British singer/songwriter RAYE recently topped the chart in her native United Kingdom with “Escapism,” featuring 070 Shake. It’s become her first U.S. hit single, thanks to — just maybe —a little help from above.
The song started with an idea RAYE had to write a song about someone who engages in substance abuse so they can deal with difficult situations. She tells People that when her producer played her a beat to go with the song, it was so perfect that she had to quickly leave the room to ask for help.
“I was like, ‘Holy s**t, guys. Give me one second,'” she tells People. “I went to the bathroom and said, ‘Dear God. This beat slaps. Help me write something so lit on this. Amen.'”
The song blew up on TikTok and became her first to chart in the U.S. She tells People, “I prepared myself, before we started releasing music from this new chapter, to remove any desire or goal for chart success … I’m still trying to figure out how to process everything that’s happened because … everything just started happening so fast. It’s so validating.”
“Escapism” is from RAYE’s album My 21st Century Blues, which, in addition to substance abuse, deals with topics like sexual assault and body dysmorphia. It’s out now.
“As someone who struggled with a lot of different subjects in silence and on my own, for this album I really wanted to lift the lid on the smoke and mirrors that even I felt like I needed to uphold for so many years,” she says. “To be honest, some of the stuff I’m discussing, some of my closest friends don’t even know.”
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