Somewhere in between the stylings of Andre 3000 and Miguel with the musicality of Coldplay and Bon Iver, Atlanta musician Raury is making waves with his eclectic sound.
After being tapped for the 2015 edition of the Freshman Class cover presented by XXL Magazine, Raury is gearing up for the release of his debut studio album, All We Need. The 19-year-old artist, whose music is a blend of indie rock, hip hop, soul, and funk – released a mixtape entitled Indigo Child in late 2014, and later inking a deal with Columbia coming soon thereafter.
The self professed “future of hip-hop” appropriately sees Kanye West as an influence, as well as a fan. After viewing the evocative video for the folk-rap single “God’s Whisper,” Yeezus was so moved by its imagery that he flew Raury from Atlanta to L.A. to meet with the burgeoning star. “Royals” singer Lorde showed her appreciation for the artist when she tapped him to appear on the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1. Additionally, he has been in the studio with the likes of Joey Bada$$, SBTRKT, and Key!, also opening up for OutKast during their recent anniversary tour.
His non-mainstream debut, Indigo Child, was released via the Atlanta creative collection LoveRenaissance, was comprised of earthy campfire songs, acoustic indie, flamboyant electric guitar, Kid Cudi-influenced lyricism. Expectedly, the project ranges in tone and topic, from the bluesy and soulful “Cigarette Song,” to the psychedelic “Seven Suns” – both of which are must listens. The title for the project came from a New Age concept which proposes a generation freed from narrow-mindedness willing to improve the world. Raury describes himself as an “indigo child who got hold of music,” failing to limit himself to just one aspect of his craft. During a performance in London, he proclaimed that “times are too serious to be making music about nothing,” before requesting a moment of silence for “all people unlawfully murdered across the world, not just in America.”
While true millennial, he sometimes exhibits traces of bohemia, usually donning a floppy straw hat (which reportedly reminds him of a memorable fortnight he spent in the woods). He exudes the mentality of a “creative,” expressing a dislike of organized religion (“Man uses that for power and to put himself in the best positions”), as well as the U.S. education system (“I felt like nothing I was learning was something I could apply to life”). He is a refreshing counterpoint to the trap movement that has spawned from Atlanta in the past handful of years.
His current single, “Friends,” features Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello, and is a graceful new wave ballad that teeters precariously on an expansive melody. Raury injects his sweeping vocals over the staccatoed guitar riffs and stadiums-sized drums on the track that grows into a folky journey around the world. In an interview, Raury recanted on how he used to play as Tom Morello on the video game Guitar Hero, adding a great significance to the collaboration.
With a major label release coming soon and backing from some of the more prominent figures in the music industry, it will interesting to see what staying power Raury will prove to have in the months and years to come.
Raury’s All We Need will be released on October 16, featuring Big K.R.I.T., Key!, and RZA. “Friends” is available for listening on all digital retailers.