1. How are you doing? Thank you for being here!
I am doing very well, thank you! It’s my time of year, spring awakens and it gives that hope and rush of energy after a long winter, not to mention we are coming out of a 2 year pandemic, that alone feels pretty good! Thank you for having me, it’s an honour!
2. When did you first begin writing music? What song or album did you listen to that inspired you?
Oh wow, I started writing poetry at a very young age, often about topics I had yet to experience haha. I think around at age 7 or 8 I would write down poetry and short stories. I have always been very creative and imaginative and I think I needed an outlet for that at a very early stage. I also used to draw and paint a lot but haven’t for years. I also was in love with doing theatre and loved performing, as a child I thought theatre would be my life!
How music became such a vital part of me, well my earliest memory was as a toddler ; I suffered a lot from sinus infections as a little child and I remember this one night I was in terrible pain and couldn’t sleep, my mom brought me down to the living room and I sat with her on the couch as it was so late she fell asleep with me wide awake because of my ear pain. On the old TV was a documentary about the early life of Beatles. I was too young to understand English let alone mastering Norwegian fully, but I learnt my first song from that night; Twist and Shout. After I got well, I would start singing Twist and Shout all over the house, my mom oblivious and not understanding where I had learnt it. So I became a novelty act on family gatherings and such performing my version of it. After my Beatles period, I discovered Irish folk music which really moved me, it is somewhat similar to Norwegian folk music, but only with English lyrics and some Gaelic. So I learnt a few songs in Gaelic too. Then I was introduced to soul music, and old jazz like Billie Holiday and also African American spirituals which also had a great impact on my singing style. I then discovered rock which would be my main genre for many years to come. I was in a few rock bands too.
3. In addition to being a musician, you are also an author.
I am probably a Jack of all trades..or Jane? Haha. I have a degree in Digital Forensics and currently studying Psychology. Alongside that I try to have an outlet for all my creative sides. The years I spent studying Digital Forensics was really draining and left me no time for any creative pursuits, we had on average 3 final exams or certifications each month so I was just living from exam to exam for so long. I graduated during the pandemic and I felt so uninspired and thought to myself, I need to do something creative again. I felt dead and dried up creatively so to speak, and I felt I had lost that expressive side of me completely. I had several songs written down, but no music to go with it. I figured I could try and make some simple music myself on Ableton. So I bought Ableton with no prior experience of beat-making, and 2 months later I released my first song ” To all that’s lost.”
It was so nerve-wrecking, I felt so out of my comfort zone, facing scrutiny and all that jazz on a basis of being a complete novice in the music making process. I didn’t know what I was doing, I still don’t, but I am learning as I go. After the initial fear, I felt total peace, I could be myself regardless of what friends and family thought. I have always harbored a free spirited bohemian inside a somewhat logical personality.
4. As a singer, songwriter, and producer Mustard would love to know more about your creative process.
So it is not structured, and sometimes it makes me glad I am working alone for now, it allows the creative process to happen without a set schedule or force anything to fit into someone else’s vision.
I often new hear tunes and music in my head as I am about to fall asleep, sometimes so intricate it is hard to reenact it. So I try to record the tune asap, but I would say only about 20% of the songs make it to the recorder, because sometimes the whole song is there from beginning to end, and I tell myself no way you will forget this tomorrow morning, and fall asleep and it’s gone haha.
As for writing the lyrics it goes pretty quick when I know what theme it is. I use a blend of real and imaginative experiences to create a story. Often a song will have a completely different beginning and outcome, so some songs goes through a complete metamorphosis during the mixing process.
I usually work fast, I am an impatient soul unfortunately. I have never had a song take more than 2 weeks from first note to upload/release.
This is embarrassing, but the whole “Moon Child” album was written and produced in 10 days..all songs. I wish I had more patience but if it gets tedious I really lose interest.
With the song “LNOS” I sat and played around with a bassline and then recorded the “oooh ooh ooo” you hear in in the beginning of the song, the rest went really fast. I finished it after 24 hours, but that is unusually fast and I did that as a challenge. That time I used a photo I had in stock. Normally making the covers is another fun and creative part I look forward to, usually set to be done a day or two before I upload it to my distributor. I have clear visions of what I want to convey and make it thereafter.
I have synesthesia so every song has its own colour and I try to recreate that colour in my covers, to varying degrees of success.
But just as my songs, it is way better in my head than the execution, but I hope with more experience it will start to look and sound like I had originally envisoned.
Most of my lyrics will have secret or embedded hints and references to famous poets and such that has inspired me throughout my life, that goes along with the concept of the song. It is my way of thanking them for being a low-key inspiration.
Like in the song “To all that’s lost” I rap; “she was a wild wicked slip of a girl, she burnt to bright for this world” from Emily Brönte’s description of Catherine Earnshaw. Wuthering Heights is a story that has greatly moved me, I am a hopeless romantic haha.
Also some quotes from Harry Houdini when I sing ” Love laughs at locksmiths” and so on. Every song has references here and there.
5. How would you describe the music that you typically create?
I have no idea, grunge synth pop something? I don’t have a methodical approach I make what wants to come out. Sometimes the song decides if that make sense. I have many unreleased songs I made through the year ranging from jazz to rock. I try to upload those in alignment with the style so far.
6. Stargazing is your most recent single. What inspired this single?
So Stargazing is actually about waiting for your soulmate. I used inspiration from Tarot to describe the process metaphorically as well. I noticed a lot of my songs have cars and driving in them, but in this particular song the road is life, the cars are the people who pass through it and about waiting for the car (read: ) person or soulmate that is right for you.
So when I sing;
“Gonna play it like a deck of cards,
ride along in strangers cars;
Along the road till’ you show up
Giving me you ace of cups “
The deck of cards is what you have been dealt thus far in life both good and bad, and to try and make the best of it regardless. The tarot reference “ace of cups” refers to a new start in love that is destined.
Also the cover is of me holding a cup representing this, water is emotions in tarot.
Stargazing comes from that moment when you look someone you love so intensely and deep in their eyes that the world stop for a moment, and nothing and everything exist at once as if the whole universe fits in that moment, almost like transcendental meditation I guess. Haha this was deep!
7. Your songs are inspired by the 1920s through 1970s eras. What from these eras influence you? Which artists from these eras do you recommend readers check out?
So I love everything old, architecture, history, the whole art deco vibe and the music that goes with it. I used to collect antiques, and I play old records. It gives me such a vibe, a presence and intimacy you just don’t get with digital music and I guess my fascination with older music comes from that somehow. Plus I just love the music from that era.
So if and when, I can allow myself to take inspiration from that into my creative process that is just a bonus that gives my work so much more meaning to me.
8. You were featured on “Is it worth it?” with Dreams of Audio. How did that collaboration happen? Which other artists would you like to collaborate with?
Yes! So Alex Gaston from Dreams of Audio reached out. He sent me a song he was working on and gave me free space to write my parts plus make it fit, I sent him a quick demo of what I came up with and he liked it. I then recorded a dry vocal of it, he mixed and mastered it and that was that. It was a really quick and pain free process. Alex works a lot like I do, very efficient only difference is, he is very skilled at what he does! The song ” Is it worth is” pertains to the materialistic culture we live in now, where the focus has shifted from showing compassion to showing off.
He also makes everything himself, which a surprising number of artist don’t. I mean everything as the whole process alone, not relying on a recording studio, producer or beat maker. But still a great number of indie artist does this obviously, I guess it goes under the newly coined “bedroom pop” genre.
I also collaborated with UORT from Zambia, again he reached out to me with this idea he had. The song I made with him was about abuse against women. It tells the story of a girl who grows up defying her involuntary brokenness and makes it after-all. It is called” ‘Fore I go “, and is about finding that fire that someone once stole and taking back your life. Finding the will to not only keep surviving, but living. UORT says it so beautifully ; “Someone got a hold of your petals “. As I studied digital forensics, violence and abuse towards children is something I have been speaking up against for a long time. Whether it be rallying or petitioning for laws to change, and small voices to be heard. UORT is a very conscious rapper and most of his lyrics are about social injustice and such. He is very good at what he does! And this was a cause he had close to his heart and just like me felt was a very important topic to ” dare ” speak about. If some children must endure it, us adults must be able to speak about it! Sadly most don’t.
But, the fact that I have had the opportunity to work with people creatively, remote across the borders like this amazing!
10. Where can readers listen to your music?
Almost every streaming platform to my knowledge, just search Rhylie in the music platform of your choice hopefully I’ll show up 🙂
11. Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
Yes I have enough song ideas for a new album, just not gotten very far yet as in making the music to all the tracks. Mostly as I just released stargazing and then life that takes up my time too 🙂
But it is coming!