Review: Willow Raye – ‘Deja Vu’



An ambitious pop artist and dedicated songwriter based in the heart of L.A., Willow Raye started writing songs in High School. It was the spark that started a wildfire, and soon Raye had developed her sound into a signature mix of sultry electronic tones, harmonious accompaniment, female-forward lyrics and deeply emotional lyrics. Inspired by artists like Halsey and Julia Michaels, Raye looks to become as a role model for young women everywhere, and with the release of her debut single ‘Deja Vu’, she’s well on her way.


A deft debut, ‘Deja Vu’ takes form as a spacious, ethereal trip of smoky vocals, mellow tones, and trip-hop beats. Simple but effective, ‘Deja Vu’ is instantly captivating, building itself from a whisper to become a calming, but evocative soundscape of texture layers and impassioned lyrics. All focus lands upon the interplay between Raye’s vocals and the blossoming tribal sounds that have been built into the backing instrumentals, driving the song forward with an electric pace and energetic purpose.


Although only three minutes long, ‘Deja Vu’ has made itself one of the most impressive debuts we’ve heard in recent years. It’s rhythmic, flowing, and wonderfully crafted, but done so in a way that has really focused the sound. Raye’s delivery is practically flawless and the digital flourishes that arise give the song a depth and character that is simply undeniable.



The glistening, but controlled production of the track is easily one of the main reasons for the songs power, but it’s the character, vision, and unique take on both mainstream pop and more contemporary trip-hop that makes ‘Deja Vu’ a success. With the prospect of a new EP coming in the wake of the single, it’s easy to see 2019 being a massive year for Raye.


Score: 9/10


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