Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

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The Three Brothers From Essex Who Are Bringing Back Disco With Their Unique Flair

Their second EP ‘Believe‘ released in late September fuses R&B and Soul. Finely tuned with the distinct falsetto of lead vocalist Luke, Rayowa are determined to continue carving their very own unique space in the current soundscape. 

Rawoya is formed of Dan, Reece and Luke Baker – three brothers from Essex who are all self-taught producers and multi-instrumentalists, playing guitar, bass, and piano. Their brotherly chemistry is prevalent throughout their music – as they never seem to miss the mark, each instrument seemingly supporting each element of their tracks. Never overshadowing or neglecting the clear direction and atmosphere being created throughout ‘Believe‘.

Starting off the four-track EP is ‘Good life‘, an homage to the disco era that brings back the magic of the 20th century to the 21st.  A thundering trumpet can be heard throughout the track, elating the atmosphere and allowing you to enjoy the good life – excuse the pun – alongside a seemingly drowned-out drum-track that doesn’t ever take centre stage, but drives the track forward. The lyrics: ‘“Tonight, keep staying up past midnight. But it doesn’t bother me, keep living for the good life” power-through and encourage joining in. Reaching the end of the track an electric guitar solo is singled out, given the space to shine and share its moment of joy. Dan, Luke and Reece combine to produce a track in ‘Good Life‘ that will have you dancing all year-round, no need for a summer season when Rawoya are around.

The lead track ‘Believe‘ follows in the same fashion as ‘Good Life’, being an anthem of courage and faith. All the instruments marry together to create a united movement of encouragement – whether it’s the drums, vocals, percussion or piano power chords, ‘Believe‘ is a single unit and an anthem of support. 

Which fits exactly in the way Rayowa intended ‘Believe‘ to be as a song, as described by them when discussing the track:

‘Sonically to us this record feels cinematic and could soundtrack a triumphant ending of a film. Belief is a reoccurring theme throughout the EP as it takes a lot as a musician to keep faith in what you’re doing, especially in such an unprecedented time as a pandemic. As brothers were very close and when one is down the other pick the other up. We were always encouraging each other to believe and trust ourselves and our choices. To have belief that better days are coming.’

‘Searchin”, weakest of the four-tracks, never quite delivers the message it’s trying to get across – searching for answers in the realms of love. The groove it creates is static and chooses not to branch out to the heights previously shown by ‘Believe‘ and ‘Good Life’ – it leaves you wanting more of what has just been given a track prior. That is not to say it is a bad track, its production is of the standard and level you would expect from Rayowa. As a stand-alone track it works, however in the context of ‘Believe‘ it falls flat – surprisingly leaving the listener searching for more.

‘Remember’ is special – If there was a song to perfectly encapsulate who Rawoya are, it would be this track. Such a high-standard of production, mixing and mastering. The funky bass line and slaps bring you all the way back to the 80s, the vocals and lyrical continuity a time capsule of the woes surrounding the pandemic and the need to stay determined and positive. Surprisingly it was written for one of their old bands years ago, yet Rayowa funked it up and brought it back to life:

‘It was untouched and sat on a hard drive for years. We wanted to expand musically on what Rayowa is and this track seemed liked the perfect record to explore a slower more 80’s RnB/Funk record. Reece decided to rework it so he rewrote and restructured it and then recorded live drums and percussion and then it became what you hear today.’

Believe‘ showcases exactly who Rayowa are and that they are carving their own path in this specific soundscape – reminiscent of a young Jackson 5, fusing 80s Funk, Soul & R&B, they have the potential to stamp their mark on the history books. Three brothers from Essex with a vision to spread positivity to the world, through incredible production and a unique flair. 


Words by Ramy Abou-Setta

Posted On 21 October, 2022