie bei der BRIT School aufgenommen, die sie allerdings nach zwei Jahren abbrach.[2]

Im Dezember 2014 veröffentlichte sie ihre Debüt-EP Welcome to the Winter, im Frühjahr 2015 folgten mit Flowers und Alien die ersten Single-Veröffentlichungen. 2015 wurde Olly Alexander, Sänger der Band Years & Years, auf Raye aufmerksam und schickte ihren Song Hotbox an das Label Polydor, worauf kurze Zeit später ein Plattenvertrag folgte.[3]

Raye war als Songwriterin an der im April 2015 veröffentlichten Single All Cried Out des britischen House-Duos Blonde beteiligt und stieg damit erstmals in die britischen Charts ein, wo der Song bis auf Platz 4 stieg. 2016 veröffentlichte sie ihre zweite Solo-EP Second und erzielte als Gastsängerin mit den Singles By Your Side von Jonas Blue und insbesondere You Don’t Know Me von Jax Jones Ende 2016 bzw. ab Anfang 2017 zwei europaweite Hits und erlangte damit internationale Bekanntheit. You Don’t Know Me war unter anderem eine der zehn meistverkauften Singles des Jahres 2017 im Vereinigten Königreich.[4]

Im Mai 2018 veröffentlichte Raye ihre dritte EP Side Tape.[5]

Im Juni 2021 verließ Raye das Label Polydor.[6]

Im Oktober 2022 veröffentlichte Raye in Zusammenarbeit mit 070 Shake ihre Single Escapism., die in den sozialen Netzwerken viral ging und Ende 2022 die internationalen Charts stürmte. Im Februar 2023 veröffentlichte sie das Album My 21st Century Blues als unabhängige Künstlerin, mit dem sie im selben Jahr für den Mercury Prize nominiert wurde.

Bei den Brit Awards 2024 gewann sie den Award in den Kategorien Künstler des Jahres (Artist of the Year), bester neuer Künstler (Best New Artist), bestes Album mit My 21st Century Blues (British Album of the Year) und mit Escapism. beste Single des Jahres (Best Single of the Year).



Höchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen
(Jahr, Titel, Musiklabel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
2020Euphoric Sad Songs
Polydor (UMG)
Erstveröffentlichung: 20. November 2020
2023My 21st Century Blues.
Human Re Sources (Membran)
(1 Wo.)DE
(2 Wo.)CH

(… Wo.)Template:Charttabelle/Wartung/vorläufig/2023UK
(4 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 3. Februar 2023
Verkäufe: + 107.500


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