“Come closer,” Raya sings on “Contact”—and her smooth, seductive vocals tempt listeners to do just that. Inspired by artists including BANKS and FKA Twigs, the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter pairs her clear, alluring voice with an experimental beat and otherworldly production to create a treat that’s more than just a sultry alt-R&B earworm: it’s an exploration, pushing the limits of genre, intimacy, and complicated relationships.
“‘Contact’ is an inside look into my journey as a queer, non-monogamous woman,” Raya says. “I wrote the song during a moment of reflection on the exciting yet shallow relationships I was having with partners due to my inability to be vulnerable. ‘Contact’ explores a moment in time in which my inner monologue reveals itself.”
On “Contact,” Raya contrasts a mysterious and one-of-a-kind sound with an open, candid lyrical journey, ending with a final plea: “Don’t get caught up in the moment, ’cause I’ll let you down.” And as for her voice? It’s the best of both—honest and vulnerable, but still sexy, soulful, and magnetic, an irresistible look into what we can expect from the artist’s forthcoming work.
Top photo by Tina Vlahos
Art direction by Raya
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Lydia Wang is a writer, a Pisces, and one of BUST's digital editors. Find her on Twitter or say hi: firstname.lastname@example.org.