The summer sun is cracking the flags in Britain as lockdown restrictions begin to lift. Many people are starting to process and reflect on the last year, and our boys from Rak-Su are no different. Thankfully for us, though, their reflection comes in the form of a musical buffet of new music, with their latest release, the Lost Tour EP! And let us tell you, it’s delicious! It’s the tour that didn’t tour, but now, Rak-Su are beginning to look to the future, with hopes to tour in September this year. And this time, they’re doing it their way!
This is the first full project Rak-Su are releasing since becoming independent artists. They left their original label Syco Music in 2018, followed by a departure from RCA in 2019. The boys also parted from their management and are now taking back control of their art. They spoke to Ray Sang at IndustryMee recently about music, TikTok, friendships, and contracts, and we are so here for it. Members Ashley, Jamaal, Myles, and Mustafa have not had an easy road since winning The X Factor UK in 2017, but this latest release feels more determined than ever. We’re so glad to have a Rak-Su release to chat to you about because we are massive fans of these Watford schoolmates, their music, and the positivity they are putting out. And with that positivity, we’d like to take a moment here to appreciate Mus, who is continuing his time away to focus on his mental health and well-being. Everybody here at The Honey POP applauds that self-care and continues to send love and support to Mustafa.
“The Lost Tour EP means a lot to us! A lot of it is in the name! Partially because we missed the chance to tour with the fans but also because we started making this when we left our label, left management and probably felt a bit lost ourselves; but the music helped us find ourselves & in September we’ll be back on tour again!”
The Lost Tour EP sees Rak-Su flexing their creative freedom and taking their music in their own direction. They decided who they wanted to collab with, from the featured artists and songwriters to the directors and music producers. So we’re confident that everything we’re getting from this latest release is authentic Rak-Su. While we’re sure becoming independent was not an easy step, we are so excited and supportive of the refreshing space Rak-Su is taking up in the industry. So let’s get into the EP! You can stream it right here!
It’s fire. Literally! Kicking off the Lost Tour EP, this track had us moving in three seconds flat. And we didn’t even realize we were doing it! If there’s one thing these boys know how to do, it’s a damn good chorus. This is our favorite track, hands down. While the entire vibe of the track is hot, the chorus just slaps so hard. The boys giving a quick shout out to tequila and Sativa lets us know very quickly, this EP will be unapologetically them, and it has got us so invested as we move through the six tracks of the album. ‘Fuego’ is precisely what we want for an opening track, and it sets the flavor for this EP. We’re instantly picking out so many cultural roots with the thick Reggaeton vibe of ‘Fuego.’ We know the Rak-Su boys have rich family roots through Barbados, Cameroon, Egypt, Jamaica & Cuba, so we’re hoping that this is a promise for the rest of the EP.
‘Left Right’ Ft. Donel
Our first collab of the EP, ‘Left Right,’ sees Rak-Su team up with The Voice UK star Donel Mangena. It automatically feels like a natural addition to Rak-Su’s unique style, with Donel adding his own rap verse to this slick slow jam R&B track. Produced by Ebenezer, ‘Left Right’ feels effortless and classic, yet still contemporary in delivery. And you best know, a song called ‘Left Right’ obviously comes with a dance! And yes, TikTok got hold of it! So much so, Rak-Su put out a fan version music video, with Ashley, Jamaal, Myles, and Donel, dancing in the street (adorable!), alongside clips of fans matching the choreo! Any idea what we’re talking about? Check out the boy’s TikTok challenge below, and head over to their YouTube to see the results! Warning, deep-diving into Rak-Su TikTok will result in you watching Myles reading Wattpad fanfiction about himself, out loud, on-camera…
‘Girls Like You’ Ft. Celina Sharma
First things first, can we talk about Jamaal’s vocals here? He sounds so damn good! Those little voice cracks have made our knees warm. Okay, moving on. Ashley comes in strong with a rhythmic rap reminiscent of our first ever Rak-Su introduction – fan-favorite track ‘I’m Feeling You.’ It’s made us all nostalgic and mushy! We’re so obsessed with the inclusion of Australian artist Celina Sharma in this song. Adding contrasting feminine vocals to this track lifts the entire piece up and adds to the freshness of ‘Girls Like You.’ We can just imagine how hard we’d go for this chorus once we finally get a Rak-Su tour. Get your UK tour tickets right now! We’re so glad this song became a single back in 2020, not only because the song is so bloody good, but because we got this incredible music video! It’s an absolute serotonin dump of self-love and a celebration of beautifully diverse women.
We’re high key obsessed with ‘Lowkey.’ It’s bringing in the afrobeat vibes and dips a toe back into the multicultural heritage and roots across the band. It’s got us swinging our hips so violently. We’re surprised we didn’t pop something! Talking about girls who aren’t interested in clout and who have more low-key values, the song is chilled out with a rhythmic swing that is so aesthetically pleasing. Also, on a quick side note, we may or may not take it to mean that the Rak-Su boys would be up for a non-famous partner…. so we’re not saying call us, but, you know… yeah, call us. As the fourth track on the Lost Tour EP, we’re now more than halfway through, but we’ve already had so many stylistic moods and some banging collabs! Despite this project only being six tracks, the weight of this EP has already made us feel like we’re listening to a full album! Oh, the brainpower of Rak-Su!
There’s ‘No Contest’ that we think this is the most interesting track on the EP. With its slightly thinner instrumentals, the opening verse makes room for Myles and Ashley’s rap vocals, which hit almost like spoken word poetry. It’s a bouncy track, and overall, it’s just uplifting. We absolutely love the melodic choice to use vocals as instruments. It’s one of our favorite approaches to music, and Rak-Su does it perfectly in ‘No Contest.’ It’s a modern love song of how the right relationship and partner can fix the hurt of previously broken trust and break down insecurities. “You look good with no makeup in the morning”… Thanks, Jamaal. We think we look like a gremlin at 8 am, so we needed that compliment! The music video is also just hilarious. You can check it out below!
The last track and this one is special, as Myles himself produced it! Excuse us while we simp. The rap verses through this song are fast, skilled, and authentic, and when added to the R&B vocals, create such an exciting contrast throughout this overall garage-based track! Has Rak-Su invented a new genre? G&B? The production on the track gives us Nobody Is Listening Zayn vibes and considering this is a self-produced track, that comparison just shows the skill and talent of Rak-Su! It’s a great final track for the Lost Tour EP, and if these are the songs we’ll get on tour, we cannot tell you how game we are! ‘Switching Sides’ rounds out a diverse EP, rooted in rich cultural influences, with a thick R&B style, presenting in the truly authentic way, that we have come to know and love from Rak-Su.
This group is so multi-talented, and we can’t help feeling they deserve so much more airtime and hype. Rak-Su has an incredible fanbase, and we can’t wait to see it grow even more! If you’ve been sleeping on Rak-Su so far, it’s time to wake up, bestie. You’re missing out! Plus, with this new independent era, we are expecting massive things from Rak-Su! And the Lost Tour EP proves that! Check out their discography on Apple Music now!
What’s your favorite track from the Lost Tour EP? Done any Rak-Su TikTok dances? We wanna see! Drop us your thoughts in the comments, and come hype Rak-Su over on our socials, @thehoneypop, or visiting us on Facebook!
Featured Image Credit: Courtesy of I Hart PR