Picture This is a new kind of interview, exclusive to Mahogany, where we take a selection of Instagram’s from an artists profile, and then sit down with them to learn about the stories behind the pictures.
The first artist to feature is Atlanta’s new golden child, Raury. The internet went wild earlier this year when he dropped his tracks ‘God’s Whisper’ and ‘Cigarette Song’ in the run up to his debut LP which is still available as a free download.
Having just finished high school, things are developing rapidly and he’s a phenomenal artist in his own right, carving out a sound amalgamated from so many different genres and artists. Not only that, this month he made it onto the BBC Sound of 2015 list, and he was invited into BBC’s Maida Vale studios to lay down a live track.
There is no doubt that you will be hearing about Raury next year and beyond.
‘Life is An opportunity. Seize it.’
“Back then there was a crazy bidding war [between the labels] going on. We got into a position about a year later, when it was us making the offer. I sat down and told them what was trying to do, and that I wanted to bring about a new era in music — and bring a type of sound to the table that isn’t so two dimensional. The decision on who what label to sign for for all came down to who best understood me and the vision that I have.”
‘Guess who made it out of tucker high school’
“Around my senior year I was there mainly out of respect for my mom because she wanted me to graduate and wanted me to be in a position where if I decided to go to college, I could. At school a lot of it was like ‘remember what I taught you yesterday so that I can test you about it on Friday’ and you pass and that’s it. You don’t take anything away from that. You don’t learn any real self-determination. You learn to be a parrot and hear something and regurgitate it back.”
‘God’s Whisper Videoshoot’
“After that song dropped – and all the reaction from it – my life hasn’t been the same. I’ve had to grow up a lot faster. Six months ago I had to raise my hand in the class to go for a piss!
Right now it’s all about the music. I make music to influence and touch people and help people want to be better versions of themselves. That’s what music did for me. I’d love to sell 100 million albums and sweep the Grammys and things like that but what really matters is that at the end of my career I can say that millions of people got to inspired to chase their dreams. More than anything the fans are more important than the awards and the accolades.”
“That’s some wild shit. We would rent this U-Haul truck. Put my decals on the side of it with removable spray paint, hire out a sound guy and get a generator – then we pull up to the venue of an artist who I consider to have eclectic fans who will get what I’m playing. I’d pull up after the show is over and they’d be a lot of people drunk and trying to figure what to do next – and me and the live band would get up on top and be THAT next thing.
I’d play Gods Whisper and get out of there as fast as I can before the cops shut us down. That show [Tyler, the Creator] I didn’t even get 15 seconds into the song but that doesn’t matter. I went up there with zero fans and come down with 150.”
Thanks to the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch for being so hospitable – and enjoy our exclusive pictures taken by the talented photographer Aron Klein.