My Black Girl Magic Playlist: Ray BLK & Jorja Smith

Rita Ekwere (Ray BLK)

Ray BLK is a Nigerian born artist who immigrated to Catford in London when she was four. She spent her teen years rapping, sharing beats, and recording in basements and at age 13 she founded a music group called New Found Content. She studied English at Brunel University and wrote her dissertation on post-colonial Nigerian Literature. The “BLK” in her stage name stands for “Building, Learning, Knowing,” the three most important things in her life. Earlier this year, she won the 2017 accolade of being BBC’s first unsigned “Sound of…” winner, just hours after her latest single “Patience (Freestyle)” was streamed online.

I would describe her sound as similar to that of Lauryn Hill, mixing melodic riffs, high vibrato, soul and rap. Her music, for me, captures Black Girl Magic via its uplifting messages and positive Black female representation. Here are songs that you will be humming throughout the day.

“Cause everybody wants a portion, Of the Devil’s pie without caution, Don’t know its gonna cost a fortune, To sell your soul.”

“Patience: is an ode to Ray BLK’s experience in the music business and a sharp rebuke for people who long for an overnight success without any hard work and integrity. She begins the song “They swap their dignity for hits, Ain’t got no patience.”  While Ray is going at her own pace, she advises those who aim to accumulate riches via their creativity to stay on their grind and “Pay no mind to the dollar sign, Don’t let the moolah make you blind.” BLK insists that the consequences of not doing so would be them (record companies) “monopolizing your enterprise, then they’ll leave you paralyzed.”Patience is a R&B classic reminiscent of TLC, Lauryn, and girl groups of the 90s. It’s also a hip-hop and soul song filled banger with vibrato richness that is impossible to listen to just once.

Watch & Listen For Yourself…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnXiFZfTB0I

Jorja Smith

Jorja Smith, a beautiful English singer from Walsall, UK could probably double as a model and vocalist. With a slew of hits including “Blue Lights” and “On My Mind,” Smith has delivered songs that combine soul, blues, pop, hip-hop, and R&B. She began performing at the age of 8 and writing songs at age 11.

Why on earth would I leave, If you were everything I wanted you to be?

I stumbled across her song “On My Mind” on Youtube when it showed up on my suggestion list. In it, Jorja reminisces about a relationship gone wrong, crooning “Don’t want to feel you, Don’t want you on my mind.”  She ‘finally found what went wrong;’ the affairs she was put through. “When I saw what you did, who you were with, got me questionin’ the things that I believe;” In this stanza, she expresses her shock and disappointment in her ex’s new romantic partner and replacement. The refrain finally shows that she chooses happiness over the memories of this tumultuous past. On My Mind is a pop-ish/ R&B dance groove with a repetitious chorus that is difficult to get off your mind.

Ready To Groove & Dance???

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA5uuBCtZ5k    ]]>

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