“Keep in mind I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit.” Every creative is familiar with the words of Badu. There’s something very personal and vulnerable about putting a project together out of sheer passion and showcasing it for the world to relish in. The “what ifs” start to kick in. “What if no one likes it, what if it doesn’t go anywhere, what if it just needs more time in the vault?” There is so much magic in the art itself from concept to creation, but it’s the mind that gets in the way of us reaching our full potential.
Indy based artist Rae Londnn knows this life too well, but in 2021 something changed. Setting herself free from the confines of perfectionism, she is finally putting it all on the line and claiming her thrown. Today she has released her second single, “And Again,” and I can confidently say that this song lives up to the intentionality, precision and time put into it’s creation. Read below to get to know the one and only Rae Londnn and the story behind her latest release.
Khaila King: How long have you been writing and working on your own music? What initially led you to releasing your very first single Self Talk.
Rae Londnn: I’ve been writing songs since I was about 9, but I started taking my own music seriously in 2017. Before “Self-Talk” was released, I was actually writing and recording for about four years. Getting tired of my own self-doubt led me to releasing my first single. I struggled with perfectionism a lot for years with my music. Nothing was ever “perfect,” or sounded good enough for me so I kept pushing my music back or scrapping everything I would make. Overtime, it got very tiresome never putting anything forward. I was dreading taking that first step in front of everybody hence why I was so secretive about my passion even with those closest to me. In July, I just got to a point where I was like “ Eff it” and realized time waits for nobody. I set a release date for August 25th. “Self-Talk” was what I got and there it was.
KK: Are there any local artists that you would love to collaborate with, if so who?
RL: I want to collab with a female rapper so bad! The first person I can think of is Parris LaDame. I’ve been listening to her for a couple years now and she’s definitely putting on for the city and for women in music here in Indy, so maybe one day! My friend, Tre Dope, is also one I’ve been meaning to collab with, as well. He definitely lives up to his name so that’s another.
KK: Tell us about the single you are releasing now, what was the inspiration behind it, what are the vibes, what message are you hoping to convey lyrically and production wise?
RL: “And Again” came from not wanting to always write about being hurt or scorned. A lot of what I was writing at the time reflected what I was going through in life and I just wanted something a bit softer, so I wrote just that. When I finished recording that, I was shocked by how vulnerable it sounded so I wanted to give it a balance, which is why I included a prelude that’s more of a “pull up, chill” type of vibe. It also tells a short story of how casual a lot of us intend for a situationship to be, and then before you know it, you’ve actually fallen for someone unintentionally, scared and all. My engineer, Darion, has range and a good ear so he was able to convey what I wanted production wise since both tracks contrast one another.
KK: Every artist has an image, what are the challenges of cultivating that image/branding yourself.
RL: I am inspired by a lot and have a lot of references when it comes to image, but I strive to always make my branding my own. I want it to be clear that there’s only one Rae Londnn and I never want to emulate the ones I admire; it’s only one of them, too. The big challenge for me is pinpointing and execution. For example, cover art: I have inspirations, but how do I tell a photographer or graphic designer “I want something like this,” but at the same time “not like this at all?” And sometimes, things don’t always turn out how I envision it when I finally execute. It can get frustrating, cause I know exactly what I don’t like when I see it, and not satisfied until I get what is true to my taste. That can take a lot of time and money to try again, but it’s what I’m willing to do until I get it right.
KK: What should we expect to see from the EP you will be releasing next year? Do you have an approximate date already?
RL: Visuals! I’m so excited about my EP, because I know exactly how I want it to sound sonically and it’s a concept EP. So again, it’s a story and it wouldn’t be complete to me without a visual. I get to show people more of my range when it comes to creative directing with this project, and I literally cannot wait until it all comes together. I don’t know how long it will take to come together because I’m really focused on taking my time with finding the right videographer, locations, how I’d want to promote it, etc. but 2022 for sure! In a perfect world I would say between March and May, but things like this take time and sometimes a lot longer than expected so I won’t have a date until the entire project is close to a wrap. Until then, people can anticipate upcoming singles and getting to know me better as an artist.