North London-based singer and producer Ragz Originale made a name for himself producing for the likes of FKA twigs, SOPHIE and Skepta, notably working alongside the latter on his 2016 album Konnichiwa, including co-producing the smash hit “Shutdown”. Then 2018 saw Ragz step into the limelight, with the release of their debut album Nature, an inward-looking, kaleidoscopic meditation on the relationships with the women in his life.
Since then, Ragz Originale’s focus on his own musical output has resulted in a captivating rollout of EPs, singles, and mixtapes anchored by the musician’s introspective, emotional lyricism and expansive sonic scope. With a discography that toggles between hard and soft as he fuses rap, alternative, R&B, electronic, soul, and hip-hop among other genres, Ragz has crafted an ever-evolving sound all his own, emphasised by tracks such as 2020’s atmospheric slow-burner “4am” and chilly club jam “ring out”.
The past two years in particular have seen the artist reach even higher, thanks to 2021’s WOAH mixtape – a smooth after-hours concoction composed of Afrobeats, synths, and pulsating bass – and 2022’s synergistic, friendship-fueled MINIKINGZ collaboration ICONICY. Inspired in part by early Michael Jackson LPs, Ragz Originale’s new album, Bare Sugar, is due out in 2023, and is likely to see the uncompromising artist sonically metamorphose yet again as he continues to pioneer and revitalise the U.K. alternative scene.
Text Erica Russell