Raleigh Ritchie at Heaven
Raleigh Ritchie is the stage persona of Jacob Anderson, a young actor and performer currently appearing in Game of Thrones. Tonight he demonstrates the scope of his talents. Playing songs from all his EPs, The Middle Child, The Black and Blue, and X the Internet, he gives a rounded concept of his growth as an artist. His style goes from straightforward R&B to include elements of indie, hip hop, soul and pop, all evident in this show.
Ritchie delves into some of the expected topics of R&B, like love and heartbreak, but his approach to them is refreshingly dark. For example, Birthday Girl is a song about being murdered in the woods by a vengeful lover after forgetting her birthday. Or Bloodpsort, in which love is described through metaphors of war, with lines like: “Although you love me, sometimes you’re mean, things can get ugly but we’re still a team. We are an army, the breaks are within, but that’s why we’re stronger and that’s how we win.”
Raleigh is also concerned with self-discovery and self exploration, as seen on Stronger Than Ever, where he states he is “a big boy, an adult now or nearly, if I pull the wool back from my eyes I can see clearly.” He has a lot to learn, but seems open to the journey and enjoying every experience along the way. This is reflected in his between song chatter, where his infectious youthful exuberance relays his elation at being able to perform and express himself to such a devoted and mixed cross-section of fans. He bounds around the stage and gets the audience and band hyped up with him, and even on slower tracks there is an ebullient sub-layer.
The best is saved for last, with an encore including the sensually repetitive Cuckoo featuring rapper Little Simz. Her earnest rapping is combined with a seductive bassline that unexpectedly slips into a jazzy freestyle, illustrating their effortless and untamed cool. “Insecure, not made of iron, I mess up for support, not self-reliant” demonstrates introspection and vulnerability but placed next to heavy experimental beats, there is no doubt that Ritchie actually knows who he is better than most.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information about Raleigh Ritchie and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Stronger Than Ever here: