Soul singer Ray BLK has triumphed over fifteen other acts to be named the BBC’s Sound of 2017.
The 23-year-old from South London is the first unsigned artist to win the prize, which has been running to find new music talent since 2003. Described by the Sound’s website as, ‘soulful RnB rhymes and real rhythms’, and her mini-album Durt was released in 2016. She was understandably thrilled by the news, saying to BBC News: “I can’t believe this is happening! It’s all just so ridiculous!”.
Four of the top five Sound of 2017 acts are black British women, signalling a rise of female talent in grime and R&B. Ray also expressed her hope that she would inspire women to reach for their goals. One of the judges, DJ Jamal Edwards, called Ray “the whole package”, while Radio 1’s Huw Stephens described her as “the real deal”.
Coming in second was ‘raw, bluesy soul’ singer Rag’n’Bone Man, while female vocalists RAYE, Jorja Smith and Nadia Rose came complete the top five. You can look out for Smith and Rose featuring in The Edge‘s List of 2017 over the next week. Previous winners of BBC’s Sound include Adele, Sam Smith and Jack Garrett.
Check out Ray BLK below: