Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Save You”? Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
This song reflects my view of a relationship. Through experience I have realized that we are not attracted to each other’s strengths but our weaknesses, and the reason for two people to be together is to simply save each other. That’s why the other has everything you don’t have, and you have what the other has been missing. When you find a soulmate, you feel rescued and saved. But saved doesn’t mean safe; it’s only the beginning of the endeavors to face what the future brings. “What have we got ourselves into?” “Holding on to each other, we’ll go through it all together” Hence this is not a love song, but a fight song.
The single comes off your new EP Levels – what’s the story behind the title?
The titlerepresents the levels of commitment, effort, and time… I have actually gone through those levels, going back more than 5 years-I was living in Japan at that time and had the ambition to pursue music in the UK. It surely required a lot of commitment, and it took a long way to come this far! The EP consists of songs made along that journey.
How was the recording and writing process?
Writing process of “Save You” started from a very personal place, and I wanted to emphasize that through a lower tone of voice, as if I am quietly talking. Then the dynamic becomes an important part of the song both sonically and lyrically, because this song is about the contrasting introvert/extrovert views.
After the success of your previous EP, were you any nervous with the approach for this sequel?
Though I don’t know much about success, I’ve made no compromise for both EPs, and they were made with care, consideration, and experimental mindset. In the first and second releases, I wanted to have the freedom to experiment, so I wasn’t nervous in that sense.
Is it a direct sequel or a standalone record?
I think it would be a direct sequel, as the songs are autobiographical and I would like the listeners to follow the journey as it moves along.
What aspect of art do you try to explore in your music?
I have an artist friend who can see colours in melodies- I don’t have such psychic power, but I do believe that creating art and music is a spiritual process-everything is connected; brushstrokes to melodies, colours to tones, contrast to dynamics… most importantly just beingfree of any theory.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
I went to a Christian school from kindergarten to high school, so listening to hymns every day definitely shaped my notion of choral structures. I also cherish my time having lived in the States from age7-10, without that experience I wouldn’t have been writing in two languages. Overall I have been a shy and weird kid, so I was looking for some other form of self-expression, and art and music was the perfect solution.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Since moving to the UK, I find inspiration in my own identity and environment, simply being a foreigner in this country. That inspiration leads to themes like crossing the boundaries or trying to find something universal…or I can flip it the other way to being frustrated by the differences and obstacles that I encounter.
Any plans to hit the road?
I’m starting to play a few shows in London, would love to hit the road any time soon.
What else is happening next in Rie’s world?
Speaking of crossing the boundaries, I’ve recently started a university Masters’ course in translation and interpreting. It’s really fascinating, and I wish to combine the study with music in a unique way.