Rayowa are summer. In our heads, Rayowa and summer live in the same house. The same room. They share a bed. Three brothers from Essex, making funk music à la Nile Rodgers & Chic, with big disco flavours, and absolutely drowning in sunshine. I’ve had to stop typing this paragraph twice because I found myself dancing several metres away from my computer, and I have no memory of leaving my seat.
We couldn’t think of a better group of people to have involved in our SS23 launch. So here you are. Get to know Blue Willow Club’s resident band, Rayowa, a bit better.
Hey Dan, Reece & Luke! Can you please tell us a bit about yourselves?
We’re Rayowa, three brothers from a town called Basildon. We’re self taught musicians/producers and have been in bands together since we were kids. We work out of our creative space ‘Studio 39’ in Essex and have devoted our lives to pursuing music and art.
How would you introduce Rayowa to a new listener?
We’d say people should listen to our tunes ‘Better Man’, ‘Remember’ and ‘Good Life’ to get a feel for what it is we do. We generally visualise summertime when we listen back to our stuff. The music is soulful and uplifting, with a strong emphasis on groove. There’s disco elements in terms of gang vocals and guitars with touches of funk and RnB too.
Rayowa had a great festival season last year, most notably supporting Nile Rodgers & Chic. What was that like?
It was a milestone moment for us and we definitely managed to tick something off the bucket list. We’ve been playing our live shows as a 9-piece band so the energy and unity on stage always feels really special. That’s something we always strive for at every show and so the crowd always respond amazingly to that. The aim is to get people dancing, forget all their worries and lose themselves in the music.
What are your biggest influences?
It’s hard to pin down exact influences as collectively we all love a lot of different types of music but the Rayowa sound takes inspiration from a lot of 70’s and 80’s soul, funk, RnB and disco music but has a modern appeal. Acts like Kashif, Change, George Benson, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Chic, & S.O.S Band have definitely informed what we do. The production, arrangement and songwriting on those artists’ records is incredible and can’t be matched in our opinion. For us, it’s music at its purist, it really moves us emotionally and makes us want to dance.
Rayowa X Percival Playlist
What have you got planned this year?
We plan to release lots more new music in 2023 including our third EP and we’ll be playing as many live shows as we can. We’ve also got some other plans in the works that will see us delve into other areas of music which will likely surprise people but it will definitely retain what it is that makes us Rayowa.
Which pieces have you got your eye on from our Blue Willow Club collection?
We really love the whole collection and think the team smashed it on this one. Dan really rates the navy willow track jacket and pants, Reece is really feeling the long sleeve white Cuban linen shirt and Luke loves the ecru cord overshirt.