Rag'n'Bone Man performing in June 2017
|Birth name||Rory Charles Graham|
29 January 1985|
Uckfield, East Sussex, England
Rory Charles Graham (born 29 January 1985), better known as Rag'n'Bone Man, is an English singer and songwriter, known for his deep, bass-baritone voice. His first hit single, "Human", was released in 2016, and his debut album of the same name was released in February 2017. At the 2017 Brit Awards, he was named British Breakthrough Act and received the Critics' Choice Award.
Early years (1985–2010)
Rory Charles Graham was born on 29 January 1985 in Uckfield, East Sussex. He attended King's Academy Ringmer in Ringmer, from which he was expelled, and then enrolled at Uckfield College in his hometown. At the age of 5, he began MCing with a drum and bass crew using the handle Rag 'N' Bonez, inspired by watching repeats of the 1970s British sitcom Steptoe and Son. While at school, he was part of a group of youths supported by The Prince's Trust who developed a community project which involved painting and gardening in Crowborough.
When he moved to Brighton, his friend Gi3mo formed the rap group Rum Committee and invited him to join them. He started performing at Slip-jam B, where he met people who helped him start his career. Over the next few years, they supported hip hop artists Pharoahe Monch and KRS-One at Brighton's Concorde 2, and released their own album titled Boozetown (2012) through Bandcamp and other digital stores. Just weeks before the Rum Committee album release, Rory was asked to support Joan Armatrading at Brighton Dome. With no solo releases to his name to distribute on the night, he worked with Rum Committee producers Gi3mo and Sherlock Bones to create his first official release, the eight track Bluestown EP (2012), which included one feature from the rap artist Ceezlin. As his music career started in the local youth clubs and pubs of the area around Uckfield, he still returns to the area to perform.
Wolves and Disfigured EPs (2011–2015)
In 2011, Rag'n'Bone Man started working with UK hip hop label High Focus, releasing a number of recordings with them such as a collaboration with MC/producer Leaf Dog titled Dog 'n Bone EP (2013) and a project with MC/producer Dirty Dike titled Put That Soul on Me (2014). Shortly afterwards, he began to collaborate with record producer Mark Crew, who at the time was working on Bastille's debut album Bad Blood. Rag'n'Bone Man signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell in 2013.
In 2014, in collaboration with Mark Crew, Rag'n'Bone Man released the EP Wolves through Best Laid Plans Records, containing nine tracks with guests including rapper Vince Staples, Stig of the Dump, and Kate Tempest. Rag'n'Bone Man, along with Skunk Anansie, also featured on Bastille's third mixtape, VS., on the song "Remains". His follow-up in 2015, the Disfigured EP, was also released through Best Laid Plans Records. The lead track "Bitter End" was playlisted on BBC Radio 1 Xtra, and made it onto BBC Radio 1's "In New Music We Trust" playlist.
Rag'n'Bone Man's first hit single, "Human", was released on Columbia Records in July 2016. It peaked at number one in the Official Singles Charts in Austria, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland. It was certified Gold in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. "Human" was used as the theme music to the Amazon Prime series Oasis, in the official launch trailer for the video game Mass Effect: Andromeda, in the trailer for the 2017 film Thank You for Your Service, and in the television series Inhumans.The song Human was also used in the outro for Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 Episode 9.
Rag'n'Bone Man's debut album, also titled Human, was released on 10 February 2017. The album opens with the song "Human", features the single "Skin", and has tracks produced by Mark Crew, Two Inch Punch, and Jonny Coffer. The album won the BBC Music Award for British Album of the Year in 2017 and he was nominated for Artist of the Year. Later in 2017, Rag'n'Bone Man collaborated with British virtual band Gorillaz, appearing on the song "The Apprentice" from the deluxe edition of their fifth studio album Humanz.
Graham and his girlfriend, Beth Rouy, had their first child together in September 2017.
Graham endorsed Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in the 2017 UK general election. During an interview with Channel 4, he said he saw Corbyn as a "man that speaks with passion" and added that he could "relate to what [Corbyn] says and have never felt like that before".
Graham is a Patron of the Brighton-based young people's music charity, AudioActive. In an official statement for the charity Graham declared "AudioActive are doing something to ensure that regardless of wealth or background, young people get a chance to be creative. I can’t support that enough"
- Human (2017)
In 2017, Rag'n'Bone Man won the British Breakthrough Act and Choice Award at the 2017 Brit Awards. He also won International Newcomer and International Male Artist at the 2017 Echo Awards in Germany and was nominated for Best New Artist and Best Push Artist at the MTV European Music Awards 2017. and Révélation Internationale de l'année (International Breakthrough Act) at the NRJ Music Awards France in November 2017. At the 2018 Brit Awards, Rag'n'Bone Man was nominated for British Album of the Year and British Male Solo Artist, and won the award for British Single of the Year for "Human".
- Human Tour (2017)
- Sounds of the City Tour (2018)
- "Columbia Records on Facebook". Columbia Records. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
- "BRITs 2017 Critics' Choice Shortlist: Dua Lipa, Anne-Marie, Rag'n'Bone Man Make the Cut". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2 December 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
- Graham, Rory Charles. "ASCAP Ace Search". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Retrieved 29 April 2017.
- Barton, Laura (1 January 2015). "'A little punk, a little jazz, a little shoegaze': meet the new blues" – via The Guardian.
- "Rag N' Bone Man: The MC building a refuge for his past loves". Huckmagazine.com. 9 June 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
- Disfigured - EP by Rag'n'Bone Man on Apple Music, 6 March 2015, retrieved 5 October 2017
- "HITS Daily Double : Rumor Mill - SONY MUSIC U.K.'S TIPS FOR 2016". Hitsdailydouble.com. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
- "MASS EFFECT™: ANDROMEDA – Official Launch Trailer". YouTube. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
- "Thank You for Your Service Trailer No. 1 (2017)". YouTube. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
- "Rag'n'Bone Man - 'Human' Review - NME". NME. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
- Thomas, Kate (24 May 2017). "His own little Human! Rag'n'Bone Man 'is expecting his first child with long-term girlfriend Beth Rouy'". Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- Simpson, Fiona (21 May 2017). "Rag'n'Bone Man joins list of stars backing Jeremy Corbyn in the General Election". London: London Evening Standard. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
- "AudioActive - Supporting Grass Roots Development". AudioActive. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
- Hann, Michael (8 December 2016). "Rag'n'Bone Man wins 2017 Brits critics' choice award". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
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