Lady Wray Finds Her Voice on ‘Queen Alone’

Lady Wray
queen-alone-coverEarlier this fall, Nicole Wray released Queen Alone under the name Lady Wray.

Queen Alone is Wray’s first full-length as Lady Wray, but she has the better part of two decades of experience in a mercurial music industry behind her.

Missy Elliot discovered Wray in the mid-90s, after flying to Wray’s hometown of Portsmouth, Virginia, and auditioning the singer in her family home. Following the audition, an impressed Missy Elliot featured Wray on her 1997 album, Supa Dupa Fly, and produced Wray’s own debut album, Make It Hot.

Though Make It Hot‘s title track hit #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified Gold by the RIAA, Wray only released a single record with Missy Elliot before the two parted ways. This would be the first of many bumps in the road. Between 2001 and 2015, Wray would sign with Roc-A-Fella only to be dumped by the label before she was able to release an album, and release a well-received album on Truth & Soul with Terri Walker under the name LADY only to have Walker leave the project just before the beginning of a tour.

Wray took charge following Walker’s departure and toured as LADY on her own, using it as an opportunity to display her impressive voice and songwriting ability. Now, three years after Lady, Wray has a new solo album out: Queen Alone.

A brilliant collection of retro soul tracks, Queen Alone is a virtuosic display of skill from—as the album credits her—Lady Wray. In an interview with Wax Poetics, Danny Akalepse, acclaimed DJ and co-founder of the label that released Queen Alone, described Wray’s “Do It Again” as “one of the most asked-about songs that I have” and said he plays it “right next to Jay Z records; right next to Dilla records.”

Lady Wray has seen her dreams frustrated by shifting fortunes many times over, but Queen Alone succeeds by taking those very frustrations and sublimating them into a gorgeous album backed by a strong artistic voice.

Queen Alone is out now on Big Crown Records and is available on Amazon, iTunes, and Big Crown Records’ Online Store.


The Most Beautiful (and Unexpected) Houses of Worship Around the World

From the deserts of Arizona to the French countryside, these are some of the most beautiful religious structures around the world.

What to Do in Mexico City: 33 Best Restaurants, Bars, Shops, and Destinations

CDMX is a vibrant metropolis filled with some of the best museums, eateries, and hotels in the world.
Food & Drink

Upgrade Your Kitchen Essentials with Material’s New Iconics Collection

It's time to clear out that utensil drawer in favor of something more refined.

Indian (Finally) Debuts FTR 1200 Racer Built for the Street

It's steeped in Americana, bathed in technology, and delivered to those who’d rather hit a dirt oval with the force of a neutron bomb.
Food & Drink

Def Leppard’s Got Their Own Beer Now

No foolin’ — you’re going to need more than a photograph of this new brew from Elysian Brewing Company.
Food & Drink

The Best Playlist to Enjoy While Day Drinking

Next time you plan on day drinking, put on this Spotify playlist and ride the wave.

What You Need to Create the Ultimate Man Cave for Music Lovers

Immerse yourself in sound and style with these products perfect for your own personal listening room.

New Music Preview: Kamasi Washington, Neko Case, and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

June has plenty of new album releases in store, but there are three particular records coming out this month that we can’t wait to hear.

Best Road Trip Songs: Hit Play Then Hit the Gas

Ah, the open road! It beckons us to cast aside responsibility, embrace the unknown, jump in the car, and just go. Take this mixtape with you.
Food & Drink

Sink Your Teeth Into the Best Summer Barbecue Playlist

Take your cookout from genetically modified slumping to organic, farm-to-table bumping.

Cut the Cord with the Best Wireless Headphones for Running

It's easier to get in the zone with your favorite tunes when you don't have to worry about pesky wires.

How Bose Sleepbuds ‘Non-headphones’ Promise a Better Night’s Sleep

Replace snoring partners or screaming babies with soothing sounds to help you fall (and stay) asleep.

The Best Funk Songs for Getting Down

From roller rinks to velvet lounges, funk is the grout between the tiles of life that keeps our bathtub all sparkly, scrubba-dub-dub fun.