After years of difficulty with record labels, Raye is a newly independent artist, and is finally gearing up to release her long-anticipated debut album. Kicking off her new era, she has released the raw, powerful new anthem, “Hard Out Here.”
On “Hard Out Here,” Raye takes aim at her old label, as well as norms established by the heteropatriarchy.
“What you know about systems / About drugged drinks / F*cking nearly dying from addictions,” she rap-sings over a haunting, thumbing, percussion-driven beat.
“I was very angry and in a lot of pain when the bones of ‘Hard Out Here’ were solidified,” said Raye in a statement. “I wrote this song because I needed this song. ‘Hard Out Here’ is about the bounce back, a rant reflecting on the last eight years of my career, and me preparing to take control of my narrative, my art, and my life truly for the first time.”
Raye also revealed that she had come up with the concept for “Hard Out Here” when she was 19 years old, however, Polydor, the label she signed with in 2014, wouldn’t allow her to release the song.
In the song’s accompanying music video, directed by Mikey Robbins, Raye dons several wigs and various lingerie outfits. In different scenes of the video, she performs for a group of people in suits, seemingly symbolic of record label representatives.
Over the years, Raye has penned tracks for the likes of Charli XCX, Beyoncé, John Legend, Rita Ora, and more. She has also contributed vocals to EDM tracks from David Guetta, Disclosure, and Louis The Child. Now, as an independent artist, she is finally able to let the world hear her on her own terms.
Check out “Hard Out Here” above.