- 06 Aug 21
'I’m still trying to keep in touch with her and make sure she’s alright as often as I can,' Anne-Marie told Hot Press this week.
Anne-Marie has shared some words of wisdom for fellow English singer-songwriter Raye, who recently parted ways with her record label Polydor after she claims the organisation refused to release her albums.
At the end of June, Raye shared an emotional series of tweets in which she said she was "sick of being slept on" by Polydor - despite signing a four-album deal with the label back in 2014.
The prolific 23-year-old musician has shared her Euphoric Sad Songs EP and singles with Polydor, wracking up hits after collaborating with the likes of Regard ('Secrets'), David Guetta, Joel Corry ('Bed') Jax Jones and many more over the years. And yet, an album was never unveiled to the world.
Raye claimed in July that her label has denied her the right to share finished music, tweeting "I have had albums on albums of music sat in folders collecting dust, songs I am now giving away to A-list artists because I am still awaiting confirmation that I am good enough to release an album.”
"I’ve done everything they asked me, I switched genres, I worked 7 days a week, ask anyone in the music game, they know," Raye (real name Rachel Agatha Keen) tweeted. "I’m done being a polite pop star. I want to make my album now, please that is all I want. Holding it inside and pretending I am 100% fabulous will only hurt more. So here it is. Today I feel like a toilet. I’m going to be brave and talk about it. You are not alone, we can talk about our worries and our tears. It’s not embarrassing to speak out, It is brave."
"Sometimes we don’t speak out of fear, we stay silent," Raye added. "I’m really glad I spoke out today. Regardless of the consequences tomorrow, today you have made me feel heard."
MNEK, Rina Sawayama and Charli XCX, among others, spoke out in support of the South Londoner, who eventually choose to move forward as an independent artist. As a fellow singer-songwriter in the same circle of the pop world, Anne-Marie teamed up with the ‘Call On Me’ vocalist to pen Therapy track ‘x2’.
Speaking to Hot Press this week, the Essex pop star confirmed that she remained in contact with Raye after the pair had songwriting sessions together.
“I feel for her. I’m still trying to keep in touch with her and make sure she’s alright as often as I can. She got into the industry so young, whereas I got into it a bit later on, so I hope she can find her way and feel happy with herself. I can only speak from my personal experience, really. My own problems really came from me not thinking I was good enough. I hope it’s not the same for her situation, because she’s literally one of the best songwriters ever - so I truly hope she doesn’t feel that way."
"It’s difficult, especially in her case because she’s equally a songwriter and an artist, whereas I never go into a session and write for someone else," Anne-Marie added. "I’ve never been branded just a songwriter. That’s also annoying for me, because some people never see me as a songwriter but I do write my tracks. It’s a tough balance, it’s almost like you can’t be both. You’re trying to prove all the time that you can write music and be a pop star at the same time.”
Back in January, Raye remarked how tough an industry the music business is for a female producer and singer-songwriter in the pop world to Hot Press.
“You know what’s sad is that I’ve met a lot of female producers who have stopped making music because they felt either totally dismissed or harassed, and it’s really awful,” Raye explained. “It’s a constant struggle for women, even in 2021. We’re doing a lot of incredible things in front of the camera. Women are levelled up as equals in the media, making it seem like all of these amazing changes are happening, but behind the scenes, it’s still so tough.”
“I was in the studio not too long ago co-producing a track, and then someone barged in when the song was basically done, realised that it was a good song and basically bullied their way onto having a little cut in it. Then their name is above mine in huge writing. It’s just disrespectful,” Raye continued.
“I can’t wait to tell people I’m a producer and not have to prove it before I’m taken seriously. This is what I’m used to since I started writing at 17. You are underestimated and looked down upon until you prove otherwise, which I have worked very hard to do.”
Revisit the full interview with Raye here.