Written By: Amanda Policastro
Check out our interview with pop-singer RENAE!
upfrontNY: Tell us about your background. How did you get involved with music?
RENAE: Well, my first memories of music were me at age 5 singing made up songs to an audience of Barbies in my room, haha. I was super shy about it for a long time, but it was my happy place, to be singing and performing. My mom is a voice teacher, so once I started breaking out of my shell, I started taking lessons from her. Soon after I picked up piano, guitar, went to a performing arts high school, and moved across the country from Ohio to LA to study music at USC. This lead to working at record labels, publishing companies, and then getting my own publishing deal as a songwriter.
upfrontNY: What inspires you personally as well as musically?
RENAE: Life. Love. My husband. My friends. My family. Kittens. Puppies. Nature. Crystals. Long baths. Amazing books. Amazing movies. Amazing music. Dancing. Amazing food. Laughing. Crying. Reflecting. Telling stories. All of these things seem to light up my soul and make me feel vibrant and alive inside. I can get really caught up in my head sometimes with the noise of the world, and it pulls me away from this vibrant heart space. But I guess it’s in this contrast that comes my art. So yeah. It’s all good.
upfrontNY: You’ve worked with several popular artists in terms of writing. Was there any particular experience working with them that stood out?
RENAE: Yeah for sure. I had a session with Meghan Trainor awhile back. It was a few months before she got a record deal as an artist, and she was working as a songwriter for other artists. I think the session stands out to me because it was amazing to see how quickly she transitioned from songwriter to superstar so quickly. I remember we were stuck in traffic on the way home from the session for like 2 hours and were just chatting and playing each other our music. She played “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” and said they were trying to get Kelly Clarkson to cut it, I thought it was the best uncut song I had ever heard. She said she sort of had an artist project in mind but seemed shy about it and played me a few rough ideas. Just a few months later I saw her post the music video for “All About That Bass” and was like woahhhh WHAT! It was unexpected and amazing.
upfrontNY: What’s the biggest piece of advice you have received that has stayed with you?
RENAE: “The we that we are has no limitation…so challenge yourself to laugh every moment, to laugh every day, to sing your own songs, to know your own passions, not the passions of another, but the passions that arise within you, the ones that lead you to higher and higher awareness in everything you do”
RENAE: Oh so much! “Align” is my first album as an artist. It’s a pop, concept album based on the framework of the 7 chakras. It’s my artistic expression of what it feels like to align with my true self. I started creating the album after going through my own sort of Eat, Pray, Lovepersonal journey. It was a time where I started feeling really anxious, unfulfilled, and searching for purpose and truth. Through that journey I learned a lot about myself, shifted my perspective of life, and found a deep connection with unconditional love. Also on that journey I came across this idea of the chakras, and thought it was a really unique, creative expression of this unconditional love and alignment with who you really are.