After her triumphant performance at Royal Albert Hall, UK’s powerhouse hitmaker Raye, has released My 21st Century Symphony (Live At Royal Albert Hall), the highly anticipated live version of her album, My 21st Century Blues, which was released in February this year. The 25 year old singer-songwriter teamed up with The Heritage Orchestra and The Flames Collective to deliver a masterclass in orchestral pop music – a collaboration that has managed to perfect an almost perfect debut album.
The choir and orchestral infusion Raye and her team have put into this celebrated pop album uplifts and intensifies each song’s intended mood, whether that’s with the heart-wrenching yet inspirational ballad “Ice-cream Man”, or with the entrancing dance single, “Black Mascara”. Additional interludes, preludes, overtures and requiems allowed for conductor Tom Richards to showcase his own vision (or sound, mind you) of Raye’s musical prowess, intertwined sonically with original arrangements fans loved from the original album.
Listeners gain an insight into Raye’s infectious stage presence and sense of humour, “Are you f****** joking”, she screams in joy and disbelief at the beginning of the album to 3,442 cheering attendees.
“I will never forget this night – as long as I live,” she announces to the crowd at the end of the album, followed by music of which you imagine her twirling and dancing off stage.
Perhaps her biggest hit off the studio album, “Escapism”, comes as the encore performance on the live version – originally a genre-bending take on a “pop” song, now transformed with the epic cacophony of the haunting, Phantom of the Opera-esque organ, electric guitar and of course, Raye’s unwavering vocals echoed by the powerful harmonies of The Flames Collective.
“The show of my entire career, I can’t handle this… I cannot believe this is my real life after all these years of hustle and monstrous dreams, my city saw me for the artist I truly want to be and continue to strive to be,” she stated in a celebratory Instagram post.
The release of this live album comes after a string of successes for the London-born singer. Not only did “Escapism” chart at no.1 in the UK singles chart at the beginning of the year, or that her current collaboration “Prada” with CaSSo and D-Block Europe is currently at no.2 on the charts, but she was also shortlisted for the prestigious Mercury Prize back in July – an award that goes to the best album recorded by a UK artist.
Last week, Raye appeared on The Late Show starring Jimmy Fallon to perform a medley of “Escapism/Worth It” accompanied by a smaller orchestra to promote the release.
Raye’s popularity is growing by the day on an international scale, currently touring worldwide – taking a short break only to rehearse for the live recording at Royal Albert Hall. Raye is currently touring the U.S but will return for several sold-out shows in the UK this November/December. See below for UK touring dates:
29/11/2023 – Bridlington Spa Centre – Bridlington
30/11 – O2 Academy Glasgow – Glasgow
01/12 – NX – Newcastle Upon Tyne
02/12 – O2 Apollo Manchester – Manchester
05/12 – O2 Academy Birmingham – Birmingham
07/12 – O2 Academy Bristol – Bristol
Listen to My 21st Century Symphony (Live At Royal Albert Hall) here: