A couple of things introduced me to Raury this past week.
1. This Complex story hit my Facebook feed and informed me that the 18-year old ATL singer is Kanye West‘s newest co-sign. The buzz around Raury naturally increased when this photo hit Kanye fansite KTT. Shortly after, Raury’s PR team clarified the Kanye x Raury talks.
“The photo was taken shortly after Kanye West saw the “God’s Whisper” video. ‘Ye personally flew Raury out and expressed that he was inspired by the visual,” Raury’s rep told us [Complex] over email. “The two played each others album and just kicked it. However, West is working on his next album and they plan to hit the studio very soon.”
2. OK, so a co-sign from my favorite artist will absolutely pique my curiosity. What took it to another level though was seeing that Raury’s new free project is titled, Indigo Child. This, not too far unlike the title of our new passion project Indigo Minute, of which GWHH co-founder Maksim is leading. See the 3:33 directly to your right? There has to be aligned mindsets here, right?
I had to find out, but first, find out more about who Raury is. Fortunately, he has a series of YouTube videos that effectively do just that. He suggests you watch the ‘Indigo Child Documentary’ before downloading, so that was my first stop as I proceeded through the video playlist below.
I immediately get a forward-thinking, authentic vibe from the ATLien and resonate with his youthful energy in these behind the scenes interviews. I then had to check out the video Kanye was about: “God’s Whisper” and could easily see how ‘Ye liked it. The “Oh na na!”, plus the claps that, together with Raury’s acoustic guitar shape the production, are instantly infectious and reminiscent of ‘Ye’s earlier work. Raury delivers some simple and poignant lyrics that concisely convey his approach, with the start of the second verse really resonating with me.
We are indigos. Living lives we chose.
The video follows Raury and his friends, up to some fun activities, but on a deeper perspective really just illustrating their creative freedom. The chorus will really stick with you too… more on that later.
Next up, I watched Raury’s second, and only other music video for “Cigarette Song”. The video explores a raw relationship he has with a lady friend and features some dope aesthetics in the woods. The ultra treehouse is beautiful and when you get to the end scene, you’ll see some equally beautiful shots that I won’t spoil with words.
Now I want to download Indigo Child and hear more from Raury, who I can sense has some influence from Kid Cudi and his hometown living legend Andre 3000. Start with these previews too and you may hear the same thing and see the potential.
Here’s the challenge when it comes to downloading Indigo Child… you have to play the game on his website: indigochildproject.com — and not just play it… but score over 1500 points to download.
The game is simple and fun though. You have to jump over obstacles and use skateboards to jump ramps over bottomless pits in a side-scrolling Nintendo-style challenge. The thing is, getting to 1500 is tough. You basically have to not fuck up for over 4 minutes or so, straight. At least “God’s Whisper” is on a continuous loop in the background. As one of our followers can attest, I now know all the words, too.
@gowherehiphop And I know every word of God’s Whisper! Haha
— Mama Sims (@suzannefushi) August 25, 2014
Out of respect to the creative idea, and for the satisfaction of passing the personal mental challenge, I rode this game out for at least 20 minutes trying to get that score of 1500. Undaunted was I, as I came about as close as possible without getting 1500…
When I finally scored past 1500 (I actually got over 2200 and crushed it), my first thought when downloading Indigo Child was, in jest, this better not suck! I was confident it wouldn’t since “God’s Whisper” was actually growing on me, not annoying me, as I headed towards double digit repeat listens during the game.
So guess what, guys?! Indigo Child is pretty awesome.
Raury has 13 tracks on deck, though really it’s 8 with an intro and 4 “skits” that are spliced in as breaks throughout the project. The “skits” are conversations with his mother that are most definitely real as the son tells his mom he wants to go all-in for his dream of making music. I enjoyed those, but I’m tuning in again for the music.
“God’s Whisper” is track 03 and I was pleasantly surprised to find the successive two tracks — “Superfly” and “Armor” — on that level. It was on “Superfly” that I noticed Raury first up the tempo and provide a hip hop edge to his singing and acoustic backdrop. He does this throughout the rest of the project successfully and with the clarity to understand his words on first listen. Well-executed, to say the least, and it adds another layer to Indigo Child, sonically.
Progressing into the middle stretch of the project, Raury delivers perhaps his slowest track in “Woodcrest Manor Master”, even featuring a spoken word style outro. This one has some depth to it and requires multiple listens to digest, so once you do, you’ll likely have a greater appreciation for it. The aforementioned “Cigarette Song” follows and after another convo with mom, Raury makes things even more interesting with “Chariots of Fire”. This song is straight up 80s rock for the first minute-plus before Raury adds some lively vocals of his own. You see? Interesting. I don’t know if I’ll have this particular song on repeat, but I admire the unique direction. Before you know it, we’re at the project’s conclusion — an 8 minute, multi-direction record called “Seven Suns” with Raury’s sped-up rap being the highlight for me.
As you can already assume by the above thoughts and general length of this post, Raury’s got himself a new fan with Indigo Child. I’m all-in on this project and his potential to create even more change having the mindset he has at such a young age. As I age personally, it’s a little harder to vibe with the music today’s teenagers are creating (especially as I recall the different feeling I had when starting Gowhere in my early 20s), but that’s another reason why Raury stands out to me. And then, musically, I’ve always rocked with the soothing acoustic guitar while lyrically, Raury paints a variety of pictures, whether it’s of a relationship or simply doing what he wants to do, in a way I can relate or have experienced. Simply put, I’ll be rockin’ with Indigo Child for a minute and look forward to what’s next for the young Raury. (G.O.O.D.??) #WeAreIndigos
Hit Raury’s website, play a fun game, download his project. Kanye co-signs. I co-sign. And perhaps you will too.
UPDATE: Raury, newly signed to Columbia Records, has released a full stream of ‘Indigo Child’ here: