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Raye and Polydor split after claims record label wouldn’t release debut album

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Singer-songwriter Raye has split with her record label Polydor, weeks after she spoke out about not being able to release her debut album.

Posting on Twitter, the 23-year-old announced she’s now an independent artist and thanked “the Polydor team”.

In June she told Radio 1 Newsbeat about her “tears and pain” over what she suggested was the record label’s reluctance to release her music.

Polydor said the “decision to part ways” had been “amicable and mutual”.

“Raye is an incredible artist and we have very much enjoyed working with her over the years, achieving some great things together. We wish her all the very best for the future,” the label said in a statement.

Raye said the split had been down to having “different goals artistically”.

“Polydor are an incredible infrastructure power house team,” she wrote in a statement posted on Instagram and Twitter on Monday evening.

“I am very grateful to them for giving me a graceful smooth exit to start my next chapter as an artist.”

The post included and picture of her earlier in her career alongside the caption: “Just a little Croydon girl with a dream.”

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Raye, who was born Rachel Keen, had her first commercial success in 2016, collaborating with DJ Jax Jones on You Don’t Know Me.

She was nominated at this year’s Brit awards for her single Secrets with DJ Regard and has collaborated with Rudimental and David Guetta.

Speaking to Newsbeat in June, Raye said she felt “like a fraud” for not having released an album despite signing a deal with Polydor in 2014.

She added that if she could go back in time and tell her 16-year-old self anything, it would be to “run for the hills”.

“Knowing what I know now, I would not have put pen to paper on a full album record deal,” she said.

In a series of tweets at the time she added: “I’ve done everything [Polydor] asked me, I switched genres, I worked seven days a week.

“I’m done being a polite pop star.”

Polydor said at the time it was “saddened” to hear about her concerns and had offered her its “full support”.

Other stars have shown their support on her latest posts, including KSI, Tion Wayne and Ray BLK.

She’s not the first artist to express frustration at a label’s reluctance to release music.

South London rapper Nadia Rose, who finished two places behind Raye on the BBC Sound of 2017 list, left her old label to set up her own – Qwerky Entertainment.

“I was creating music that then wasn’t seeing the light of day, so in order to actually have music out I had to leave that situation,” she told the BBC last year.

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