From the depths of a rolling, full sonic landscape, REMMI’s voice doesn’t just sing – it also speaks. It’s a sort of postmodern reversal that gives her songs an immediate attachment to their lyrical content. She sings in a way that is immediately personal, yet also speaks for others.
REMMI’s music doesn’t treat honesty as a virtue, but as a starting point. She doesn’t hide behind what she hopes others will like. It’s free experimentation, never intended to be a calculated or packaged commodity. The result is New America, a collection of songs that carves out a future space for REMMI.
Read the interview, and enjoy the EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE of the music video for “Awake, Asleep” below.
NYMM: So what led to this project?
R: When I really started writing, I was making tracks and demos, and eventually they began taking on their own style. I met with a guy (who now manages me), Ross Asher, who was a big fan of what I was doing. He encouraged me to do more and suggested that I just keep writing, and see where I could go with it. I got back to him a few weeks later with four or five songs. At that point, I realized that I wasn’t just playing around with it, I really wanted to do it.
NYMM: So when did the EP start to take real shape?
R: The first track that I did was “Sirens”. It has gone through so many evolutions and changes. The first version had this dinky 808 sample with long, sustained bass chords. It was like DYI Youth Lagoon, which I thought was kind of cool at the time, but it developed more as I began to learn new things. Since things can be so DIY now, I had the freedom to mess around and try things. It has landed me in places musically that I probably wouldn’t have ventured into otherwise.
Around that time, I started doing co-writes as well. “Awake, Asleep” and “Numb” were done with a guy named Dustin Burnett who produced the tracks with me. “Bobby K” was written with a guy from New York who goes by Lucian. We released that one in June, and it got up to the #2 spot on Hype Machine, which was cool and unexpected!
NYMM: “Awake, Asleep” is a great song. Tell me a little about that one.
R: I got the idea for that when I was on my way to meet Dustin one day. It was winter, which is an interesting time for me to write because I tend to get really dark. Everything is dead and cold so it puts me in that mindset. I was driving down there, and the idea of a song came to me about being disconnected from the people around you and the world you live in. I feel that way a lot of times. I live a lot in my own imagination, which is fine for creative people, but it makes you feel like you’re missing out on a lot of reality sometimes. At the same time, that song is about pursuing your dreams. A lot of us, as artists, also have to work part-time in restaurants and coffee shops and wherever while we’re all trying to put forth this image that we’re just making music all the time. I get tired sometimes of trying to make money off of creating music. I feel like a loser sometimes because it feels like I’m trying to put on this facade of being more than someone who also works in a restaurant. It’s about knowing when to be happy and satisfied with where you are.
NYMM: “Star Spangled” has a more political feel to it. Was that intentional?
R: There is a political bent to it, but I wrote it as a personal song. I wrote it a few years ago when I had just quit my first job because it sucked, and I hated it. I wasn’t making any money, and I was so bored. The lyrics are pretty blunt and it’s about living in a world where we’re always working just to pay something off. I feel like I read the news the way a lot of artists read John Steinbeck. It’s hard not to be too serious or too heavy, but that’s what inspires me and gets me going – the struggles people are having.
NYMM: Tell me about the “Killin’ It / Star Spangled” project you did with Cappa.
R: By coincidence, we both landed songs in the same episode of this MTV show. When we found out we were both on it, one of us texted the other to say congratulations. I went back and listened to her record again, and I just thought it would be a cool thing to slam the two songs together. She was totally into the idea and we asked a really talented producer, Jared Foldy, to work on it with us, and that’s what we came up with.
NYMM: Have you thought about doing more collaborations?
R: There are a few of my friends who do folk / Americana music, and, sometimes, I’ll hear a song of theirs that I’d like to work with. Usually, I’ll ask them for the vocal tracks of their recording, but they almost always cut the whole thing live. It’s a bummer because I’d love to pair up some Americana artist with – maybe not Skrillex drops – but some smooth synth sounds. Of course, they’ll have to start recording their vocal parts separately if they ever want me to do it [laughs].
View REMMI’s brand new music video for “Awake, Asleep,” below.
Photos by: Jon Karr / www.thatverynextthing.com
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