Lewis Capaldi challenges Raye in the Tight UK Chart Race

A star is born in Raywhose “Escapism” is the first UK No. 1 of 2023 – and the first of her career.

Based on early chart data, “Escapism” is headed for one second week though in the box seat Lewis Capaldi could stage a disturbance.

Featuring US rapper 070 Shake, “Escapism” leads the Official Charts Company’s First Look survey, which ranks singles based on the first 48 hours of the cycle.

“Escapism” is lifted from Raye’s upcoming debut album My 21st Century Blues, along with “Hard Out Here”, “Black Mascara” and “The Thrill Is Gone”, and was released independently through Human Resourcesafter she cut the ribbon to Polydor, part of Universal Music Group, in 2021.

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“We’re number 1 in the UK! It’s the first number 1 of the year, it’s my first number 1 in my life. I’m an independent artist, it’s sick,” she tells the OCC.

Capaldi has his own plans. The Scottish songstress (and Raye’s tour mate) soars 15-2 with “Pointless,” co-written by Ed Sheeran.

Only 2,000 combined units currently separate the two bestsellers.

The short race has a little extra spice. Last week, Raye announced that Capaldi has welcomed her on his UK tour, which starts in January. 14 in Leeds’ First Direct Arena. Capaldi “please let me open his UK arena tour, I get to sing some songs from my album to you guys on these huge stages just before it’s released,” Raye tweeted. “I am so grateful for this opportunity.”

Meanwhile, Stormzy’s “Hide & Seek” is boosted by a new remix featuring BRITs Rising Star and BBC Sound Of 2023 winners Flo. Grimestjernen’s melody is set to rise 18-14.

Runner-up in the BBC Sound Of 2023 poll, Fred Again, could claim the highest new entry of the week with “Rumble”, a collaboration with Skrillex and Flowdan. It is expected to peak at No. 16, for what would be Skrillex’s fourth, Fred Again’s third and Flowdan’s first top 40 appearance.

The official UK singles chart will be published late Friday.

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