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RAYE on “Escapism” success, winning new fans and Ed Sheeran’s “brilliant” court victory

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ABC/Randy Holmes

RAYE‘s global hit “Escapism” will compete for Best Contemporary Song at The Ivors, the U.K.’s most prestigious songwriting award. Another nominee at next week’s ceremony is Ed Sheeran, and as a fellow British songwriter, RAYE tells ABC Audio she’s relieved he won his copyright trial last week.

RAYE suggests it would’ve been terrible for the songwriting community if Ed had been found guilty of ripping off Marvin Gaye‘s “Let’s Get It On.” 

“He went about it in such a brilliant way, I think,” she says of Ed’s defense; he successfully argued that nobody can own the chords commonly used in pop songs.

“Within pop music, there’s, like, eight to 10 go-to chord phrases and it’s like, what are you supposed to do, invent a new one?” RAYE agrees. “If chord sequences are going to start to become a way to sue someone, that’s ridiculous.”

As for her own composition, RAYE doesn’t know why “Escapism” has become her U.S. breakthrough, but she knew it was special.

“You can’t expect or really control anything. The only thing that you can affect is the quality or the depth and the substance of [who] you are and how you choose to present it,” she says. “So when I created it … I just knew I was so proud of it. And I was like, ‘I really hope people get to hear it.'”

They have: it’s gone Platinum around the world, and she’s currently opening for Kali Uchis‘ tour.

“It’s been really beautiful because I come on in the beginning and by the end, I’m like, ‘There’s at least 10 people here who understand, and are going to go and stream this album,'” RAYE says of the tour. “That’s what it’s about, y’know?” 

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