Film, TV and Music, Jacob Anderson has done it all. You might know him as Grey Worm, I know him as Raleigh Ritchie.
Although starring on arguably the biggest show on TV at the moment, Game of Thrones, many don’t know of his exploits into the music industry. In fact, a lot of people are surprised by the fact that Grey Worm takes time off from slaying for Daenerys Targaryen to pursue other interests.
Widely tipped for big things, however his debut album didn’t gain as much success as many had anticipated. Nevertheless ‘You’re a Man Now, Boy’ is officially a top 40 album which is something to be proud of. If his success on TV had been utilised to advertise his music, maybe he’d be even bigger? Yet in interviews, Ritchie has stated that he doesn’t want to be seen as an actor dabbling with music as a side project, after listening to his music, you’ll be able to tell it’s anything but a side project. When talking about his musical career he’s humble and genuine. When speaking to The Guardian, he insists “I don’t want to be on posters. I just want to be good”. This desire to produce quality regardless of the consequences of fame, is evident in songs such as ‘Stronger Than Ever’.
As one of the singles from the album, ‘Stronger than Ever’ leads into the theme of his first album. Even though this was released in 2014, it still develops the story of Ritchie’s worry and struggle with becoming an adult. In The Guardian he revealed that he was “terrified by the responsibilities of adulthood”. During the interview Ritchie he explained further “There’s a sharp contrast between where I was three or four years ago to now. I would have said when I was 19, 20 – I don’t want kids, I don’t want to get married, don’t want a house, I just want to do my own little thing. Now I can feel the complete opposite and I’m scared for a completely different reason. That’s definitely a theme in it and You’re a Man Now Boy is the song that is the summation of it all. That’ll probably the last track on the album.”
The passion that stems from this is continued in Bloodsport ’15, a re-release from the same EP as ‘Stronger than Ever’ in 2014, ‘Black and Blue Eyes’.
Genre-defying is often used nonsensically, but in this case, it’s completely true. There’s no one box Raleigh Ritchie fits into, Bloodsport ’15 starts as a slow R&B track, building into a stadium filling deep soul ballad. Whilst ‘Keep it Simple’ on the surface, seems like a funky pop song. The lyrics guide us through a personal story in his own thoughts, all whilst fitting in a quick cameo from grime hero, Stormzy.
‘On Fire’ is his first musical venture since his debut album, on which he collaborates with Chris Loco. The single takes a new direction compared to the album, the dance inspired track develops on his soulful style. Is this what’s next to conquer for Raleigh Ritchie? Or will his acting career take precedent in his life? Here’s hoping we get to hear more music sooner, rather than later.
Raleigh Ritchie’s humble manner, musical intelligence and expertise in expressing emotions through his songs, are why he is, and will be one of my favourite artists for a long time.
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