The English dance and R&B singer Raye was born Rachel Keen on 24 October 1997 and brought up in Croydon where she attended the BRIT School. She began her professional musical career in 2014 when she released her debut EP Welcome to the Winter. Her second EP Second was released in 2016 and despite one of the tracks featuring an up-and-coming Stormzy, the EP failed to make an impression on the UK record-buying public. The singer's fortunes changed later that year when she was featured on the Jonas Blue single "By Your Side," which went to number 15 on the UK Singles Chart. Another collaboration released later that year was Jax Jones's "You Don't Know Me," which made it into the top three. She was among the artists featured on the "Bridge Over Troubled Water" charity single to raise money for the families of the victims of the Grenfell Tower Fire in June 2017, and the following year featured on the "Tied Up" single by Major Lazer with Mr. Eazi. In 2019, she won the Impact Award at the BMI Awards and surprise-released her debut mini-album Euphoric Sad Songs for Polydor in November 2020. She retreated to a cabin in Utah with producer Mike Sabath to record her debut studio album My 21st Century Blues, which was released to critical acclaim in February 2023 and spawned a chart-topping single in "Escapism" with 070 Shake—her first song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.