Amber Riley, former Glee star and forever the realest, emerges as RILEY ahead of the much-anticipated release of her solo EP next month; dropping her second single “BGE” (“Big Girl Energy”) on September 18.
“BGE” gives a taste of what RILEY brings to the table; her impeccable vocals settling easily on the track that moves like a slow ride through the haze of a sunny California day. If you’ve kept up with her career over the years, you should be well aware of the stunts RILEY can pull with her voice; but her soft restraint and pull of the notes are perfect for “BGE”.
It’s measured and intentional with its statement of strength and power in the total embodiment of self-love and “Don’t try me”.
The music video shows a new, yet familiar side to RILEY; taking on a down-to-earth vibe of a kickback with visuals deeply rooted in the Black community. It specifically pertains to Black women with images that cater to memories of getting our hair done and surrounding ourselves with the girlfriends we love most. We can’t help but feel right at home. Elevating its impact are the cameos from RILEY’s family and friends; including singer Jordin Sparks, actress Gabourey Sidibe (Antebellum), and Compton mayor Aja Brown.
Another standout in “BGE” is RILEY’s fashion. From head scarves to bodycon jumpsuits to giant doorknocker earrings with “RILEY” dripping like ice cream down the middle; she works her curves and her angles with a wardrobe made to envy. She doesn’t shy away from prints and patterns and jewelry galore, celebrating herself with a carefree spirit; and encouraging others to embrace their big girl energy in this epic #BGEmovement.
Prior to “BGE”, RILEY released the beautifully piano-driven jazz ballad “A Moment” on September 4. If both singles are a sign of what’s to come from this multi-talented entertainer, we’re certainly in for a treat.
An award-winning performer, Riley took home the top prize in the 17th season of Dancing with the Stars in 2013 — the first Black women to do so; and won the highly-coveted Laurence Olivier Award in 2016 for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Effie White in West End’s production of Dreamgirls.
RILEY’s debut EP arrives October 2.