Even Major Lazer felt compelled to hit her up to see if she wanted to work with them. “Major Lazer followed me and reached out saying he wanted to do a session. Which was sick, because I remember always saying to myself when I was younger, ‘I’m gonna have a Major Lazer collab one day.’ It was really dope. I’ve been in the studio with some crazy people, so it’s been really insane.” Her latest collaboration, however, isn’t a musical one. This year has seen the Londoner partner up with Timberland to celebrate the launch of their London Square: Icon boots. Collaborating on a brand new, ‘90s-inspired visual for Wideboys’ UK garage edit of her song “Decline”, RAYE and friends can be seen running round the block, having fun, rocking the re-imagined iconic yellow Timberland boot that infiltrated pop culture in the ‘90s by way of American rap stars.
The fact that these shoes bring together city style with a suitability to the great outdoors, is not entirely unlike RAYE’s eclectic output — marrying pop with hip-hop, R&B, club music, Afrowave and dance music. As she looks ahead to her own bright future (which includes her 21st birthday at the end of this month), she’s already thinking of her legacy and making a wider impact in her London Icons. Principally, she’s keen to offer encouragement to other young women looking to get their foot in the door of the music industry.
“Work your bloody ass off,” she implores. “You have to work three times as hard and you have to deal with being lonely. There will be ups and downs, and a lot of no’s. As women, we really have to hustle and support each other as well. I would always say that. You should never see another women as your competition, unless they’re nasty to you or give you a reason for that. Always support the women around you. I think that’s so important.”