I’ve just spent the last three weeks at the Banff Center in Alberta, Canada at a songwriting retreat, so I’m doing well!
Can you talk to us more about your single “Draw”?
This is our first single in almost two years, which we recently released back in January. It’s sort of this film noir/Western/James Bond fusion, very much inspired by the band Portishead.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I usually combine various bits of inspiration into one song, so it’s not about any specific event per se; however, I did write it around the end of the summer of 2016, which was obviously a very tumultuous time both politically and socially around the world. That, coupled with a bit of stress-induced sleep paralysis around the same time, probably influenced the lyrics of the song most directly.
How was the filming process and experience behind the upcoming video?
It was pretty intense! We had a very small crew, just four people including myself and the director Frankie Turiano. He had the idea to focus on a battle against the elements rather than a literal interpretation of the lyrics, keeping the shot completely static while I’m being overwhelmed by snow, rain, smoke and fire, slowly wielding control over them. What this meant in a practical sense was that I was pretty much at the mercy of Frankie’s stunt direction for the whole day, including having water poured all over me and my hand literally set on fire. The ending was a little inspired by Game of Thrones with the fiery mother of dragons/unburnt shot – I was absolutely terrified to do that stunt but think it fits the end of the song perfectly.
How was the recording and writing process?
This song came together very quickly compared to others I’ve written. Usually I sit on ideas for months or years before finishing them. I got the idea for the song towards the end of July, worked on the demo with my producer in August, and then our studio time was booked for September and October, so it had to be done by then. Musically it was written for piano and voice, as all my songs are. I sent a very bare-bones demo to my producer, and he added a new drum track as well as a bunch of guitar parts that completely transformed the vibe. We added tons of synth and vocal layers to the final version – there’s a very difficult Casio arpeggio part during that final section that I actually had to play live because the keyboard we wanted to use didn’t have a midi in or out. I was definitely holding my breath the entire time during that take.
What role does Brooklyn play in your music?
I’m very inspired by a lot of Brooklyn artists, both friends of mine and bands I grew up listening to. As harsh as New York can be, people really are willing to help you out if they can see that you’re genuine and a hard worker. I wouldn’t have been able to progress much as a musician without the opportunities that other Brooklyn bands and venues have given me.
How has the whole moving from one to other different culture get to influence your writing?
I originally moved to NY with the intention to keep pursuing jazz singing (that was my main gig back in Australia), but as I met more people and spent more time in the scene, I became more interested in experimental pop writing and production, so I decided to focus on my own music. I don’t think I’d be writing the sort of music I am now if I’d stayed at home.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material? How’s that coming along?
Yes, there are a couple more singles and videos coming soon, as well as an album. Everything was recorded back in 2016 so I’m very relieved that it’ll finally be seeing the light of day this year. Though I think I jinxed myself with the title I chose…
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
It’s called “Waiting” (ha) and it’ll be out in mid-May.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes! We’ll be hitting the east and west coasts for a short tour in June and July. Everything’s still being finalized but there a quite a few bands coming on board that I’m very excited to play with.
What else is happening next in RVBY MY DEAR’s world?
We’re currently finishing up the edit on another music video for the title track of the album which I’m very excited about. As I mentioned earlier, I just spent a few weeks at a songwriting residency in Canada, so there’s quite a few ideas for new songs floating around now, hopefully I can make it back into the studio to record them soon.