While her 2016 solo debut “Queen Alone” leaned more towards soul and R&B with a touch of hip-hop, this changes with her new album. It’s still R&B with the textures of analogue soul, but a strong hip hop influence is emerging that will define Nicole Monique Wray’s work for the future. Boom-bap drums and deep basslines take centre stage, providing the perfect backdrop for Lady Wray to explore the good, the bad, the difficult and the joyful on her most personal collection of songs to date.
Lady Wray’s album is about a higher goal: “My goal is always to help and to heal people with singing”, she said. “Part of that is to try and bring back real music, real singing, so people can feel something again.”
Lady Wray can’t sing without tapping into something deeper, she’s searching for the connection between us all. Maybe this is the result of her church upbringing, or maybe it’s from her years of wandering in the music industry. In any case, Lady Wray wants to bring back the “Good Sound” and the good feelings associated with it. She calls it “those inner hands”, she wants to shake things up again and again, to awaken our attention from within.
The title track “Piece of Me”, which has already become a classic since its release in 2019, is about the people in your life who need more than you’re willing to give. This track and the B-side of the 7″ “Come On In” were the first songs recorded for this album – when Nicole was eight months pregnant with her daughter. Her voice is so powerful, so raw on those first songs, amazing when you think about how they were recorded. And even crazier to know that she recorded them all in one take. Her long-time collaborator and producer Leon Michels skilfully designs the musical foundation with restraint to give Lady Wray enough space.
Previously released singles “Under The Sun” and “Through It All” also testify to the musical quality of Lady Wray and whet the appetite for the new album.
“Piece Of Me” will be released on the 28 January 2022.