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Raye’s Euphoric Sad Show, in review

Leeds Beckett Student Union hosted the singer and songwriter on 16th November for the last show of her UK and Ireland tour, and Holly Phillips went along for Lippy.

Music is an outlet to express a range of emotions and Raye certainly captured that on her Euphoric Sad Songs tour.

She wowed the small audience with her soulful vocals and took us all on a journey through heartbreak. Each story she told explained the different stages of hurt she suffered and how she came to create the song. When discussing ‘Change Your Mind’, she explained that it came about when she was crying on the bathroom floor and her friends had to pick her up. ‘Walk on by’ represented one of the final stages of heartbreak, feeling powerful and not caring anymore.

Raye, real name Rachel Keen, rose to fame in 2016, featuring on singles such as ‘You Don’t Know Me’ by Jax Jones and ‘By Your Side’ by Jonas Blue. Her debut mini album, containing 9 heartbreak songs, Euphoric Sad Songs, was released in November 2020 with one of her songs, ‘Secrets’ with Regard, hitting the top 10 in the charts. When speaking of this song, she said that her previous record label, Polydor, would not let her release it years back.

She departed from record label Polydor in June 2021, despite signing a four album deal with them five years prior. In an Instagram story post announcing her independence, RAYE said: “Polydor are an incredible infrastructure powerhouse team, unfortunately we have had different goals artistically and I am very grateful to them for giving me a graceful smooth exit to start my next chapter as an artist.”

At the show on Tuesday, she stated that her label would not let her release her album and praised herself for working as an independent artist. From now on, all songs she releases are her own and she has subsequently gained a considerable amount of creative freedom.

One of the songs featured on her mini album, ‘Please Don’t Touch’ arose from being sexually assaulted by a producer. Raye has clearly shown her vulnerable side and isn’t afraid to speak up on the struggles of being a woman in the music industry. She also appeared on Leigh-Anne Pinncok’s documentary ‘Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop and Power’ about her struggles of being a black woman in the music industry.

This was Raye’s debut tour, despite supporting Khalid, Jess Gylnne and Hasley. She filled the room with positive energy and the crowd was very lively. I would catch myself, mouth open, in awe, admiring her infectious presence. She brought the party vibes. The crowd was signing along for the whole show.

Despite the incredible things Raye has achieved, she still seemed in disbelief that people were so openly supporting her and visiting her shows. A true and genuine soul. So humble, positive and creative. It was a heartfelt performance, owning the stage. Her natural charisma lighting up the room, leaving the audience in high spirits with the upbeat tunes, juxtaposing the nature of the songs. An overall wholesome performance.


Words by Holly Phillips

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