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“Just honored to be in that room”: RAYE competes for top UK songwriting honor Thursday

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Callum Walker Hutchinson

Last year, RAYE was nominated for an award at The Ivors, the U.K.’s most prestigious songwriting award ceremony. This year, she’s nominated again, this time for her global hit “Escapism.” She’s also performing at the ceremony, which is being held Thursday in London. And for RAYE, that old line “it’s an honor just to be nominated” really rings true.

“I definitely identify myself as a songwriter just as much as an artist,” says RAYE. “And I care so much about the songwriting community.”

“Yeah, it is one of the highest honors, to be honest,” she says of The Ivors’ nod for Best Contemporary Song. “I’m so excited to be there, whether we win or not. Whatever. I’m just honored to be in that room again.”

RAYE will be in that room with some good company: Other nominees include Harry Styles and Ed Sheeran, as well as Glass Animals and Kate Bush.

The nomination is the latest seal of approval for the British singer, who’s been working for the past 11 years to break through. She’s sung on other artists’ tracks and co-written material for Beyoncé and Ellie Goulding, among others. But it was “Escapism” and its parent album, 21st Century Blues, that finally earned her critical acclaim and commercial success.

“It takes hard work and a lot of resilience and a lot of persistence to make anything of yourself in this industry, I think,” she tells ABC Audio. “So, yeah, I’m just glad I kept going.”

“I was 14 when I started in this industry seriously and I’ve had the same dreams for a very long time,” she adds. “So it’s just beautiful to be able to see them come true. And also for young RAYE … imagining how she would feel, seeing me now … so, it’s really beautiful.”

(Video contains uncensored profanity.)

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