© 2024 Milwaukee Public Media is a service of UW-Milwaukee's College of Letters & Science
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Rag'n'Bone Man On World Cafe

Rag'n'Bone Man
Courtesy of the artist
Rag'n'Bone Man

When Rory Graham was 19 or 20 years old, he sang in public for the first time. And he didn't really think there was anything special about his voice. Turns out, the world disagrees.

Rory's first full-length release as Rag'n'Bone Man, Human, came out in February and became the fastest-selling male solo debut album this decade. He picked up two Brit Awards this year: Critics' Choice and British Breakthrough Act. His single "Human" hit No. 1 in 15 countries, has sold millions of copies and as of right now, has more than 250 million streams on Spotify. So, yeah. There's something special about his voice.

Rory Graham was born and raised in the small town of Uckfield in England. We talked about how he's adjusting to an avalanche of success — including the time his friend sent him a photo of himself larger than life on the side of a bus. Rory is a tall guy to begin with: He's 6 foot 5. He's got loads of tattoos, a facial piercing, a pretty fabulous beard. And before he was a singer, he worked as a caregiver for kids who have Down syndrome or Asperger's syndrome. We talk about why that's close to his heart — and he does have a big heart. He also has a new family member — you'll hear Rory talk about his long-time girlfriend, with whom he's had a baby. So he's now Rag'n'Bone Dad.

Hear our chat and a studio performance in this session. Listen in the player above.

Copyright 2021 XPN. To see more, visit XPN.

Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.