It could be argued that today’s R&B scene is more innovative, albeit less universal than the previous two decades. However, the genre’s current reach provides artists the opportunity to connect with their fans on a more intimate level, creating a cult following. Such seems to be the case with Rhode Island’s Lily Rayne (also known as just “Rayne”).
In an interview with us last year, Rayne said she wants to leave a mark as “a creator of dope sh*t,” and she’s been working successfully towards achieving that goal ever since then.
After the triumphant release of her two singles “On!” and “Super Lit,” Rayne has built a loyal audience that helps boost her numbers with every song she puts up on the internet.
Now, she has decided to drop her debut project. The EP—titled Rhode Girl—comes out on August 5th, and it contains six songs — out of which only two have been released.
One of the songs from the EP that is already out, is the title track. Both the song and the video for it provide an outlook on Rayne’s antics as a Rhode Island girl.
Though her previous songs were just as fun to listen to, Rayne’s now adopted a more advanced sense of vulnerability in her songs. Even if their sexual theme might fool you into thinking there’s not much room for that; i.e Rhode Girl.
As for the upcoming EP, we caught up with the artist via e-mail to discuss the process of creating it, the producers behind it, and more. We also spoke to her about the space she is currently in, as one of R&B’s most exciting new acts.
Watch the video, and read our interview below.
RESPECT.: Which was the most fun song to record from the Rhode Girl EP, and why? The most fun song for me had to be Way I’m Livin’. Mostly because the random adlibs it has, they were so fun to do. Everything was literally a one-take kinda thing and I was on shrooms lol. The people that were around when it was being recorded had me geek’d as well. When I finished it I probably played it about 1000 times.
RESPECT.: Who’s handling the production on the EP?
Kid Angel, 808Trel, Mike.WAV. Kid Angel is from Maine but lives here in Rhode Island. As soon as we linked we both knew we were a match made in heaven on the music side of things, he’s also a great fucking friend! 808Trel resides in GA. I’ve actually reached out to him on SoundCloud about a year ago telling him basically “I made a song to your beat, can I use it?” lol he’s a pretty cool guy, he’s very diverse and can take on different sounds. We’ve never met but hopefully one day. He’s def someone I would love to keep working with in the future. Mike.Wav I reached out to him after hearing the beat for “Phone Home” I was impressed! I would also love to work with him again. He has a great ear as well.
RESPECT.: How long did it take you to finish this project?
This project took me about 4 months to make, minus the 5 or 6 months on stand by really trying to figure myself out and how I want to tell a part of me in this first project. “Who is Lily Rayne & what is she about.. what’s her story?” In fact I was very hesitant to just give listeners this side of me because even though there was stuff I was going through I just wanted to remain that lit chick that doesn’t give a fuck, a rebel. Unfortunately I can’t beat the fact that I am a young adult/human (lol) that has feelings and things I need to get off my chest, as a lover of music all my life I just felt like this first project should just state everything about how life has been since I’ve totally gave myself entirely to music in the most honest way possible, even if you can mosh pit to it.
RESPECT.: Do you have any expectations for it?
I want listeners to get a sample of how life is for this Rhode Girl, even though it seems like she’s just always lit somewhere I want them to know yeah Ima lit bih but I have my reasons. From relationships, life and my past.
RESPECT.: In your last interview with RESPECT., you said that you want to get into producing. How is that going for you?
I’ve actually haven’t took full control into that but the beats Kid Angel cooked up I could say I kinda helped to some degree as far as how I want things to sound and be. I’m good at saying how I want things done lol but don’t be surprised if you ever see a “Prod. by Lily Rayne” only if I had more time.
RESPECT.: Who are some of people you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
I would love to collab with Jorja Smith I don’t know what we’d make but I’m sure it’ll sound awesome, also I love SZA, I’ve been a fan for some years now I love what she has become! Lowkey my Girl crush but anyway I like Cousin Stizz he has a very distinct voice / dope songs and he putting on for New England S/o to him.. he’s killing it right now.
RESPECT.: After attaining such a following independently, are you thinking of pushing it a step further by signing to a label?
I’d only sign to a label if it makes sense also if they care about me as artist as well as a human being. I’m not against labels, It just has to make sense.
RESPECT.: Keeping in mind the successful release of your previous singles, how much has life changed for you in this past year?
Life has been a roller coaster. Not that roller coasters are bad, because some are fun, and some is just like why did I even step foot in this. In the midst of all the many, many, many GREAT things that’s been happening, I’m still missing my brother Loui. He’s locked up right now over some BS, but I’m still in contact with him. I wish he was here to see what’s been going on and the progress! I love that my city supports me in everything I do. My singles are all a different sound and they still fuck with me. It’s like they are all watching me grow as an artist and it’s dope!
RESPECT.: What are some valuable lessons you’ve learned from your first release up to now?
I’ve learned how to handle my business correctly and being alone and young in this shit is gonna be very hard because there are so many frauds/culture vultures waiting to just eat you up. You have to have your business on PAPER. Nothing gets done without being contracted from now on.
RESPECT.: Tell me more about what has helped you grow as an artist throughout the years.
Dealing with different energies and situations has helped, the good and bad things that happened as I was figuring myself out has helped guide me into the right path that I feel like I’m in right now. I’m learning everyday I’m just glad I’m in a better space for me to be myself without being judged. Listening has also helped big time!
RESPECT.: In the past couple of years we’ve gotten some excellent bodies of work from R&B artists. Are feeling any pressure, in terms of having your project perform as well as the ones from fellow musicians?
Not really. No pressure at all. I’ve grown to understand that I am me and they are them. Everybody is different and everyone should have their own sound. Everyone is 100% me. I wouldn’t call myself singer nor would I call myself a rapper. I just do both lol I feel like it’s boring to just do one type of sound when you know deep down you can do so much more than that and it can sound awesome! I respect what everyone is doing tho, and I’m still very new to the scene & I’m still learning. I don’t compare myself to others.
RESPECT.: Are there any upcoming shows you’d like to let your fans know about?
I have a show @ SOB’s In New York on Sept 12th, at the moment. Y’all should come through and check me out!