Chatterbox: RAIGN talks to us about ‘Who Are You’, cinematic sounds and her influences

Hey! Could you tell our readers something about yourself that they might not find out otherwise?

Fun fact – I am ambidextrous and can write perfectly with both hands. My party trick is being able to do mirror writing in either direction with both hands at once.

What are your musical influences?

At home as a kid, my parents listened to the Blues, Big bands, Classical music and film scores but also BBC Radio, so 80s pop music (Wham! / Cyndi Lauper / George Michael) which progressed to growing up in the era of 90’s dance / trance (Candi Staton / N-Trance) and 90s R&B. Then I got into the band scene, Rock, Psychedelic Rock, and local Indie-Rock – The Abstract sound of Pink Floyd, poetic Bob Dylan, Oasis. 

My first three tape cassettes where Michael Jackson Bad, No Doubt Beacon Street and a mixtape with songs by the Beatles and The Monkeys and alike.  As a teenager, I briefly got into the underground Drum ’n’ Bass scene in the UK, mixing (badly) on vinyl decks and singing my own melodies over the top, but the real songwriting happened when I picked up a guitar and starting jamming in blues bars, around the time I first heard Amy WInehouses’ incomparable, emotional take on Soul music – I’ve always stayed close to my Soul, Rock and Blues roots.

How would you describe the sound you’ve crafted over your last few releases?

Emotional/emotive, deep, cinematic, dark and brooding at times, layered, reflective, spiritual, euphoric, uplifting – Alternative music but still a strand of Pop. I’m inspired by emotional strings, epic drums and also love a good electric guitar riff, so all of that went in there, as did my more mainstream influences with the euphoric synths and unique digital sounds.

Where are you based?

Los Angeles for about 7 years now, but I go back and forth to London and much of my early music was written in New York.

How does your city impact your music?

There is a wonderful mix of creative people here in LA, motivated, passionate people who work hard and see no boundaries and that support keeps you moving towards your goals and dreams. The weather helps too lol! It’s never a chore to leave the house and go to a session!

What does the new single draw upon thematically?

I wrote the lyrics for Who Are You after I hiked to the top of a mountain in Sedona. The vista was magnificent, epic, terrifying and yet peaceful – I felt so tiny in the grand scheme of things and yet totally safe on that skinny ledge – It inspired a strong feeling of being loved from afar by something larger then life, Universal, but wanting that love to be close, someone real, someone I could see and touch and that human feeling flooded through the grandeur.

Did the track evolve significantly in the studio from the original demo?

Having such a love for cinematic music, I wanted to weave that emotional feel into the song, whilst staying true to the uptempo, authentic Pop song that it was –  So we recored live strings, chose the drum sounds very carefully, mixing cinematic booms with electric drums, added real electric guitar and a ton of blues-y counter melodies in the lead synths as well as layering more of the angelic, dreamy backing vocals and ad-libs, to give it that epic crescendo on the last chorus.

What do fans have to look forward to over the next few months?

A ton of new music! I’m so grateful to have so many wonderful, loyal fans who have taken my music to heart over the last few years and shouted about it online – it’s been a beautiful journey of evolution and growth and I’m super stoked to be finally releasing my debut, full length album!


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