Saturday nights in the Lower East Side are typically crawling with artists and their guitar cases rushing to their next gig and filled with partially belligerent fans scattering about to find the nearest music venue. But last night, Rockwood Music Hall housed a one-of-a-kind bluesy, dreamy, folky, and all together beautiful showcase from Raye Zaragoza; your new favorite singer-songwriter.
When Raye takes the stage she resembles the presence of a revolving door. It’s as if every time she opened her mouth she would deliver a seemingly flawless note with more and more people rushing in from the streets.
Raye is a New York based singer songwriter who has been training in live music for years. Unsurprisingly, given her natural talents, it gives me no pause to learn that her father is Broadway actor Gregory Zaragoza, who had her started at a young age. Her sound is seasoned, technical, classic, and effortless at the same time.
Raye has been a part of the music scene here in New York for years, frequenting venues like Arlene’s Grocery, The Knitting Factory, and Bizarre Bar in Brooklyn. Back in 2013 she was even a featured artist at LA Skins Music Fest, which must have inspired her in someway, seeing as Raye is now relocating to Los Angeles.
“All my songs are about New York, I don’t know what I’m doing going to LA. What am I going to write about?” Raye jokes in between songs.
The room was so involved in her, she had them completely captivated. Through the crowded audience, I couldn’t tell if it was her beautiful lyrics about love, heartbreak, and New York City, or if it was her undeniable beauty and genuine stage presence, that had everyone so enchanted. But regardless, the room was silent as she sung, and roaring with applause when she finished.
Raye’s sound is reminiscent of Norah Jones, Billie Holliday, and Eva Cassidy. She’s a strong vocalist, but perhaps even a stronger writer. Her arrangements are simple, clean and highlight the lyrics of her songs. All of which are relatable without being boring, and beautiful without being over the top. Her EP, Heroine (available on SoundCloud and Spotify), is a beautiful collection of songs that represent her vibe perfectly: a classic and moving artist.
Though this is her farewell show in New York, to end things Raye just sweetly says, “thank you,” as she strums the last note on her guitar- because this is not goodbye - you'll being seeing amazing things from this girl from here on out.
Stay up to date with her music and live stream the Heroine EP below:
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