Rory Charles Graham (born 29 January 1985), better known as Rag'n'Bone Man, is a British singer-songwriter, known for his deep, 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.
Rag'n'Bone Man performing in June 2017
|Birth name||Rory Charles Graham|
|Also known as||Moon|
|Born||29 January 1985|
Uckfield, East Sussex, England, United Kingdom
|Labels||Columbia High Focus Records|
Early life and education
Graham was born in Uckfield, East Sussex.
Graham 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 15 , he began MCing with a drum and bass crew using the handle Rag 'N' Bonez, inspired by watching repeats of the 1960s–70s 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, Graham 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. Graham signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell in 2013.
In 2014, in collaboration with Mark Crew, Graham 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. Graham, 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.
Graham'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, in the television series Inhumans, and in the season 2 intro for the TV show Into the Badlands. The song was also used in the outro for Ash vs. Evil Dead Season 3 Episode 9, as well as the Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan television series.
Graham'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, Graham collaborated with British virtual band Gorillaz, appearing on the song "The Apprentice" from the deluxe edition of their fifth studio album Humanz.
In January 2019, Graham collaborated with Scottish DJ and record producer Calvin Harris to record the song "Giant". It peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart. He also collaborated with the Italian singer Zucchero Fornaciari to write the song "Freedom", for the album D.O.C..
Graham and his girlfriend, Beth Rouy, had their first child, a son named Reuben, in September 2017. They were married in May 2019 at Lewes Registry Office, East Sussex. The couple have since parted amicably.
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)
|2017||Brit Awards||Critics' Choice Award||Himself||Won|
|British Breakthrough Act||Won|
|Echo Awards||International Newcomer||Won|
|International Male Artist||Won|
|MTV Europe Awards||Best New Act||Nominated|
|Best Push Act||Nominated|
|NRJ Music Awards||International Breakthrough of the Year||Nominated|
|2018||Brit Awards||British Male Solo Artist||Nominated|
|British Album of the Year||Human||Nominated|
|British Single of the Year||"Human"||Won|
|Denmark GAFFA Awards||Best Foreign New Act||Himself||Nominated|
- Human Tour (2017)
- Sounds of the City Tour (2018)
- "Rag 'n' Bone Man | Biography & History". AllMusic.
- Beaumont, Mark (15 February 2017). "Rag'n'Bone Man review – retro-soul spirituals with lounge rap interludes". The Guardian.
- Reed, Ryan; Reed, Ryan (11 January 2019). "Hear Calvin Harris' Brassy New Song With Rag'n'Bone Man, 'Giant'".
- "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'nBone Man's Human intro for Into the Badlands season 2". YouTube. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
- "Rag'n'Bone Man – 'Human' Review – NME". NME. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
- "Zucchero Fornaciari: arriva in radio "Freedom", il nuovo singolo" (in Italian). Inside Music. 1 October 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
- 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 Evening Standard. London. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
- "AudioActive – Supporting Grass Roots Development". AudioActive. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
- 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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