Does Rae Morris, a young, female British vocalist, have the data and the voice to be a Next Big Sound?
There’s no denying that the UK is a hotspot for producing talented modern female vocalists. Think of names like Adele, Florence Welch, Ellie Goulding, Emile Sande and Leona Lewis — they’re all British and they’ve all got worldwide attention.
And while of course there’s plenty of up-and-coming Brits, this week while curating the NBS 15 we stumbled upon Rae Morris who not only caught our eye with huge accelerations in data, but also had a sound we thought similar to the British chart-toppers ahead of her.
Morris is a 19-year-old singer, songwriter from the northern seaside town of Blackpool with a mature sound that surpasses her youth. She’s been writing and playing small gigs for nearly two years, but she’s now beginning to hit her stride after finishing her schooling, being featured on BBC Introducing, a show on the British radio channel that showcases emerging talent, and getting a chance to play Reading and Leeds. And what’s more is that, though she’s always been a talented pianist, it wasn’t until more recently that she discovered her powerful, soothing voice.
Now signed to a record deal with Atlantic Records UK, Morris just released her first, three track EP in the UK on November 18. But preluding that EP drop, she released her first major video for the track “Grow,” and it seems that when she did so, the social media world went nuts for her. Across the spectrum, from Facebook page likes, to Twitter mentions, YouTube views and SoundCloud plays, she saw strong increases. But it was people taken note of her music video for the track Grow that showed the most dramatic acceleration, blasting from 15.1K views in the three weeks before the video drop to 317.1K views in the three weeks after - an increase of more than 2000 percent and close half of her total YouTube views.
There’s no telling what about the video sent her YouTube views through the roof, but you have to assume it might have something to do with her raw, soulful croon that resembles her contemporaries Adele and Florence Welch. Or maybe it was the help of a major label now backing her. Either way, it’s too soon to say if she’ll grow to be as renowned as those other British queens of pop — it’s long way from 6000 Twitter fans to 10 million — but for now she’s showing all the signs that she’s headed in the right direction.
Check out her video for “Grow” below and tell us what you think.
Photo Credit: Screen grab live version of Don’t Go
Billy Mitchell is the data journalism intern for music analytics company Next Big Sound. Mitchell is currently a graduate student at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute focusing on magazine writing. Before joining the Next Big Sound team, the Newport News, VA native worked with CMJ and Rolling Stone.