RAHEAVEN

After the release of her debut EP, the North-London based musician speaks on the process of creating '2Personal', her favourite local artists and always remaining honest in her writing.

You released your debut single ‘7am’ last year, how has the response been, so far?

I feel like '7am' came in wearing a racy dress & got peoples ears perked up. '7am' is not your average girl. I feel as though the response has been interesting because of that, but overall I've enjoyed peoples reactions to that story. It’s been exciting and I'm grateful.

How was the process of creating your debut single and what were your initial inspirations?

I had one hour of sleep, one iced coffee, arrived late to my own studio, where Elli Ingram and Aston Rudi were waiting for me. I had just experienced a '7AM' situation, so we wrote about that. I think they were a bit taken back by my honesty because I really didn't know them too well at the time, but it was fun and we just ran with it.


 I was inspired by Elli’s writing style too. To me it's classic and elegant, she’s really amazing at story-telling, so we started from the beginning, the first line. In my head I imagined myself as a kind of femme fatale archetype and just built it on a true story.

 

When did you first get into music and what has been the journey leading up to releasing your debut?

I’ve always been around music, since past lifetimes I’m sure. I feel that way more every day. I think you plant seeds without noticing, everywhere you go, then fruits grow. Sometimes it feels like nothing’s happening, but you have to keep going. You have to because fruits do grow. And this EP is the start and a part of my pretty little garden. 

"I feel like this EP is all the different sides to me in one project. Down to the sounds and concepts."

You also dropped ‘2Personal’ at the end of last year, what were the themes that you wanted to explore with that track and how was working alongside Cadenza


I was in a place where I found showing emotion and vulnerability difficult, it was easier for me to be ‘over it’ and unbothered. I feel like showing a lot of emotion is a privilege, and some situations and people are just not worth it. Working with Cadenza on this was perfect to me because he made a melancholy concept into a bop. He’s super talented and really focused like a scientist and I appreciate that. Working with Savannah here was also perfect. She was able to assess my vibe and help put my mood into words.


How has working on your debut EP been, especially throughout the last year?

It's been long and partially delayed due to the world's chaos but seeing it come to life now is another thing to me. I'm super grateful to have worked with some amazing talented people on this EP who took a chance on me, I also learnt a lot from those I've worked with too. I feel like this EP is all the different sides to me in one project. Down to the sounds and concepts.

 

What can we expect from the project?


Expect options. Expect opulence. 


Expect sass, serotonin, lies, death, drama and the real tea coming to you live. It’s like a bento box. And don’t skip 'OVER' because it's my favourite song vocally and it’s blowing all these bitches out the water, the vocals on that one really show you that in the baddest in the game IMO.

"... I see visuals in my mind or daydream them when I listen to music ..."

How does having a knowledge of production make you a better artist and allow you more creative control?


I think it makes a big difference because u can be more specific when trying to create a sound, or explain an idea. I feel like a lot of artists like to record and then leave the rest in the producers hands, I can’t do that. There are a lot of technical aspects that go into making something sound good beyond the song and writing being good. I'm trying to focus on that more for future music too.

How important is it for you to bring a range of sounds into your music and never be confined by genre boundaries?

 

I feel like every song on this EP is a completely different vibe. Every feeling applied to each song is held together by the most suitable production, writing and vocals. I will always draw towards rnb elements in my music but I believe that not all emotions and stories can be expressed through a genre’s strict rules and boundaries. Rnb will always be at my core in some way, but I will always end up gravitating to what best suits a song, and that may sometimes defy the laws of a genre. 
 

What were the main influences for your visuals for ‘7am’ and ‘2Personal’ and how was creating them?

 

Me and my filmmaker bestie Lynda Doudjeltia visualised the songs once I made them. I see visuals in my mind or daydream them when I listen to music anyways so it became easier to materialise those ideas with director Nicola sheppard. I wanted 2personal to be the gates to Raheaven world. Both were difficult to put together in a pandemic but we pulled it off. I'm grateful to have had an input in the creative direction. I'm grateful that those ideas in my mind came to life thanks to everyone involved.

 

"It’s important to me to create a sensory experience ... A song takes life in a different form."


How important is that visual aspect to your music?

It’s important to me to create a sensory experience. It’s more exciting when it’s not just sound, but visual too. A song takes life in a different form. I would like to continue being heavy handed in the creative direction of visuals.


Being raised in North London, are there any local artists you would recommend?


First of all, Adele is a north London baddie. Lil Simz, Miraa May.


Which artists first inspired you to get into music and who is inspiring you today?


Jazmine Sullivan, Gwen Stefani, Kelis, M.I.A, Destiny's Child, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar.


Today its SZA, Giveon, Che Ecru, Summer Walker, PARTYNEXTDOOR.


If you had to recommend five artists to your listeners, who would you choose?

 

Yung Baby Tate, I think she’s great, Shygirl, Jamilah Barry (insane)!

What’s coming up for 2021?

 

More music, more love, maybe heartbreak, another EP hopefully, freedom, fun chaos, more feels, and me - the new girl on the block.

 

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