This years BRITs Critics Choice award winner Rag n Bone man had an incredible end to 2016 and is set to take 2017 by storm.
Born Rory Graham, Rag n Bone Man has beautiful bluesy tones which do not mirror the image of the 31 year old. At 6ft 5in tall, bearded and covered with tattoos, Rory has been met with criticism regarding his appearance which he has shrugged off and disregarded even saying he blocks trolls on social media who do not have anything nice to say.
Coming from a musical family, he has been surrounded by talent from a young age so it was without doubt that Rag n Bone man would be a shining star. Originally from Uckfield, a small Sussex village, he was frequently in trouble as a child due to there not being much for him to do however he did get involved with pirate radio stations to kick start his interested in Hip Hop and Jungle genre. Brighton became his home from 18 where he started the open mic scene with the support of his father. Having spent his youth wanting to be a rapper, it was at this point his confidence grew as a singer following fantastic feedback from old time crooners who had been working the scene for a number of years.
His impeccable voice is one you would expect from the Deep South of America rather than a seaside town in England however this 21st century blues man has blown many other artists out of the water. His collaborations have created complimentary tracks whereby the listener literally stops what they are doing to listen. My favourite is Remains which he sings with Bastille and Skunk Anansie however I absolutely love his duet with Gregory Porter alongside Jools holland and his rhythm and blues orchestra. This performance was outstanding and I would recommend checking it out online! The infectious blues genre grabs the attention of its audience immediately and having been influenced by the likes of Muddy Waters, Rag n Bone man will certainly have you stop in your tracks. Surprisingly he has received no vocal training or lessons and the sound we have grown to love is 100% natural and developed over time by singing along to his favourite music.
Rory has completed many interviews over the past few months and journalists are keen to understand his influences for his lyrics. He has said that when on tour your life is boring and as such he takes inspiration speaking to people about their lives and writing lyrics accordingly. Having said that there is a lot of personal lyrics that are making there way onto the songs and these are easily related to by the listener.
His debut record, Human, has been released and shot to the top of the charts. Rag n Bone man wanted to ensure that the album isn’t as expected by fans and includes a track called Life in Her Yet which was written in 2013 and appeared on the Wolves EP at the time. Life in Her Yet is a very personal song to Rory and his family having been written about his Grandma and he was really keen to get this out there and on the album with the support of his family. Human was written following a friend asking for advise to which he didn’t have the answers and the track is about admitting that you do not always have the answers however media and fans have given it more of a connotation surrounding humanity which also fits well especially given the way of the world at the moment. The album references all of his influences and takes you on a musical journey which becomes your vice however the sheer force of his vocals really make the record what it is.
Rag n Bone man will be performing at a number of live events this year including Wildlife festival, Common People, Isle of Wight Festival and Lovebox to name just a few and I am very much looking forward to catching him.