On her ‘Morning After’ sophomore EP, Rayana Jay banks on vulnerability… and the payoff is amazing.

When Rayana Jay dropped her debut project, ‘Songs About Last Night,’ in late 2016, there was something refreshing about it. Heartbreak, lust, frustration, exasperation – none of this is new to R&B. What was different, was how raw it all sounded. Every song, every word, seemed to come from the Richmond, California native’s heart.
That kind of vulnerability – coupled with her relatable subject matter – led to the so-called “BAD MOM” gathering up fans almost instantly. Now, ten months later, the lovely songbird is sharing her sophomore EP ‘Morning After,’ a sort of “sequel” to ‘Last Night’ (as though its title didn’t give that away). After a week-long Twitter campaign of teaser snippets, the project released on digital formats Friday morning.

‘Morning After’ clocks in at eight tracks deep, and features previous singles “Everything” and “Sunkissed.” Production is handled by ROMderful, The Kount, and Mikos da Gawd & Elujay (who also provided some of the sounds on ‘Last Night’), to name a few. The singer insisted that ‘Morning After’ was inspired by the conflicting thoughts and “back and forth” she has with herself. “A song like ‘Cupcake’ talks about my refusal to settle down… [while] songs like ‘Chill’ and ‘One More Time’ talk about my desire to settle down,” Rayana shared on her website.

That duality gives ‘Morning After’ its personality. From the very beginning, Rayana Jay seduces on “One More Time,” a slow-burner on which the singer pleas for her lover to linger a while longer after satisfying her needs (“you know just what to do – make me wanna stay with you,” she sings). Yet one track later, it’s all a upbeat, guitar-driven dance club groove on “Magic.”

Morning After is me starting to bounce back… a lot of the songs on [the EP] were written as a direct reflection of where I am in my life and in my love life. I like to write from personal experience just so listeners can get a better understanding of who they’re listening to…” – Rayana Jay

On the jazzy “Way Back,” Rayana Jay croons gems like, “I don’t really care what kinda car you drive, as long as I can ride,” over Lawrence Mace’s Milly Rock-worthy instrumental. And the project’s sole feature, Innanet James, doesn’t surface until ‘Morning After’s’ last song, “Play Thing,” which would’ve easily fit on the Insecure Season 2 soundtrack. On the cut, James drops free game (“play yo’ role so you don’t ever play yo’ self”) while the singer carelessly admits to being intentionally difficult. It’s so calculating, it’s criminal – but it’s also very real.

Rayana Jay will never apologize for her feelings, and why should she? Every listener will find one track on ‘Morning After’ that hits close to home, simply because Rayana was brave enough to put it in a song. Listen to ‘Morning After’ down below, and cop it for yourself off iTunes now.

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