Believe it or not, Ragz Originale produced your favourite Skepta songs, but ever since then he’s been making his mark on music with some of the most magical, tantalising R&B to date. Bare Sugar is an extension of this, his stunning magnetism when it comes to making music is not to be missed. 

He does a great job of creating some form of exclusivity in the lifestyle he describes within this album by opening it up with ‘not everyone can be a star feat. LOLA’. The entirety of the record feels rich and soaked in opulence from the lyrics to the production – very satisfying and polished. The record focuses on themes of lust and temptation, creating an incredibly amorous atmosphere. It’s the kind of album you’d press play on when you’re on the way to see someone you’re infatuated with – you’re not together, yet. The perfect soundtrack for sneaking around. 

Orignale’s voice is sugary sweet and smooth like satin. At times he’ll be singing and  the lyrics are often written as if they were rap lyrics yet he vocalises these bars with suave intimacy. An example of this being “So far we intact / Matching the shoes and bag / We missed out on the Nike collab / Best silhouette she never had” on ‘pretty girls luv supreme’.

On tracks like ‘girls kiss girls’ and ‘ego’ he takes a simpler approach to the writing and structure of the songs, allowing the listener to focus on the production.

His vocals are smooth and he adds just the right amount of reverb onto his adlibs to make them sound like a voice in your head, creating an almost conversational atmosphere – and it can be especially heard on fan favourite (well, mine anyway) ‘troublin’.

With a gorgeous array of features, from showcasing upcoming talents to our alternative favs in the UK scene, the chemistry that Ragz has with each of his collaborators on this record feels particularly interconnected. Bakar’s iconic indie style runs through the veins of ‘Long stay’. On ‘what comes next’ Dua Saleh’s vocals are ethereal and enchanting, complimenting 24hoursav’s soft yet sultry vocals that grace the chorus with an alluring confidence. Sampha’s vocals on ‘flashbacks’ elevate the track to a higher place – the combination of his rich vocals and Ragz’s production is top tier – the way he oscillates his tone to match the flow’s intricate production is simply exquisite. It’s a project laced with the testament of how beautiful intentional collaboration can be.

The production is the glue that ties it altogether, the hi-hat heavy drums give it a slight hip hop rhythm while the sensational synths allow it to slide to the melody of R&B. It’s got a real luxury sound to it, and makes you feel rich and sexy whenever you press play – so make sure you do.

Listen to Ragz Originale’s debut album, Bare Sugar below.

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Kat Friar