The Sound of poll started in 2003, with the electronic-fusion artist Jack Garrett winning 2016’s poll.
This year’s longlist primarily showed the burgeoning talent coming out of the UK’s rap, soul and grime scene. Ray, who has collaborated with grime star Stormzy on My Hood, her tribute to Catford, south London, draws from the likes of Missy Elliott and Timbaland’s textured rap, along with Ramp;B and pop.
Following in the footsteps of Adele and Ellie Goulding, the London singer and rapper tops the annual list of artists to watch this year
“It’s amazing and well deserved that Ray BLK has won this year’s Music Sound of 2017,” said Jamal Edwards, founder of SB.TV and an early supporter of Ray. “I was blown away when I first watched her perform last year. The reaction was brilliant, with everyone raving about her songs, style, voice and that she is the whole package. It is a strong start to the year for her … and I know she’s going to have an amazing year ahead. I can’t wait to see what’s next. She’s something special.”
The 22-year-old follows in the footsteps of Adele, Ellie Goulding and Sam Smith to become the artist the music industry believes will be ordained for greatness this year. Ray said she was “honoured” to have topped the list at this stage of her career. “Winning the sound of 2017 has to be the most surprising thing that’s happened to me thus far,” the musician said.