Artist Interview – Rilëë
In this exclusive interview, Traklife spoke to Rilëë about her debut single, her childhood memories of music, her goals as an artist, and more!
When you were a kid, was it always your dream to be a musician, or was there another career you saw for yourself?
Funny question because I feel both answers are true, I was so obsessed with pretty much everything art because my mind was racing with ideas. At a very young age, I would throw my own shows and make my family watch me in the living room. I didn’t know how extra I was until about the age of 13, I used to sing in my office at home, alone, and I felt like Britney every time I looked in the mirror. Then, in my teens, I started developing a love for other forms of art, like makeup, cooking, fashion, photography, and even set design. I mean you name it, I was watching YouTube just to figure out cool new ways to turn nothing into something. So to answer your question, yes….haha
What are some of your earliest memories of music?
The Mickey Mouse Club was the first time, I saw music. Even thinking now I feel like music saw me too in some creepy way. I can never forget when Britney first came on the scene, she was……Britney fucking Spears. She sang, she danced, and most importantly she captured my heart. I mean, I wanted to be just like her, down to the scandals…lol She was iconic and unapologetic about being herself. I think “Stronger” was my equivalent to Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” of the 2000s era. I always felt like I was so powerless as a child, so hearing that song is what made me feel like my life had a higher purpose. It was then, that music became my religion. I turned obsessed with discovering music from artists like Paramore, Coldplay, 30 Seconds to Mars, The Killers, Rihanna, and much more opened my heart even more to my musical journey. Those were the artist that activated my first memories with music.
How would you describe your sound?
Imagine a lullaby rocking you to a nightmare….only to wake up inside of a haze of self-acceptance. I like to think my sound creates waves within your body and mind. I’m really attracted to synth and darker sounds because they hold on to you in the worst way, kind of like a trance. I would describe my sound as sarcastic, mysterious, and anthemic. I want you to have an ear party, but also to reflect on things you may have missed personally, maybe even have a laugh or two.
In July, your debut single "Baby Disaster" was released. How does it feel to have a single out, available to be heard by people all over the world?
I would like to think that it feels great and I’m so excited, but that would be a lie. I’m terrified out of my mind. People don’t realize how vulnerable you make yourself when you take the most personal parts of you and put them on display. Yes, it’s art and yes you want everyone who encounters it to appreciate it; yeah…..that would be ideal. Let’s be real, the world is a cruel place, and I’m a cancer….lol I’m so sensitive about everything and the idea of someone listening to my song makes me want to throw up and clap at the same time.
Along with the release of your single, an accompanying video was released for "Baby Disaster". Tell us about the experience of creating that video.
We shot the video during the pandemic with an 8-person team. When I tell you we made nothing out of something in 12 hours! Dmitry is soooooo AMAZING! He’s a great Director and love the drama he added to my ideas. Rio Warner pulled that flower dress together because there were so many malfunctions. Tec Beatz was literally assisting every single person on set and I mean down to bringing food. Everyone was so much fun and we all came together. I am very proud of the video and couldn’t ask for a better group to work with.
Who have been some of your favorite people to work with? (songwriters, producers, directors, etc.)
I feel like naming them all would be too much…..because I really loved working with every single person and I’m so grateful they chose to share their time with me. I think everyone that had a hand in everything I release was a real team player and we all want the same things, so I would say a pretty exceptional group of talent. I looooooved working with Brit on Baby Disaster because he has a way of getting inside your head and truly understanding what you feel. I’ve never been able to put things into words properly, it would all be jibberish, with Brit I felt seen. There are a lot of songs we have together that really delve into my most vulnerable thoughts and emotions. Another writer I enjoy telling a story with is Maya ( Baby Disaster Co-writer), she’s someone who came from the same side of town as me. It’s like for the girls that get it, just get it. That’s what it is with Maya, one big conversation, and Mary-jane of course. She can see things within a conversation and build a whole entire story on that. She can make one boring day into a huge extravaganza.
Do you have any upcoming projects we should keep an eye out for?
Yes……I don’t want to say too much, but it’s coming in Fall….mid fall to be exact.
What is your ultimate goal as an artist?
I want to empower people to be their own heroes, and not be afraid to be themselves. I never got to live out loud at a young age, wish someone could have told me that. I want people to feel like they can do anything, be anything, and go anywhere without anyone. I fought really hard to be myself and stay authentic to whatever that looked and felt like. I usually go with my gut all the time, I want people to do that too. I want to empower people to be themselves in a world that tells them not to be. You are your own hero and you can save yourself. When you hear my music, that’s me and no one else. Yes, I have people who help me tell my story, but it is 100% authentically me. To answer your question, my only goal is to stay authentically with me.