Making your dreams come true is no easy feat. It takes hard work, patience, and drive; all things that up and coming singer-songwriter Raiche possesses.
Hailing from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the small-town star relocated to Boston for a fresh start in her career. After working closely with Boston’s own DJ Knock Out, she inked a deal with Atlantic Records’ Island Prolific imprint in December 2017. From there, things surely began to fall into place. In the summer of 2018, Raiche premiered her debut single “Money Pies.” Soon after, she unleashed “Complicated” as her soulful follow-up.
Now, she serves up Drive, her debut EP. With her sultry and smoky voice behind the wheel, listeners can bucket up for a smooth but vibrant ride.
A dainty classical piano steers off the title track of the EP. With sped up backing from rhythmic snaps and a booming drum pattern, Raiche sings confidently about pushing forward through obstacles to go after what she wants. But what translates loud and clear through on the title track is the assurance she has in herself on this promising path.
Following the persevering theme of the previous song is “Lights Out.” Adding a bit of sonic brightness to Drive, the motivational lyrics depict a straightforward picture of making it out of the dark. It’s evident here that Raiche hasn’t easily acquired the things she has worked for, even though she has quickly appeared on our radar.
The standout track of the EP is Raiche’s current single “Complicated” which samples “I Miss You” by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. As one of the more personal songs, the mellow jam grapples between choosing oneself over a difficult relationship. With the makings of a quintessential soul song, hurt and pain adhere to the track like a coat of paint. Self-worth trumps all the memories in this case as Raiche reminds her former lover that while she misses him dearly, her self-pride takes precedence.
Raiche brings the current trap and R&B fusion into the fold on “047.” In her bag on the hazy beat, the singer lets her ex know that the days of taking advantage of her are over.
“Boys like you can’t see when they got something really real / Girls like me will stay just ‘cause we feel the way we feel,” she sings over the pulsating beat. There is victory at the end of the song, confirming that her one-time lover lost out on someone special.
Bringing it back to an up-tempo feel, “Money Pies,” the EP’s lead single, is a lively take on all the things that the grind and hustle is to bring. Raiche highlights her background, where she comes from and how far it has taken her. The dreamy-like production lends to the definitive lyrics, “Dreamin’, livin’, bustin’ / Grindin’, winnin’, lovin’ / Workin’, never close my eyes / I want money pies.”
“I Got You” is the celebration that came from the diligence and focus of the aforementioned tracks. Reverting the project to a chill feel, Raiche toasts to the good life while proving naysayers wrong. Delivering each verse akin to a rap cadence, Raiche beams in confidence as she name-drops labels like Dolce & Gabbana and delights in champagne.
In many cases, it’s usually the woman who is asking the man to spend time with her and give her attention. The tables have certainly turned on “Busy.” Over a ‘60s-inspired beat, Raiche would much rather dedicate herself to some well spent me time than go out on a date. Considering we are in a time where women are unapologetically stepping into themselves and putting themselves first, this song is quite punctual.
Looking in the rearview mirror, Drive is a sample of sounds and genres that give you a taste of who Raiche is as an artist. She uses her unique voice in multiple ways that are quirky and fun. This refreshing sound, which adds texture and character to each track, is one that we haven’t heard in a while.
For Drive being her first project, it makes you look forward to what’s coming next from this rising artist.