Australian artist Rhia unveiled her new single “Fire” on May 20th.
Produced by Samuel PK Smith (Bebe Rexha) and and co-produced, edited and written by Rhia, “Fire” is a pop-r&b-electro record about breaking free.
“It’s about finding your strength from an environment, friends, family, love or something else which is holding you back and squashing you,” says Rhia.
Rhia’s voice has been heard by audiences at The Sydney Opera House, Tamworth Music Festival, and alongside Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Mr. Harry Belafonte. The Australian-born recently collaborated with renowned artists on her own project, including producer and drummer Adam Deitch (Justin Timberlake, John Scofield, The Average White Band), and songs with Borahm Lee (Kanye West, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Matisyahu).
With this latest release, Rhia is displaying her soaring vocals along with her remarkable songwriting.
“Fire” is now available worldwide.
Introduce yourself - where are you from?
Hey hey! I’m from Australia. I originally grew up in Melbourne, which was where my professional career started before heading to the US in 2010.
What's your story?
I’m a pop, soul and electronic artist and I’ve been working in the industry as a professional for 19 years. I’ve worked in engineering and as a recording artist, writer, vocalist and performer, and I feel blessed to be able to be a musician because my personal life experiences can help others through my career.
Could you tell us a little bit about your childhood? Any favorite memories?
I was an incredibly creative child! Haha. I learned a lot of things on my own and I had beautiful grandparents and a gorgeous mum. I studied a lot of acting and music and performed and recorded a lot. I met my best friend Rose in India (we’re still best friends to this day which I think is really sweet) when we were around 1 and 2 through our families, and when we all moved back to Australia we grew up in an Ashram. Apparently we pooped on the statues at the entrance, haha. We were too young to know how utterly disrespectful that was, and gross lol, I don’t remember it but I’m pretty sure it happened! I told that story at Rose’s 21’st in front of everyone from the Ashram ahaha. Sorry Rose.
Growing up, what were you passionate about?
Music and acting, and I liked making clothes and being creative with outfits.
When did you start singing?
Very young maybe 4 or 5, I would try to learn vocals by recording myself singing to my mum’s vinyl and then I started lessons. I started drums and keys around that time too. Shortly after, at about 10 I started getting work doing recording sessions for artists and producers in Australia and I started performing at bigger shows at that time.
Could you tell us about your first experience in the music industry? What did this first experience teach you?
When I was 10 I got booked for my first job with a producer to do background vocals for an Australian Idol winner. My grandma came along to support me and I just remember them laughing at me counting up the time and pay on the check to make sure it was done properly, haha. I guess I’d heard horror stories in the Industry. That taught me that it’s fine to be thorough, and that there are bad AND good people, haha, because he was actually being honest.
What gave you the confidence to be an artist and release your original music?
Trial and error. When I was young and I started performing the people around me were really supportive so it just felt right. It became part of my identity, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was possible because I had confidence. Still to this day I feel there are things I’d like to change on “Fire”. I always feel that way when I release. But it’s a process and at a certain point if it feels right you shouldn’t let that get in the way.
When did you realize you were good at what you're doing?
I started feeling that this was right for me when I began getting opportunities to work with producers that I respected and looked up to. If their feedback was positive it continued to help me grow and I got a lot of inspiration and excitement out of that. I definitely still do!
You've just released your single "Fire" - what's the story behind this song?
It’s about finding your strength from an environment, friends, family, love or something else which is holding you back and squashing you. I wrote it late in 2018 in Australia and I’m super excited it’s finally out!!
When did you start having the first ideas for this particular song? How did the inspiration come about?
I was toplining and I actually came up with most of the lyrics and melody in one of the passes and it developed from there. I had gotten into Astrology and there were a lot of themes like this floating around and I really resonated with it from my personal experiences. One of my other upcoming releases has a similar theme too.
Samuel PK Smith produced the song. How was it like to work with him?
He’s super good at what he does! I’m really proud of him. He’s a good person so it was nice to collaborate together.
What do you like the most about this song?
The ambience and the feeling of “release.”
What made you want to release "Fire" as a single?
I was proud of it and it felt good that it came from the heart.
What can you tell us about the artwork?
Eric Levin is an incredible photographer, he shot the pictures and Madelynn Elyse did the cover art. They’re the best!
What do you want people to feel when listening to this song?
Strength, validation, freedom...escapism… just having people feel something in general is an honor.
What do you like the most about being an artist?
Getting to share my experiences and feelings with other people, and the energy of live shows. Music in and of itself.
From all the experiences you've lived so far in your career, could you pick one specific moment that made a major difference in your career/life?
Two experiences that have been life changing for me were watching NOLA Jazzfest this year and going through the rehearsal process and show with Mr. Harry Belafonte. That show was a life lesson and it changed my view on why music is important and where I feel it the most, it taught me a lot about myself, civil rights, and it humbled me and developed my purpose.
How do you want to be remembered for?
I would like to leave a legacy that has created a positive impact for others through my platform of music, and contribute to the improvement of education and issues which are important and close to my heart.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
Education and empathy. Less opinions and more listening. Love and investing money in to the right places. Awareness and courage. Many things.
What biggest lessons have you learned as a human being and as an artist?
Everything that I learned through the show with Mr. Harry Belafonte, and that I am blessed and grateful to be able to be a musician. It’s very special to me, it makes any adversity that comes along with it worth it.
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