The results of the BBC’S Sound Of 2017 poll have been announced… and the winner is soul singer Ray BLK
The BBC has named Ray BLK as the winner of Sound Of 2017. The unsigned artist pipped the Critics’ Choice 2017 winner Rag ‘n’ Bone Man to the top spot. The award is renowned for kick-starting the careers of fledgling artists, with previous winners including Adele, Jack Garratt and Ellie Goulding.
Ray BLK – which stands for Building Living Knowing – is the stage name of 22-year-old singer-songwriter Rita Ekwere. Born in Nigeria, Ekwere moved to Catford in south London when she was four. She was school friends with songwriter and producer MNEK, who has worked with the likes of Little Mix and Beyoncé.
The soul singer’s track My Hood, which features grime artist Stormzy, has over 244,300 hits on YouTube. She also released a mini album in October last year called Durt.
Ray BLK said: “Winning the BBC Sound Of 2017 has to be the most surprising thing that’s happened to me thus far.”
Continuing: “I feel so honoured to have topped the list this early in my career and join such an incredible alumni of winners. Thank you so much to the BBC and all the voters!”
Adding: “I’m particularly proud to be a part of this year’s list as it’s full of so much talent, some of whom are independent artists like myself which I really hope inspires the next generation of artists.”
The Top Five list of finalists looks like this:
1. Ray BLK
2. Rag ‘n’ Bone Man
4. Jorja Smith
5. Nadia Rose