Raleigh-Ritchie.jpg

You'll Never Guess What Grey Worm's Other Job Is

By Lord Castleton and Petr Knava | Music | May 6, 2016 | Comments ()

By Lord Castleton and Petr Knava | Music | May 6, 2016 |


Raleigh-Ritchie.jpg

In 2012 we ran a piece about how one of the ‘Game of Thrones’ cast members - Bronn - had spent time in an 90’s pop duo.

Now he has company.

Say hello to Grey Worm.

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Real name: Jacob Anderson

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Stage Name: Raleigh Ritchie

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He’s got 10 million spins on Spotify and 10 million more pageviews on YouTube. So maybe this is all common knowledge, but I never caught his music here on my side of the pond.

These are ostensibly his biggest UK pop hits:

and

Honestly, he seems like a really good guy.

Now I could do my best to break down the music a bit, but honestly I’m not the right person for that.

If only we had someone on staff who hails from the UK, identifies himself as a musician and is currently between pints.

If only…

Petrrrrrrrr! Peeeeeeeeetrrrrrr? Hallooooooo?

Petr Knava enters. Dashing. Winning. Possibly hammered.

What’s that? No, I’m not buying this round! I bought the last one, it’s your tur-… Oh, what? Raleigh Ritchie? Oh, yeah, man, sure I know Raleigh Ritchie. Or as I like to call him: The Curious Case Of Raleigh Ritchie.

I’ve got a few minutes before my mates come back with the next round so let me explain that name, because an explanation of that name also leads to a description of Raleigh and his music.

Firstly, no, he hasn’t been ageing backwards. Neither has he been the subject of that most aberrant of creations: a David Fincher movie I have no interest in seeing.

No, Raleigh — as the figures you quoted above show — is pretty fairly big deal on this side of the pond, with good-sized standalone gigs as well as decent supporting slots (albeit for mostly UK-centric acts like George Ezra) to show for himself. He’s kind of been weaving his way in and out of public consciousness here for a few years with some TV and theatre roles, but alongside Grey Worm the biggest waves that Anderson has made are under the Ritchie stage moniker. Which leads me to why I call it a curious case: he’s a big deal, but he isn’t. So it isn’t just your Yank self that hasn’t heard of him. Tonnes of people listen to him, but I’ve never heard anyone mention him. He’s done high enough profile things, but his star hasn’t lit up the heavens. He seems to be occupying this particular fold in the fabric of fame, where it’s as of yet uncertain whether it’ll be able to be ironed out and he’ll rise up to the surface for all to see, or whether his position is pretty much set. He is only 24, mind, so perhaps this is early days and all that is still yet to come.

As for his actual music, well, it’s also a curious case. It’s good, but not great. It’s slickly-made, nice enough R&B backed up by some occasionally interesting fusion elements typical of Anderson’s internet musical buffet generation, in which infinite accessibility has eroded once clearly defined genre boundaries, and the ghettoisation of music isn’t nearly as big of a deal as it once was.

So even though a blues fan/metalhead is what I mostly am, in principle I dig his stuff. I just think he needs a bit more time to mature and give a bit of an edge to the proceedings. He’s got the confessional thing going on as a central runner through his lyrics — ‘Nothing is perfect, but your imperfections are quaint. And your love is worth it and for that I will wait. And though you hate me when you have a turn. I drive you crazy, but you always return’ — which is nice; and if he starts peppering that with a bit of gonzo imagery he should be on the right track.

So, all things considered — and this is gonna sound like a dig but I think it’s a fair assessment — Raleigh Ritchie is currently a bit like the UK’s slightly less interesting and daring version of Santigold.

Which — hell — ain’t a bad thing to aim for at all.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I see some pints arriving.

Lord Castleton loves having smart people write his articles for him

When he’s not bailing out ‘Muricans with fake peerage titles, Petr Knava spends most of his time straight up kicking ass



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