RAYE is coming out on top. Today marks the pop star’s first-ever chart-topper with “Escapism” featuring 070 Shake sitting pretty atop the U.K. charts.
The news comes as no surprise. Raye’s mastery of pop is well documented both behind the scenes and center stage. But in the wake of contract disputes with her previous label Polydor, this win means more.
In the summer of 2021, Raye spoke out against her former label, revealing that she had been trapped in a four-record deal since 2014 but was barred from releasing an album. She then took to Twitter, explaining that she was sitting on hundreds of songs “collecting dust” in folders and was stuck giving her songs to "A list artists" while waiting for confirmation that she was "good enough to release an album." She tried everything, including working seven days a week and switching genres to appease her label.
\u201cI have been on a 4 ALBUM RECORD DEAL since 2014 !!! And haven\u2019t been allowed to put out one album. ALL I CARE ABOUT is the music. Im sick of being slept on and I\u2019m sick of being in pain about it this is not business to me this so personal\u201d— RAYE (@RAYE) 1624982923
She said that she was “done with being a perfect pop star” after releasing what is arguably the perfect pop song, “Call on Me.” “I want to make my album now.”
A year later, Raye is putting herself first, and her listeners are certainly helping. Having been released from Polydor in the aforementioned PR-nightmare Twitter thread, Raye’s success is completely her own. She took to social media to celebrate the win. “Back yourself no matter what,” she said through happy tears.
The award marks her first number-one single ever and makes for a powerful start to the new year for the freshly independent artist.
There’s definitely more to come. Raye’s debut album, My 21st Century Blues, is slated for a February 3 release and will undoubtedly solidify that her move to independence was the right one.
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