Singer RAYE on embracing our individuality and why cancel culture needs to stop

Jayne Cherrington-Cook
·3 mins read
Singer RAYE wishes there was more individualism in the music industry (Photo: Getty Images)
Singer RAYE wishes there was more individualism in the music industry (Photo: Getty Images)

Singer/songwriter RAYE, who’s had huge success working with top artists such as John Legend and David Guetta, is worried that the music industry – and the world as a whole – is not embracing individuality.

The You Don’t Know Me singer was speaking on White Wine Question Time, chatting to Kate Thornton about the ins and outs of the modern music industry.

“It’s like the parameters of what you're allowed to do is just getting tighter,” she said.

“And it's like, you can create something in here, but if you create something ‘out there’, you're just going to get cancelled. It's just becoming more and more fragile.”

She continues: “It needs to be okay for people to have different beliefs and ideas and ideologies and you not be a bad person for it.”

Listen to the full episode of White Wine Question Time below to hear RAYE talk about cancel culture and sexism in the music industry


The pair were discussing Cardi B’s latest video, WAP, which celebrated women’s sexuality but faced criticism when it was released last month.

RAYE, who believes that women get a “harder time” than men in the music industry, says that just because you don’t like something, doesn’t mean you should censure it.

Read more: JK Rowling among 150 public figures to sign open letter criticising 'cancel culture'

“It's art,” she stated. “If you don't like it, that's great – but do you need to condemn it?”

The star, who supported Khalid on his Free Spirit tour last year, said she’s worried that the UK’s cancel culture means we won’t be creating icons anymore – especially those like Amy Winehouse who were unafraid to be themselves.

Icons like Amy Winehouse will be harder to create thanks to cancel culture, says singer RAYE (Photo: Getty Images)
Icons like Amy Winehouse will be harder to create thanks to cancel culture, says singer RAYE (Photo: Getty Images)

“She didn't feel like she needed to dilute anything that she had to say,” she told Thornton.

“That's so bold and brave, especially in the UK, you know? Everyone's putting different things into boxes. How are there going to be icons? Because we are encouraging - and kind of forcing - everyone to be the same thing, to have the same opinions too.”

Read more: Amy Winehouse's mum remembers singer on anniversary of her death

The singer, who like Winehouse attended the Brit School, has been working in the industry since she was just 14. Now she’s happy that her hard work has paid off and helped her achieved the level of success she currently has.

“Everyone's like, what's your plan B?” she said “I don't have a plan B. This is my only plan, you know. I worked really hard, so it does feel like when I look at where I've come from - some little girl from Croydon… It's amazing.”

RAYE’s new single, Natalie Don’t, is out now.

Hear RAYE talk more about her career, including her dreams of creating a family empire and why song writers get the worst deal in the industry, in this week’s White Wine Question Time. Listen now on iTunes and Spotify.