Raury’s hands are trembling to a small degree. Still, the 17-year-old singer's ambition is tenacious, like his talent.
When visiting the Billboard New York office on Friday (Feb. 28), along with his management (LoveRenaissance) and marketing (GFCnewyork) teams, it's visible that the new artist from Atlanta is nervous but it's not long before he opens up and shares about himself, prepping everyone for a wave of enthusiasm.
Inspired by a range of soundscapes from artists including Bon Iver, Andre 3000, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins and Kid Cudi (whose work such as 'Man on the Moon' series helped him gain confidence through its "loner kid perspective"), Raury’s been nourishing his craft of singing, songwriting and production since the age of nine. "Growing up, I always had music in the back of my mind, before I even knew what it was. By the time I was nine, my friend and I would talk about what we were going to do and my life purpose," he says. A life purpose that's evolved from getting "money so I can have all the girls" to "living a fearless life."
What distinguishes Raury from others lies in the marriage between his utopian songwriting and guitar-driven melodies, the majority of which he produced. Check out Raury's first single, "God's Whisper," premiered exclusively here on The Juice.
"I was fucking pissed. I hated school. My mom found out I smoked pot. She was patronizing me all the time. I just wanted to drop out and focus on what I wanted to do which was music," Raury says of the inspiration behind the song. "I thought school was a system of indoctrination and brainwashing, and they just want you to go to school, graduate, have kids and die. That's something I won't compromise. I won’t live my life on my knees."
"When they see a person like me, who doesn’t give a fuck, following through the school system, they look down upon me. They think I'm nothing. But they have something coming because I hear God’s whisper. That means, my intuition, my natural calling in life is what God's whisper is. When I say, 'I am the savior,' I'm spreading that message to others. You have that whisper to you. You have your intuition. You have your own natural calling that you have to trust and follow," he continues.
"God's Whisper" is the first single from the new artist's 10-song EP, "Indigo Child."'Indigo Child' is a series of life changing movies. I like to make songs that are cinematic in a way," he says. "This project speaks from the perspective of young kids today. It's very inspirational and to the people that listen to it, it'll make them want to go and find what they love and use that shit to take over the world." All songs are written by him, while only eight of the ten are produced by him.
The title behind the album is inspired by the generation which Raury belongs to, who he hopes will "save humanity": "With us goring up with the internet, as kids we learn so much so fast. We’re exposed to so many things to the point where we become more open-minded and naturally have tolerance for race, sex, gender… We aren’t limited to our cities around us. I think those walls of regionalism are about to change."
While he prepares to graduate this year from Atlanta's Tucker High School, Raury already feels more than confident about his abilities: "I'm going to say it, I’m going to be one of the greatest lyricists out here. I am one of the greatest lyricists out here, fuck it."