Raury Turns Up at MTV’s Artists to Watch Showcase in New York [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]
It's not every day you come across something musically refreshing from Atlanta in 2015, but on Monday night (June 22), Atlanta's rising star Raury lit up MTV's Artists to Watch summer showcase in New York.
The 19-year-old entertainer sent electrifying chills through the Highline Ballroom venue, as he brought hip-hop, rock and roll and soul music together on stage. As the showcase's lineup included teen heartthrobs MAX and Jacob Whitesides, Raury found himself surrounded by a diverse crowd of over 300 preteens and adults. But that didn't stop music lovers from embracing the sonic vibrados overtaking the historic artist-breaking venue.
Before hitting the stage, Jacob Whitesides grabbed the mic and pumped the crowd for the night's final performance by helping them scream "Raury" repeatedly. Without hesitation, the ATLien stepped onto the yellow-lit stage in cowboy boots, skinny jeans, an eclectic button-down shirt and cowboy-esque hat with his full band supporting his every move.
Raury gave the crowd a Jimmy Hendrix-themed show full of theatrics. From dropping the mic stand to allowing his electric acoustic guitar (accidentally) fall aimlessly to the stage, there was no reason for any fan — new or old — to feel musically unsatisfied. He performed tunes like "Higher" and "Cigarette Song," but it was his "Odyssey" rendition that proved why this young crooner is in fact a product of his ATL predecessors.
Before performing the track, he gave the audience a brief introduction to its background. "This track is about a boy who grew up in Georgia and being thrown into this New York lifestyle and this L.A. lifestyle and Amsterdam and these foreign lands...and just missing the people you don't get to see," he told the audience.
As the beat dropped, fans quickly saw him embody Andre 3000's flows circa his 1998 "Da Art of Storytellin'" persona. Before reaching the set's end, Raury made a point to take a moment of silence for the senselessly slain lives superseding news feeds by introducing his new song, "Fly," and asking everyone in the Highline Ballroom to take a moment of silence.
"Times are too serious to fill your mind with nothing ... music is a power that can encourage you," he said. "This song we're about to do is called 'Fly.' It's an ode to all the people that have been murdered across the country. Can we take a moment of silence for them."
As MTV's showcase came to an end, Raury jumped into the crowd, making them scream his name like they couldn't help but beg for more. He then told people if they wanted him for an encore they had to yell the name of the song they wanted. Fans didn't hold anything back as the room relentlessly echoed with the word "encore."
The result: an amped Raury returning to the stage to perform "Run From the Devil."