The past twelve months have been huge for 22-year-old Rae Morris, what with the release of her debut album, Unguarded, in January (which charted at 9 in the UK charts), appearing in adverts for Boohoo, and a host of huge shows across the UK and Europe. In less than a year she’s gone from a hyped singer-song writer to a staple on the Radio 1 playlists and a festival favourite.
Arguably it has been the support from aforementioned BBC Radio 1 that has had the biggest effect on Morris’ career in the past year, particularly her appearance on the long list for the coveted BBC Sound Of. “Yeah, it absolutely has,” Rae agreed, “I guess it was four summers ago they got me onto Reading and Leeds Introducing, and I was there two years before that as a punter. To be there at a festival having already been there hanging out it was really strange and amazing, and yeah, the opportunities they’ve given me have just put me in the right spotlight I guess.”
Though it’s not just the BBC that have helped catapult Morris into the spotlight, a handful of high profile collaborations with acts like Clean Bandit and Bombay Bicycle Club have ensured that even if you don’t know her name, you’ll recognise Rae’s voice. With these collabs under her belt, are then any artists she has always wanted to work with? “I don’t ever really think about it as all the collaborations I’ve done have been really natural, but Kate Bush is my favourite person in the world and I would so love to meet her, but I doubt it’d ever happen!”
Unassuming and humble, Rae is delight to speak to, and this modesty transfers on to stage. During her 30 minute set at Truck she seemed sincerely thankful for the reception that her immaculate set received, and how packed the Marketplace tent was. Yet Oxfordshire’s Truck was one of her smaller shows this summer, with a festival calendar that includes Glastonbury, Montreux Jazz Festival (“It has such a prestige and a history, it just felt like a big deal to do it”), and her personal highlight Norwegian Wood Festival (“The line-up was just the three of us on the bill, me and Tori Amos and Patti Smith, and for me that was a real dream to do it!”)
But one of her biggest shows to date was supporting pop princess Taylor Swift at Hyde Park a few weeks ago. “Oh my god yeah!” she exclaimed when I mentioned the gig, “It was really great actually, I’m so glad it went well, it was one of those tings when I was on so early in the day and I didn’t get to meet Taylor or anything, but it was a great gig. Everybody was so receptive and her whole audience were genuinely interested to hear people that Taylor has endorsed almost.”
With a huge autumn tour (including a date at the Southampton Engine Rooms on October 15th), and a plethora of festival dates still to come, has work on album number two begun? “I’ve already started writing some songs, not really thinking to much about the detail of it but just going with my instinct and trying to write things before it becomes to pressurised. I just want to write things before I over think it.”
You can catch Rae Morris at an abundance of festivals this summer, or at the Southampton Engine Rooms on October 15. See the full list of dates here.