Ray BLK had 'major meltdown' over BBC music award

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R&B singer songwriter Ray BLK says she went into a "major meltdown" when she was told she had won the BBC Music Sound Of 2017 list.

Speaking to Clara Amfo on Radio 1 on Friday, she said that winning the title, which recognises promising and rising talent in the UK music industry, was completely unexpected.

"I had a major meltdown, I almost felt a tear coming," she said.

"It was really unexpected ... My mum went wild, screaming around the house."

Hours before her victory was publicly announced on the radio show, she posted on Twitter: "Life is becoming very surreal. Please never wake me from this dream."

BLK, 22, beat a longlist of 15 artists for the top spot, previously taken by the likes of Adele (2008), Ellie Goulding (2010), Jessie J (2011) and Sam Smith (2014).

She claimed the title over blues and soul star Rag'n'Bone Man, who made number one in charts across Europe with his hit single Human last year.

It was previously announced that the top five artists in the list would also include Raye in third place, Jorja Smith in fourth and Nadia Rose fifth.

Influenced by artists such as Missy Elliott and Timbaland, BLK began recording her own music while studying English Literature at university and in 2015 released her first EP Havisham, named after the jilted Charles Dickens character.

She followed it last year with her single 50/50, inspired by a difficult relationship, which was named record of the week on Radio 1's Huw Stephens show and secured a spot on 1Xtra's regular playlist.

Describing her own music, she told Radio 1 listeners: "It's a new school R&B - it's got some soul to it, and it has a hip-hop vibe as well."

Commenting on the stage name BLK, initials that stand for her key personal values of "building, living and knowing", she said: "I've always felt that as an artist you should convey a message to your audience.

"Living, because you only live once and should always live life to the fullest, and knowing because education is really important to me and I believe you keep learning all the way through your life."

Thanking fans and the radio station for their support "from the get-go", BLK revealed plans to record new music through the year and said she hoped to start work on an album and a tour.

She also promised live on air that she would appear on Radio 1 DJ MistaJam's show next Monday to perform a live session.