Raye is back releasing music. ‘Hard Out Here‘ is her first single as independent and we have to say being independent definitely suits her, as it’s best release yet.
Written and produced by RAYE with additional production by Mike Sabath the emotionally raw, in-your-face anthem marks the singer-songwriter’s first solo music in over a year and her official debut as an independent artist – now signed to leading distribution and artist services company Human Re Sources, after racking up nearly 3 billion streams across her own catalog in addition to 3.5 billion streams for hits she’s penned for other chart-topping acts like Beyoncé, John Legend, Little Mix and Charli XCX.
Taking aim at her old label, the broader music industry, the patriarchy, and toxic masculinity, ‘Hard Out Here”‘revels in its unfettered honesty. “What you know about systems / About drugged drinks / Fucking nearly dying from addictions”
RAYE sings unvarnished over an epic concoction of scattergun beats, featherlight strings and ghostly backing vocals, laying bear her 7 year experience in the music industry.
In 3 minutes and 12 seconds, ‘Hard Out Here’ covers everything from artistic frustration to addiction to religion to the treatment of female songwriters, with one line – “All the white men CEO’s fuck your privilege / Get your pink chubby hands off my mouth” – a potent metaphor for how RAYE has felt as a young mixed race female artist trying to navigate the music industry.
On the inspiration behind her new single, RAYE shares, “I was very angry and in a lot of pain when the bones of ‘Hard Out Here’ were solidified. I wrote this song because I needed this song. ‘Hard Out Here’ is about the bounce back, a rant reflecting on the last 8 years of my career, and me preparing to take control of my narrative, my art and my life truly for the first time.”
The “You Don’t Know Me” singer adds, “The initial version of this song was created years ago, when I was 19 years old, I wasn’t given permission to release this song, so it sat in a folder collecting dust. However the instrumental represented something so important to me, I think it felt like freedom. No less than a week after I parted ways with Polydor, I got on the microphone with rage in my chest and vented it all out in one sitting. This isn’t about chasing chart hits anymore, this is about finally being allowed to articulate my truth, and express myself fearlessly.”
“RAYE addressed topics that most of us don’t dare to mention,” shares RAYE’s creative director Mikey Robbins. “This visual is about taking back what’s yours— your image, your music, your art. The wigs, the presence of men in suits, the movement of RAYE’s body, her impossible poses— these are all metaphors that are rooted in real life experiences for artists of today. The team at Field Trip (production company), Paletta (choreographer), Mariel Gomerez (A/R), Paul Keen and Tia Ferguson (management), and the team at Human Re Sources brought this vision to life. I’m incredibly proud to work with an artist and a team who is willing to address sensitive topics through art. It’s time to talk about it.”
RAYE’s new single ‘Hard Out Here’ is available to stream now on all digital platforms.