In a coming of age moment, RAYE returns to the scene this week with the unveiling of brand new single ‘Hard Out Here’ – her first musical release as an empowered, FREE, and fully independent recording artist.
Written and produced by RAYE herself, with additional co-writes and production credits from Mike Sabath (Lizzo, Camila Cabello), musician Brandon Colbein and Justin Tranter (Britney Spears, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande), the brutally honest, painfully raw yet uber fierce track arrives 12 months after the 24-year-old bravely “blew up her career in order to rebuild it” following a contentious, and emotionally jarring battle that saw her continuously denied the opportunity to release her debut album by then record label Polydor… despite her scoring 7 top 20 singles, being nominated for four BRITS, collaborating with Jax Jones, Joel Corry, and David Guetta, co-writing international hits for artists including Beyoncé, John Legend, Little Mix and Charli XCX, and having more than 12million monthly listeners on Spotify!
In a deeply personal statement, released to co-inside with the premiere first play of the single, RAYE says of the arduous journey she has had to endure over the course of the last year: “I’d been in that record contract for a third of my life, so it was a big change to be free. Once I had that closure, it became a journey of healing. Anger was my initial emotion, which actually served as a catalyst to get me back to work…”
Inspired by all of her consequential, deep-rooted feelings of frustration, resentment and displeasure, the ‘Love Your Life’ singer decided to set up a makeshift studio in her living, and began to put pen to paper in the hopes that her enduring love for the creation of music would provide her with an outlet to vent her frustrations.
Commenting specifically on the single, the South London native says: “‘Hard Out Here’ is super angry. I was both crying and red with rage, just writing these lyrics, and capturing how I really felt in that moment. After years of playing the game the label model in the past is you put something out and if it doesn’t work pause the entire plan, reshuffle the plan, do a feature, stop everything and start over… I’m not interested in playing by those rules anymore. In fact I have no clue what’s going on in the charts – which is good in a way because I don’t want anything to influence what I want to express. I’m trying to tell my story, and that’s what matters. I don’t want to cater to an audience – I want the audience to love me for what I’m saying and what I want to express. ‘Hard Out Here’ is my story, and I want anyone who has ever felt helpless or suppressed to put it on and remind themselves of who they are, and that they’re going to bounce back!”