Independent soul artist Ray BLK has won the top spot of BBC’s Sound of 2017 list.
News of the honour came on 6 January 2017. The list predicts the top artists destined for success in 2017. A panel of 170 DJs, critics and festival bookers selected the list of honourees.
The honour is a great achievement for the talented 22-year-old artist who hails from South-London. In its 14-year history this is the first time that an unsigned artist has been named as winner. BLK follows the likes of former winners Sam Smith, Adele and Ellie Goulding.
The inspirational soul singer says that she is “honoured” to have topped the list. The honour highlights BLK as the most ‘exciting’ talent whose ‘new music’ is likely to be successful in 2017.
Ray BLK says that the win is the “most surprising thing” that’s happened to her “thus far”. The 22-year-old released her first recordings whilst studying for an English degree. She has remained an independent artist, retaining her rights through releasing her music on her own label.
The artist fuses R&B melodies with Hip-hop vibes, to create a ‘velvety’ and ‘streetwise’, soulful voice. The inspirational singer’s talent has particularly stood out in track, ‘My Hood’ which features Grime artist, Stormzy.
Ray says that she is “proud” to be part of a list which is “full” of “so much talent”. She says some of those named are “independent artists” whom she hopes “inspires the next generation”. Ray will especially be an inspiration to young black female artists.
In this year’s list, 4 of the top 5 honourees named are Black British female singers. The appreciation of the voices of Black British females is encouraging as it promotes inclusion and diversity.
Ray’s win can be viewed as a celebration of Black British soulful femininity.
Photo Credit: BBC Music