NXTSTYLE’s 2020 Songs of the Summer: Rosa Raye ” Living Spree” & “On Paper”
INTRODUCING NXTSTYLE’S 'SONGS OF THE SUMMER,' HIGHLIGHTING OUR FAVORITE TRACKS WE'VE DISCOVERED THIS SUMMER. OVER 70 SONGS FROM NEW AND INDEPENDENT ARTISTS FORM OUR SUMMER 2020 SOUNDTRACK. TODAY WE FEATURE SINGER/SONGWRITER ROSA RAYE. THE DENMARK NATIVE HAS A REALLY UNIQUE R&B STYLE THAT WORKS SO WELL FOR HER. ONLY 2 SINGLES INTO HER CAREER WE’RE VERY EXCITED FOR WHAT’S AHEAD. LEARN MORE ABOUT ROSA RAYE IN OUR FEATURED INTERVIEW.
Your debut single “Living Spree” is a fun and empowering single that also plays as an anthem for getting over a breakup. To make a song so catchy and contain this sort of messaging is no easy feat. Take us through the process of creating the single and what you hope other can take from it.
When I wrote “Living Spree”, I was actually in a pretty bad place. I’d been hurt, and I only felt like writing sad songs. But then I went to the studio that day, and the producer Christian Refer brought such positive energy to the session and had this production idea for a feel-good song. It made me think, you know, life is too short to stay in a situation that keeps bringing out all these negative feelings in me. Instead I wanted to make something positive from it, so I wrote about letting go and having fun again. Writing this song made me feel better, and I hope it’ll make other people feel good when they listen to it – especially if they’re going through something.
Is “Living Spree” a good preview of what to expect from you as an artist? What are you most excited about in regards to the music you plan to create and release?
Yes. All the new songs are tied together, and “Living Spree” felt like the right way to start off this new project. You can expect more feel-good music and more of an influence from R&B/Soul. I’m making exactly the kind of music that I want to make now, so that’s exciting to me. And I can’t wait to show people more of my music and vision. Right now, I’m really excited about my second single “On Paper”, which has just been released!
I love your latest single “On Paper” because it has the ability to relate to each listener differently and like “Living Spree” speaks to empowering oneself. Take us behind the creation of the song and your connection to it.
“On Paper” is basically about chasing the life of your dreams instead of settling for someone else’s idea of the “perfect” life. The song talks about the concept of someone being “perfect on paper”. It was inspired by a guy I was seeing, who was sweet, polite and smart, but we were so different. He had chosen comfort over passion and adventure, and I had kind of done the opposite. We had a conversation about dreams and the future, and he asked me about my plan B and talked about being “realistic”. It reminded me of the many talks I’ve had with people, who’ve been negative about my dreams and choices and urged me to give up. But you should do what feels right to you. There is no “perfect” or right choice – that’s the point in “On Paper”.
``LIVING SPREE`` & ``ON PAPER`` NXTSTYLE'S SONGS OF THE SUMMER
What would be the ultimate sync placement for both singles?
“Living Spree”: Insecure on HBO – my favorite TV series. We’ve listened to a lot of the music from the show in the studio for inspiration. There’s so much great music with a cool vibe on that show, and it would be a dream to have one of my songs in an episode.
“On Paper”: I’m just going to say the TV series Insecure again because I think (out of my songs) “On Paper” in particular would fit right in haha.
Looking at your Instagram it’s clear you live and breathe music and have been heavily influenced by artists of the past. Talk about your connection to music and why it means so much to be a performer. Who are some artist that have played a heavy influence on your artistry?
Music allows me to express things that I don’t know how to express otherwise. Songwriting helps me make sense of things that are happening in my life, and singing helps me get all those emotions out, so they’re not bottled up inside of me. I love how singing feels, and it’s even better when there’s an audience and you can have some special moments together. Those moments, the great experiences I get to have because of music, and that connection with other people is what I’m chasing. When I saw artists like Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Beyoncé perform as a little girl, I thought to myself: I wanna do that. Today I’m also inspired by artists like SZA, Kehlani, Amber Mark, H.E.R. and Jorja Smith.
Of the talented artists, songwriters, and producers out there is there someone you would really love to collaborate with?
Christian Refer – who has produced all my new songs. 🙂 We work really well together, so I’m excited to get back in the studio with him very soon. Also, there are many cool upcoming artists in Denmark who would be great to collaborate with!
We love getting an inside look at different music scenes around the world. As a native of Denmark, what are some great things about the Scandinavian music culture? Are there any artists we should know about?
We have a lot of talented songwriters here. A lot of us are also really honest and personal in our songwriting, and it’s cool to be real and natural here. What I love about the culture right now is the many different, creative new artists coming up. There’s so much potential. Some Danish artists to check out are: Jada, LOLA, Betty Bass and Elias Boussnina.
With more down time this year due to the pandemic, people have placed their energy on things they previously didn't have time to focus on. What is something you’ve been able to connect with that you wouldn’t normally have time for or even think about?
I’ve taken this opportunity to give music everything I have, to finish up songs and release them. So basically, I’ve put this extra time into my dreams. I also think a lot about all the things going on in the world, and how I can make a difference. I hope we can get some positive change out of this very difficult time. I try to learn more about different issues and do more.
Is there a charity that means a lot to you that you urge others to look into? Any particular connection you have to it?
Not a charity, but an organization/movement I would urge others to look more into is Black Lives Matter – you can also donate money to them.
ROSA RAYE's Top 5 songs this summer:
- Kehlani “Open”
- Jorja Smith “By Any Means”
- Nao ft. Mura Masa “Complicated”
- Radiant Children “Life’s A Bitch”
- Kali Uchis “Dead to Me”
Listen to all of our featured artist’s favorite songs of the summer on our special Spotify playlist.
Rosa Raye’s ‘Firsts and Favorites’
First concert: The first concert I remember was with Beyoncé back in 2007.
Favorite Concert: Uh so difficult to pick one! I can tell you my most recent favorite concert: Nao in Copenhagen. She was amazing! Some of my other favorite concerts were with Beyoncé, Lauryn Hill and Emeli Sandé.
First song you fell in love with: “I Will Always Love You” performed by Whitney Houston.
First performance: I sang cover songs in a hospital for the employees at age 12/13. That was my first gig. Before that I performed in school plays and with a gospel choir I was part of.
Favorite thing to do outside of music: I like to cook, dance, have fun with friends and family and watch documentaries (especially music documentaries).
BROWSE ALL OF OUR ‘SONGS OF THE SUMMER’ INTERVIEWS
MUSIC IN 2020 INTERVIEW SERIES
WE INTERVIEWED MUSIC PROS AND TASTEMAKERS TO GET THEIR PERSPECTIVE ON WHERE MUSIC IS HEADED AND TO DISCOVER WHAT NEW MUSIC THEY'RE LISTENING TO.
Discover New Music
THE ‘NEXT IN MUSIC’ PLAYLIST
Discover a wide range of new music we’ve recently added including our featured songs of the summer. Follow the ‘NEXT in Music’ playlist on Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud.