I sat down with the talented R.A.E, an artist and actress hailing from South-East London who is making a name for herself by bringing the 90s back to the UK music scene.
We meet in Shoreditch, a place that we both admit to spending far too much time in, whether that’s for work or socialising. R.A.E orders a green juice despite her protests about her dislike for green things and we agree our next meeting will be somewhere much simpler where we’re not subjected to such an extensive menu of coffees and other instagrammable drinks.
Her demeanour is warm and authentic and our interview resembles that of a conversation between friends. We get onto the topic of culture and languages when R.A.E. reveals that she has a degree in Social Policy and Deaf Studies and that she knows basic sign language and a little bit of Portuguese.
She is the middle child, with two older siblings and one younger, and believes that this has contributed to her progression into a creative career.
Parris: Who are your biggest influences?
R.A.E: Left-Eye (I absolutely love her), Da Brat and MC Lyte. I feel connected to these 3 in particular, Left-Eye is a storyteller (same as me), Da Brat with her style, baggy clothes and MC Lyte has the attitude which I channel in my videos.
Parris: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
R.A.E: 90’s with a British twist.
Parris: With regards to the UK music scene, what would you like to see/hear more of?
R.A.E: I would like to see artists branching out and collaborating with other artists who are not in the same genre as them. For example, you always see Drill, Afro-Swing and Grime artists do songs with others in the same category. That’s boring, not everyone wants to hear that and this is why certain artists remain exactly where they started. Giggs is probably one of the few artists I am aware of who has done collaborations outside his box e.g. Lily Allen ft Giggs – Trigger Bang. It’s taking a risk, I know, however, I’d rather take a risk than try to make music with the same few people because I know this song will get 1 million views. Quality over Quantity.
I’d love to see more male/female collabs as well without the negative slander. Sometimes don’t be a sheep and appreciate the art created.
I’d like to hear more of UK music, haha. There are so many genres in the world, so many talented artists alone in the UK, but the ears of the mass are not as open minded. Hence why artists who receive no love here tend to branch out to different countries and blow over there.
Parris: When did you first realise that you wanted to make music?
R.A.E: 23 years old was the age I decided to take music seriously. However, I’ve been writing since I was 10. Took me 13 years to come out of my shell and just do it.
Parris: Some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome as a creative/an artist?
R.A.E: Rejection! Literally had to take it with a pinch of salt. I started to tell myself that the reason I was rejected or received no response is because whatever was behind that door was not for me. Once you start to speak positively to yourself, you begin to realise that everything is in your favour, just timing.
Parris: Describe a typical day for you.
R.A.E: Wake up, eat, get ready, work (replying to emails, writing music or learning lines if I have a set to be on), sleep. Repeat. Quite boring.
Parris: What songs have you had in heavy rotation recently?
R.A.E: AMA – Slip (she’s deffo one to watch), Dave’s Psychodrama and Cleopatra – Comin’ Atcha.
Parris: Spotify or Apple Music?
R.A.E: Apple Music, only because it came with my phone. I was new to iPhone so I didn’t know how to put music on my phone like I used to with my Samsung lol. Also, had a student discount, thanks to my sis.
Parris: If you weren’t making music, what you be doing instead?
R.A.E: Acting. I do it now already, 50/50 with music.
Parris: Which artist(s) would you like to collaborate with in the future and why?
R.A.E: Little Simz. She’s talented and a storyteller like myself. I can also tell she works very hard in the studio and just keeps her head down. I need to be as grounded.
Parris: If you are allowed to say, are you working on any projects at the moment?
R.A.E: Currently working on an EP, not sure what to call it yet.
Parris: A bit cliché but where do you see yourself in five years?
R.A.E: I see myself older haha. I’ll be 29 in 5 years, so by then, I should have headlined about 2/3 big sold out shows and have had lead roles in a few productions. A house, an apartment, another house (which I’d change into student accommodation). I would’ve opened up my own school or have creative youth clubs in multiple areas. Married with twins (boy and girl).
You can follow R.A.E on her socials below and stream her latest single here.