Hometown: South East London
Listen to: ‘Like This’, ‘Dear Germaine’, ‘Summer Love’
R.A.E (pronounced R, A, E) is single-handedly bringing back the glory days of the 90s with her retro-inspired music. In a year where the present-day feels anything but glorious, she is more than welcome to transport us back in time.
But R.A.E herself has had a good year so far: the hip-hop/RnB artist is out with a new EP, Listen Up, and earlier this year she won the 2020 Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition, previously won by the likes of Declan McKenna. It’s also an accolade that’ll give her a spot on one of the iconic festival’s main stages next summer (all being well with the pandemic…).
As sung in 2019’s ‘Who is She’, R.A.E stands for Rising Above Everything, and her music is certainly reflective of this mantra, sonically, lyrically and aesthetically. From the celebratory ‘Melanin’ to the tongue-in-cheek visuals of ‘The Coolest’, her discography is quickly shaping up to be an effervescent one.
Bringing the summer into the autumn with an undeniable 90s beat, feel-good lyrics and clean vocals, R.A.E’s latest single ‘Like This’ showcases her singing ability alongside her proven rapping talent shown on the likes of 2019’s ‘Damn Germaine’. But her rapping hasn’t been left in last year, with R.A.E’s Listen Up EP seeing her effortlessly navigate the spaces between unapologetic and confident bars on the opening song ‘The Coolest’ and the softer R’n’B closing track of ‘Summer Love’.
The 7-second retro sample, where two kids talk about how one can sing but the other wants them to prove it, ‘You Can’t Sing (Skit)’, in the middle of Listen Up shows R.A.E’s clear 90s influences as well as bravery to create more than just a collection of songs. The Listen Up EP works perfectly as a package, and refines her nostalgic yet unique sound in a way the R.A.E EP began to.
Words by Kat Smith
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