RAYE has performed an emotive cover of Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’. Check it out below.
The rendition of the classic 1965 track was shared by the Mercury Prize nominated singer yesterday (February 9) as part of the latest episode of Triple J’s Like A Version series.
In the performance, RAYE delivers a seemingly more stripped-back approach to that of the original. Sitting by a piano by herself, the latest take on the ‘60s song omits the band sections that featured in the Nina Simone version, and sees the singer instead replace the instrumentals with a simple piano melody.
RAYE also takes a slightly different approach to the vocals in her cover – swapping out Simone’s majestic portrayal for one that seems more vulnerable.
Shortly after the release of the cover, the series also shared a separate video of RAYE speaking about the reasons why she chose to cover the song, as well as explaining that she put her own spin on it out of respect for Simone.
“I just love that song so much. I’ve been singing it since I was like 11 [or] 12. It’s just one of my all-time favourites. I’m intimidated by anything that Nina sings because I think she’s one of one and can’t be imitated. So I think in my mind I was like ‘I’m going to do it but [in] my own version’ because her version can’t be topped,” she said.
“I think it’s one of those timeless pieces to me… It’s one of those magic pieces of music that doesn’t come by very often and also continues to inspire generations and generations to come,” she added.
“I think there was something so beautiful about the way that music was written and recorded in those days. It was all live – before they figured out how to cut and paste tape together and even be able to take parts of different songs. You had to do it in one take, in one room… I think that’s why you had to be a vocalist who could deliver the emotion and the notes and the feeling in one take.”
Find the full interview below, as well as RAYE’s live performance of her hit track ‘Escapism.’, taken from her debut album ‘My 21st Century Blues’.
In other RAYE news, it was confirmed last week that the singer-songwriter will be performing at the 2024 BRIT Awards ceremony – set to take place next month.
The announcement arrived after it was revealed that the singer had received a record-breaking number of nominations at this year’s BRITs. She is up for seven awards on the night, and the most nominated artist in any one year to date.
These include nods for Artist of the Year, Mastercard Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Pop Act, R&B Act, and for Song of the Year with Mastercard. For the latter, she has two nominations: one with her song ‘Prada’, created alongside cassö and D-Block Europe, and one for ‘Escapism’, which features 070 Shake.
Last month, RAYE opened up about the record-breaking number of nominations, saying: “As far as the industry was concerned, I was down and out. Never in my wildest dreams would I think trying again would mean seven BRIT nominations. This is a whole different thing. Best Album? Are you sick?”