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Get to Know Ray BLK, the British-Nigerian Winner of BBC Sound of 2017

Ray BLK, one of our 10 UK artists to watch, is set to take over 2017.

Ray BLK, one of our 10 U.K. Artists to Watch in 2017, recently won the BBC Sound of 2017 poll.


On the five-strong shortlist were also Jorja Smith, Rag’n’Bone, Raye and Nadia Rose, who also features on OkayAfrica’s list.

Ray BLK, whose real name is Rita Ekwere, was born in Nigeria but moved to London when she was four.

She grew up in Catford in South London, a place she's said her friends have described as a “ghost town,” but to her has been a source of pride and material for her music.

Her latest 7-song project, Durt, released in October last year is tight and focused, and over which The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill figures are a presiding spirit.

“50/50,” an instructive pairing of song and video, is a compaction of steel and brittle as she informs a suitor who is too busy “selling food” to pay her adequate attention. The video, more than the song, is strongly indicative of her working-class roots, which she appears to either revel in or present as found.

Other videos so far released are “Chill Out,” alongside SG Lewis, which features a powerful presentation of Jamaica’s much maligned gay and transgender community and “My Hood” with Stormzy, whom she became friends with after appearing at the same talent show a year before both artists rose to prominence.

Previous winners of the BBC Sound Of the Year poll have been Adele and Sam Smith.

News Brief

Wizkid Celebrates 10 Years of His Debut Album With New Docuseries ‘A Superstar Made In Lagos’

Afrobeats torchbearer Wizkid has released a docuseries 'A Superstar Made In Lagos' to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his debut album 'Superstar'.

As the name suggests, Wizkid's latest docuseries A Superstar Made In Lagos traces the talented musician's journey and the impact he has made, from when he started out to the present day.

Wizkid Reflects on Life, Love and Music | A Superstar Made in Lagos youtu.be

In his only insert in the documentary, Wizkid reflects on the early days of his career and getting signed to the Banky W co-founded label Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E):

"Me getting signed by Banky was one of the most amazing things that ever happened to me. It was just an amazing moment for me, man. It changed my life. And I wanna thank Banky for understanding the vision and taking me under his wings like his little brother."

A Superstar Made In Lagos also features some of the individuals who have not only played a role in Wizkid's career or interacted with the singer but are stakeholders in the Nigerian entertainment and creative industry.

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