Although performing live hasn’t been an option for some time now, UK R&B star Ray BLK has been phenomenally busy during lockdown. She’s hosted a special Black History Blackout Radio show for Apple music; she’s spoken at Oxford University, Cambridge University and given a TED Talk; she handled hosting duties for Dotty’s Agenda show on Apple Music for 12 weeks; and she collaborated with Giggs on a track.

In between all of that she’s been tireless writing and recording songs for her long overdue debut album. The album’s still a little way off, but to tide us over she’s just dropped off her new single, “Dark Skinned”. As powerful as it is uplifting, the new track celebrates her complexion and raises up those she describes as “the underrepresented, the over plagiarised and uncredited.” 

Speaking about the track, Ray BLK said: “This song, to me, is a celebration of being dark-skinned. The conversation around race often feels heavy and negative, but I love my Blackness and it is a privilege to be Black. A lot of people told me it would be hard to break into this industry because of the colour of my skin, but I believe that whatever the situation, I am going to shine regardless and I refuse to cater to that ideology. I always try to remind people of this in my music, like with the ‘My Hood’ lyric, ‘Through concrete flowers grow’ and now on ‘Dark Skinned’, I say: ‘I’m even glowing in the dark.’ I want people to say yes to themselves when the world keeps telling them no.”

Press play on “Dark Skinned” and stay tuned for more on Ray BLK’s upcoming debut album.