RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW NEW ZEALAND ARTIST RELLA
Hiya Rella, thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
I sort of decided it was a thing for me after deciding on a whim to start making music and then finding out that people actually seemed to vibe with it. So from there I just started trying to figure out how I could make a career in this industry work.
What was life like for you before music?
I mean music had always been around for me even when I was growing up, but it was never really considered a viable path for me for many years. All that I knew was that I didn’t want to work a 9-5 job and was willing to do pretty much anything to avoid it.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
The first act I remember really getting when I was a kid was Nirvana. Even decades after his death Kurt still has this strange allure when you’re a lonely kid, and so I remember really having a “this guy gets it” type of moment after listening to the Nevermind album.
Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?
I feel like I sort of fit into the mid-level independent artist category. I still do everything myself apart from shooting the content so emails, promotion, mixing, mastering all that gets done by me. It gives you a lot of control but there’s plenty of days where you do absolutely nothing but the boring admin work.
What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?
The biggest thing I’ve probably learned is not to be too picky with yourself and what you put out. The whole “I need to just find my sound before I release anything” isn’t true and isn’t something many artists ever find, it’s just something the listeners and fans find.
If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?
Sometimes I wish for an engineer or a dedicated producer. So many are just hit or miss with beats and some engineers come in bringing different vibes. Most of the time I just record myself so again it gives you a whole lot of control but also plenty to do.
Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture?
Nah not really, it seems nowadays things are swinging back the other way and cancel culture in itself is being called out and canceled. Being in the hip-hop industry some characters say some pretty wild things and seem to be just fine, so I think the big thing is not letting people be able to discern whether you’re being genuine or joking with the things that you say.
I heard your new album ETERNAL, what can you tell us about it?
It was recorded entirely during this year after a pretty nasty family bust-up. I really just locked-in to the studio and tried as hard as I could to record as many songs as possible that evoked all the different emotions that that incident and some others made me feel throughout the year. The album is the best thirteen tracks that were recorded from the bunch and when they came together it really helped guide the project the rest of the way.
What was the recording process like?
It was really just staying by myself and trying to conjure up songs that connect strongly to the different emotions I felt during that time. It was difficult at points because running toward those emotions instead of running away wasn’t that easy, and became really tiring and draining at certain times. Looking back now though it was all worth it.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
Just the real difficulty in the day-to-day consistency of trying to translate something from your head out onto a screen. Somedays I would work away for twelve or more hours without getting anything, just to get up the next day and get a whole song in thirty minutes. It’s difficult to get used to and even harder to understand.
Would you change anything now that it’s finished?
After finishing the album I let it sit for a few weeks before going back and listening to it, and for the most part there isn’t anything else I’d change. Just little things that I don’t think listeners would be able to hear. There’s always going to be stuff you’d change and that’s part of the beauty in just saying ‘nope I’m putting this out now’ because otherwise the anxiety takes hold and you never release it. I really think the best songs in the world are the ones that artists never released.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Just that I hope everybody really likes the album and everything that’s coming out alongside it. There’s brand new merch and a whole bunch of social media content that’s dropping alongside the release so hopefully people vibe! If you don’t you know who to blame.