Interview with Rella

Written by Divine Magazine

 Rella is a natural-born storyteller. The daughter of a bass player, Rella is a child of the Nashville music scene, attending the same high school as Taylor Swift. After having her heart broken at the start of her 20s, Rella took solace in songwriting and released her first single in 2019.

Rella approaches indie-pop through a country lens, drawing inspiration from songwriters like Stevie Nicks, Joni Mitchell and Lorde.

Getting to know Rella

Photo by Christina Coleman

What is the most useless talent you have?

I can touch my tongue to my nose.

If you were a member of the Spice Girls, what would your spice handle be?

Princess Spice.

Do you shout out the answers at the TV whilst watching quiz shows?

Yes, I’m obsessed with Jeopardy, and I really think I could be the next Ken Jennings.

What’s your favorite children’s story?

The Velveteen Rabbit.

If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give to yourself?

Keep doing your thing and don’t let anybody make you feel like you should be smaller to fit in with them.

How would you describe your music?

My music is indie pop told through a country lens. I’m a songwriter first and foremost and my music is heavily influenced by Nashville-style songwriting, but I have a fast-paced New York vibe about me, too, and New York City is the landscape in which a lot of my songs take place. 

What is unique, or at least uncommon about your music?

I think what sets my music apart is that I write from a persona, telling stories both real and imaginary. Rella is not my real name, and I didn’t intend for it to be a persona, but when you have a public life under a different name it naturally becomes a different identity. To me it’s like a hyper-fictionalized version of myself, and I use that persona to tell real life stories under the guise of the grandeur of my persona. But I write in a way that’s really grounded, because it’s usually just me sitting on the floor with my guitar writing in a notebook.

What has been the most challenging aspect of your current releases?

This live session in particular came about because I’ve had a long journey of having problems with different collaborators I’ve worked with, particularly producers. I’ve written so many songs and I want them all to come out of course, but I don’t want to release a studio version of a song until it’s the absolute best it can be. I worked with Magnolia Records on this particular session, and we talked about doing a studio version of Princess Complex, but we figured that the best way for us to release it right now was to do this live session. My friend Sequoya Yardley directed, I art directed and designed the set, and Jeb Bushey from Magnolia Records handled the audio recording, so we were able to create something really cool without having to be set on one particular way for this song to sound – this way the song can evolve and grow as I work with different producers and I can hold off on a studio version until I get the song exactly right.

What are your musical plans for the next 12 months or so?

Currently, I’m trying to figure out how to build a creative team and let them help me build my musical world and bring it to fruition. I have tons of songs written and ready for the production process, but right now it’s really a matter of finding the right collaborators and getting it into the right hands. It’s really important to be able to trust the people you work with, so I’m willing to wait until I find the right people, but I definitely want to be putting out new stuff as soon as possible, as long as it’s up to my standards.

Of your own music, do you have a favorite? If so, can you pin down why?

My favorite is usually just whatever I’m working on at the time because it feels the truest to whatever I’m experiencing at the moment. Right now, I really do love this song Princess Complex and I’m so excited that I’ve made a tangible thing for people to watch and listen to.

@rellagood (artist)

@sequoya.yardley (videographer)

@magnoliarecords (sponsor)

© 2021 – 2023, Divine Magazine. All rights reserved.

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