Published on June 5th, 2023 | by MuzikScribe


Rebel Rae: Music Therapy


Now let’s hop right into this latest single, “Used to Know” — Tell me about this particular track; how did it come to fruition?

“Used to Know” is about reflecting and accepting a relationship coming to an end. I was at that point in my life, realizing I’m getting ready to end a eight-year long relationship. So here is a song that says, “You tried, I tried, we tried, but it didn’t work and it’s not going to.”

Of course “Used to Know” comes courtesy of your forthcoming EP, Take All My Tears — Conceptually, what does this title represent both to and for you?

Take All My Tears represents what it feels like when you finally get to a point in a relationship, whether personal or business, where you say, “I have no more tears for you… I accept no more excuses… I deserve better… I’m stronger, I’m smart enough to know I deserve better and you walk into the horizon, finally not thinking about people who feel nothing when you cry.”

How then does “Used to Know” either differ and / or compare to previous Rebel Rae entries?

“Used To Know,” along with the whole EP, is very different for me. There are traditional R&B songs on this EP, but even more than sonically, this is the first time, as an artist, that I’ve explicitly used my art to talk about my personal life and relationships. My previous releases are about society, in general, people, in general… This release is for me, as a person, and for the women who can relate to what I’m going through as a woman. My experiences.

What particular string of events actually led to your current signing to / with The Orchard / Sony Music?

I signed to the Orchard after my tour with Ari Lennox. I had a body of work that consisted of all the songs I had done for the years of my development, and I really wanted to get it out, so Elliot Osagie talked to the Orchard, and they really felt like a good partner to develop alongside with. My upcoming album is less of a compilation of songs and more of a specific theme, I’m excited to see what they do with it.

As a songwriter, when you sit down to pen your lyrics where do you draw your inspiration from?

From life! Everything is a song to me. I see a couple arguing… Song! I see a couple making out… Song! I see a homeless man on the street… That feeling creates a song. I hear about our people being oppressed… Another song. My relationships, my family, my experiences all become songs. Long story short, my inspiration just comes from life.

Reflecting, tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for Rebel Rae?

My grandpa is an amazing Jazz musician. I grew up watching him play, I often sat next to him at the piano singing the lyrics on the composition paper while he played. That was definitely the inception, the first seeds.

Now you’re a native of where exactly? And growing up there, who all did / do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?

I grew up in DC, so I’d definitely say the Go-Go sound from DC, and the general music culture of the city, it has all definitely shaped my taste. I also loved to play my dad’s records growing up which opened me up to all the classics like Anita Baker. Nina Simone, Billie Holiday and really the Queens that used their voices as instruments became strong Influences for me.

Having said that, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?

A smooth mixture of R&B and Pop.

Switching gears here, what exactly do you want people to get from your music?

I want people to have enough music for me that it fits a soundtrack of their lives. When it’s all said and done, I want songs for every moment.

If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Nina Simone: Her artistry paved the way for artists like me. Her work helped me craft my own sound and my own principals as a musician. Plus, she seems like a good time to me.

If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?

Red Rocks stage in Denver, Colorado. As of now it’s the coolest venue I’ve seen. The view from the stage is unmatched.

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of R&B?

Yes, I think music is fluid. I love the R&B of the ‘90’s and early 2000’s and I see that as the genres’ prime. Even still in order for any genre to have longevity, you have to let it transform into what it wants to be.

What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity?

My love for being an artist. I’m living my dream and will give whatever it takes to reach the pinnacles of art, creativity and expression.

Do you have any other outside / additional (future) aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?

Fashion. I actually studied fashion in college so i’m curious to where that journey develops as my music hopefully takes center stage.

To date, what has been your biggest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?

I played Sony Hall in N.Y., I grew up going to shows there so that was a full circle moment. – headlining the Climate March in front of the U.S. Capitol, I’m DMV born and bred so I couldn’t ask for a better first hometown performance venue. -My first tour was a multi-country tour through Europe opening up for Ari Lennox. That’s a dream scenario as far as a launch to the road aspect of my career.

What’s an average day like for you?

Workout, vocal warmups, long walk, wrote a song, eat and repeat.

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

It’s situational, but I meet fans where they meet me. If I see them reach out, I reach out to them. If they write letters or want pictures at a show.. I love fans so I meet them wherever they want to meet.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?

Music is therapy for the world. I honestly feel that a world without music would wither away and die and I’m grateful to be a part of the positive parts of the industry. Least favorite: how hard it feels to sometimes get your music in front of people that you know would love it and might need it.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Start now, and don’t stop until you get there. On the way there be real with yourself, and check in with yourself. Take good advice. You don’t know everything. Once you know something, learn something new and keep learning until your last day as an artist.

Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you all see yourself?

I see myself personally satisfied and professionally fulfilled. The rest can fall where it may. I’ll be grateful for the outcomes in between.

As for the immediate, what’s next for Rebel Rae?

I have my EP coming Take All My Tears and my full album project will be coming out this fall so look out for that. I’m also planning to go out on tour again so super excited to meet new fans.

Is there anything I left out or just plain forgot to mention? And, any “parting” words for our readers?

Go listen to my music. You wont regret it 🙂


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