Kedar Massenburg’s Midas touch is partially responsible for D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, India.Arie, Kem and Chico Debarge’s late ’90s reemergence, but now he’s working his magic on a trio of energetic young ladies who’ve come together to form Rawyals. Their name is a play on their raw talent and energy, coupled with the affirmation of their status as queens. The trio has made New York their home base for recording and the process of gelling as a unit to bring together their debut album. Answering Massenburg’s call for talent to form the group, Bel flew in from Washington State, Asia from Los Angeles, while Ariel was already in New York, and the three soon become the clear choices to shape what became Rawyals.
It hasn’t taken long for the group to make an impression; their debut single “King Me,” featuring Fetty Wap, has been making noise throughout the summer, setting the table for what’s to come. What’s to come is Our Queendom, an album that showcases not only how far they’ve come as a group, but their individual talent and influences. Hailing from three entirely different places and mixed with various cultures, Rawyals has developed a sound that’s sets them apart from what we’ve heard in the past and definitely what we’re hearing now.
The ladies have created their own lane under Massenburg’s tutelage and garnered praise from 50 Cent, who says, “There is a clear lane in music being left wide open,” he said. “These ladies are prepared to fill it. Call it crazy, sexy, cool or destiny, but they are the new wave.” There are obvious allusions in that statement to TLC and Destiny’s Child, the two super groups to precede Rawyals as pop music royalty, which creates huge expectations, but the ladies are ready to travel that road, though they’re careful not to volley any comparisons or expectations. With the exception of their uniqueness and welcoming all into the queendom. The ladies are focused on delivering messages of empowering, embracing who you are and striving to be your best self, at all times.
Initially, Our Queendom was to be preceded by In the Raw, an EP, but the buzz garnered by “King Me” and the quality of material they were putting together caused the Rawyals brain trust to scrap the EP in exchange for their debut full-length. The move surprised, but also excited the ladies, because the work they’ve been putting in was not going to be easy to limit or hold off. Instead, songs they’ve recorded with the likes of Wale, Remy Ma, and Troy Ave. will be released sooner than later. How much sooner remains to be seen. But one thing’s for sure, the ladies of Rawyals are ready.
Stay current with Rawyals via Twitter and be prepared for Our Queendom this fall.
Between rhetoric and reality is where you’ll find Al-Lateef Farmer; Black man, husband, social documentarian, and slinger of Soul by the pound. His brand of social commentary, rooted in independent thought can be found at www.theworldaccording2teef.com and on Twitter @wrldacrdng2teef.