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Introducing: Raury

When ‘God’s Whisper’ landed in my inbox, a stomping war cry announced a track forcing you to stand up and take note. Or in my case, turn up and hit repeat on SoundlCloud for the rest of the afternoon. It’s a debut track that sonically resonates Raury‘s call to arms for the rest of the internet generation (a demographic that he has labelled ‘Indigo Children’, and is set to be the title of his forthcoming EP). Musically, his sound reflects a hybird of genres, blending songwirting, singing, rapping and his own production, while citing influences ranging from Andre 3000 to Bon Iver to just about anyone in between.

The seventeen-year-old from Atlanta’s East suburbs stopped by a Starbucks after to school to jump on Skype and tell me about his plan for world domination.

Planet Notion: You came straight from school is that right?
Raury: Waiting for the day to end pretty much. I had a lot of classes – art, chorus, music appreciation.

PN: Can you tell me a bit about Raury musically?
R: I’m a person with a very strong desire to go and see the world, and I have always wanted to be someone who could actually change the world for better. When I was younger I always wanted to be some form of hero. As I grew up it became a more realistic thing with what I could do with my art and with my sound. It sounds very big, grand and heroic because I see myself bringing change to the world. Making things better, particularly in Atlanta. With my sound I try to make it as me as possible

PN: With ‘God’s Whisper’ it felt almost like a call to arms? A stand up and take note kind of song?
R: That’s how I felt. It’s not necessarily my best song but that was like ‘I’m coming, I’m here’ and that’s exactly how I viewed it, as a call to arms. When I wrote this song I imagined crowds of kids just stopping what they are doing, like they were under a spell and storming to wherever I am to get ready to change the world.

PN: I saw that you’ve got Bowie lyrics in your Skype bio, what other artists are you inspired by?
R: It is definitely all over the place. I grew up with my roots in hip-hop, I listened to Tupac all the time. That’s where I get my want to influence and be the face of my youth, but I also listen to everything. Bon Iver is definitely up there in my top three. If I didn’t listen to Bon Iver as heavy as I did – because I believe that all art is imitation – I probably would have never made a song like ‘God’s Whisper’.

PN: Does being from Atlanta influence your music?
R: If anything, being in Atlanta fuels my fire. I feel like according to what is cool or what’s popular, I feel completely alienated and completely different. I feel like I’m treading dangerous waters and I’m behind enemy lines right now. But I also feel awesome because I’m behind enemy lines with an atomic bomb because I’m not the only person like this and there are a lot of people that are just like me. There is no one to be there voice yet. This is a culture in Atlanta that nobody really knows or pays attention to because we are just so young and people like us aren’t doing things yet. With this subculture in Atlanta, I plan to bring it to light with my artistry. At the end of the day, the club music and all that stuff is never going to die. I rock with Trinidad and Gucci, nothing is wrong with everything that they are doing but I feel like Atlanta is a city with more than just that to it.

PN: How would you describe the subculture?
R: I feel like it is the modernised succession of your Andre 3000, your CeeLo Green. There is yet to be anyone to succeed that type of thing. It’s the new cool. Not the hype, not the hood, not the gangsta. It’s the new cool in Atlanta but it goes beyond what they brought out because we listen to more than just hip-hop.

One thing about it is it’s not just Atlanta that has this. I feel like there is a shift taking place in art and in general, where children like me, children of the internet age (what I like to call indigo children, which is the name of the album), we aren’t limited to just what our cities have to offer. And that’s why we draw from everywhere and create this cool blend of everything. I believe Lorde was the first wave of the artists of my generation. She is opening doors for artists like me to come out because we make something that you have to call alternative because you don’t know what it is. It is genre-less music. I believe 5-10 years from now, Lorde and I will really be pioneers of this form of artistry. Groundbreakingly different to everything.

PN: What can we expect from you in the future?
World domination! Seriously though…

- James Embiricos

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