Nigerian musician Rayce is one of the leading lights of a style called Afrobeats, a sound that combines elements of hip-hop, EDM, R&B, and African rhythms. Rayce (full name Rayce Amoni Kingsley) was born in Lagos, Nigeria on November 8, 1983. Growing up, he was a major fan of Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and watching their videos on television inspired him to try his own hand at making music. By the time he was six years old, Rayce had decided he wanted to be a music star, and he got his start as a performer when he landed a spot as a drummer in his church's band. He became interested in production and, working in several recording studios in Lagos, he learned first-hand about studio technique. Rayce started producing other artists under the moniker Admire Beatz, and in 2002 he began releasing material on his own as he honed his skills as a songwriter and vocalist. In 2008, Rayce struck a deal with the Nigerian label Big Don Records and released his debut album, Get Lifted. After years working on the sidelines, Rayce stepped into the spotlight in 2011 with the release of the single "Roll," which became a major hit in Nigeria. After scoring several more hit singles, including "Wetin Dey," "Jack Sparrow," and "21 Love," Rayce dropped his second album, D.C.M.R. ("Dey Call Me Rayce"), in 2015. In 2017, as his fame grew in his homeland, Rayce became the first Afrobeats artist to land an American record deal, when the long-running independent label Shanachie Records issued the collection African Juice. ~ Mark Deming

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