Fresh off the release of her soaring single, Fire, Australian born singer Rhia joins us on Close-up Culture to talk about the inspiration behind it and her journey in the music industry so far.
Q: If I’m right, you wrote ‘Fire’ in the backend of 2018. Can you tell us about the space you were in when you wrote this song?
A: It had been a pretty rough few years and I found myself in a position where I was trying to help someone close to me, but it started to become the focal point of my life and because I wanted to help, it lead me to stay in a situation that was completely wearing me down. And I guess I noticed a similar pattern in other relationships in my life. Those two feelings led me to want to write about breaking free from something that is squashing you.
Q: What does it feel like when you release a song as emotional and personal as this? Is it a daunting or relieving experience?
A: It’s definitely daunting. I think because it came from an honest place I feel much more okay about it. And I know there are so many people who have had similar experiences, so being able to hit home with that is what I care about, it has to mean something. I think because I feel there has been a genuine reaction makes me feel okay about it being open.
Q: What was your collaboration like with producer Samuel PK Smith?
A: It was good, it was a lot of back and forth on facetime because we weren’t there in person, so it was tough. But we got there. He’s really good at what he does and I was super impressed. He’s a very good guy.
Q: What usually gets you excited about collaborating with someone? What do you look for in the people you surround yourself with?
A: It means a lot to me to work with people I respect, and that would also make it easy for me to get excited about it. I look for people with a good work ethic, and whether we vibe on the same music or not and whether we get each other musically.
Q: You’ve been a part of the industry for over 19 years. Has this experience in the industry been what you hoped for when you first chose to go down this path?
A: It’s been ten times better, I’ve been so fortunate to have some of the most amazing experiences. Seeing the results of the work you put in is always so rewarding because it takes a lifetime of commitment. But the music community makes me so happy, it is absolutely the best job to have in the world, despite the challenges. I’m truly so grateful to listen to and work with so many great musicians.
Q: What has been your standout memory or achievement in your career so far?
A: Performing with Mr. Harry Belafonte and watching NOLA Jazz Fest this year. They were both life changing. NOLA was just really special to me musically and spiritually. I am so grateful to be able to experience such an incredible community like that.
The show with Mr. Belafonte was special because it was a turning point in my career where I further developed my feelings towards what music means to me, and why it’s important. I learned so much in that rehearsal process. It humbled me, and it reminded me of why I sing, those are the most important shows.
Q: I understand your have more tracks and collaborations coming up. Can you reveal anything about those yet?
A: I’ve been collaborating with Adam Deitch, Break Science, Borham Lee and more, and I have a lot of love for these projects. I’m grateful to be able to work with people I have an eternal amount of respect for.
Q: What are your hopes and ambitions for the coming months and years?
A: To keep building and learning. Definitely touring and releasing, and ideally, I’d like to be able to get to a point where my music is honoured by The Recording Academy. I have a lot of long terms goals beyond that as well and I want to just enjoy making music that is special to me.