Where They’re From: Atlanta, Georgia
When They Started: 2014
Sounds like: A sun hat-wearing Pied Piper of plugged-in flower children.
Raury sings, writes, raps, and plays the guitar. He’s a 17-year-old from the eastern suburbs of Atlanta and the two songs and video that he released last week made him an instant sensation.
As the video for “God’s Whisper” unfurls, Raury and his friends show of just how extremely artsy, stylish, thoughtful high schoolers can get. It makes the cool kids on Beverly Hills 90210, A Different World, The OC, and Gossip Girl look like shallow dweebs. As Raury saunters around the scenery singing about alienation and finding inspiration in the sublime, his friends drink and frolic around bonfires. Vaguely tribal chanting and beats tie in with some of the Southwestern-inspired hip-hop looks featured.
Raury makes genre-bending seem fresh. His other track “Bloom” is a folksy love ballad with a rap interlude. Like fellow ATL rapper, Kap G, the southern influence is there to be teased out within subtle claps, love for bass, and homey drawling. Like Lorde, he’s got a bit of a savior complex (you wonder if he is the God whispering to his followers), but you can’t help but be attracted to their optimism for undervalued millennials. There’s not much information out yet about his forthcoming project Indigo Child, but Raury has created a captive audience for it overnight.