Lying somewhere between Alanis Morissette, Lana Del Rey and Ellie Goulding, UK-based Rafaèlla has a rather obscure and unique sound. Known for her charming vocals and profound lyricism, she is capturing attention from critics across the globe. We had the chance to speak with Rafaèlla about her conceptual album sincerely, me, future plans and favourite meals.
OSR: What drew you to music?
Rafaèlla: I grew up in a musical family and all my favourite childhood memories are related to music! My grandfather loved playing the piano and fixing instruments, my father is a pianist, singer, composer and arranger and most of my siblings are either musicians or very creative individuals! I was drawn into music from a very young age and sang in front of an audience for the first time when I was just two years old which I think played a huge part in me becoming a singer!
OSR: What can you tell us about the album sincerely, me?
Rafaèlla: sincerely, me. is a rollercoaster of all the emotions I’ve been feeling the past five years! My initial intention was to write an album for my first love and everything we’ve been through. For the longest time, I thought the album was about him but I slowly realised that the album was more about me and my own process of healing. The album goes through the five stages you go through after a breakup: denial, anger, depression, bargaining and, last but not least, closure and acceptance. It took me a long time to put it all together but I’m really proud of the outcome and it definitely represents those feelings perfectly.
OSR: What was the writing and recording process like?
Rafaèlla: I started writing the songs in 2015 and continued writing them while I was going through these stages. I’m not really good at expressing my feelings so many of the songs were more of a therapeutic process for me. A few of the songs like ‘storm’ and ‘drifting’ were not completely written before I started working with my producer, Michael. He was a huge part of the album! We spent so much time talking about each song individually. It was very important for us to make sure that the message would come across correctly. Except for the production, Michael was also a huge part of the writing process of a lot of the songs! The recording process was super fun and efficient! Being with Michael and Lasse in the studio was awesome! I can’t wait to go back to the studio!
OSR: If you could change anything about the album, what would it be?
Rafaèlla: I don’t think I would change anything about the album itself, it’s so personal and it captures all the stages so well! But, I wish I had a huge party with all my loved ones to celebrate it though. Unfortunately with Covid, it was impossible.
OSR: I read you have a documentary coming out this month, what can you tell us about that?
Rafaèlla: We have a docu-series which is currently running on YouTube and honestly it’s so exciting!! There are five episodes in total that go through the process of making the album! The viewers will be able to learn more about the team, the stories and meaning behind each song, the studio sessions, the music videos and see some behind the scenes footage!!
OSR: What inspires you to make music?
Rafaèlla: Life. Everything about life! Things that I experience or things my friends and family experience. Sometimes it’s a movie, a book or even a different song! Like I said previously, I find it difficult to express my feelings so I do it through my songs. I love creating music. Writing lyrics is my favourite thing in the world! There’s always so much to say!!
OSR: What do you think is the best way to discover music nowadays?
Rafaèlla: Hm, I’d say playlists or Spotify recommendations! Social media has been really helpful as well! I’ve found so many new artists by Instagram promotions!
OSR: What do you think makes you unique as an artist?
Rafaèlla: I’m a storyteller and I love writing raw and honest lyrics that come straight from my soul. I feel emotions deeply and you can see that through my songs. When I’m sad I’m really sad and when I’m happy I’m really happy. An ordinary girl, just a bit extra!
OSR: If you could perform with any artist who would it be and why?
Rafaèlla: There are SO many artists that I’d love to collab with but I think a duet with Demi Lovato would be ICONIC!! I think our vocals would blend in perfectly and I’m a huge fan of her music!
OSR: What is your favourite meal?
Rafaèlla: That’s probably the hardest question ever cause I’m such a foodie!! I love pasta so much and believe it or not I’m a huge salad lover! Potatoes come in so many beautiful forms and shapes as well!! And avocado on toast might sound basic but it’s my favourite for breakfast! But at the end of the day, just give me carbs and veggies and I’ll be happy!
OSR: Do you have future plans?
Rafaèlla: I’m a huge planner, I love planning the future! But for the current future I’d like to play some live gigs and get back to the studio!