THEAUSSIEWORD.COM special interview with Rainie Zenith.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
I am first and foremost a writer – primarily of stories, but also of songs. About seven years ago, I began performing my songs in public, drawn by the twin thrills of being on stage and daring to share one’s art with others.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
An overwhelming urge to create! Sometimes it’s the drive to express emotion, other times a lyric or melody pops up in your psyche and demands further attention. For me, I don’t decide I’m going to write a song and sit down to think of ideas, it’s the other way around; an idea for a song spontaneously arises and prompts me to sit down and write.
What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish?
My ultimate goal is to represent Australia at Eurovision!
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
I have just released my first single Reasons To Hate Me and will play a launch show at The Workers Club on August 7 – tickets available here:
And I’m thinking about touring up the east coast, but nothing’s quite locked in yet. Watch this space!
Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?
Reasons To Hate Me is a song for anyone who’s ever copped a sideways glance simply for being themselves. It’s a musical eye-roll at the pettiness of judging others on trivial details or on their personal life choices.
My music is colourful, authentic and lively. It’s all about bold defiance, lust for life, and raging odd-girl pride.
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
Strong emotions. Catchy phrases. Interesting pictures. Strange dreams. Practically anything can trigger a song, and melodies and lyrics will often spring into my head already well-formed – little gifts from the universe. And I just take it from there.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
I don’t think the meanings of my songs are too esoteric; I’d like to think the lyrics speak for themselves. Although I do sometimes use symbolism – I tend to make a lot of references to mythological figures.
Success, what is the secret to it?
When I find out, I’ll tell you! But really, it all depends on what your definition of success is. What I do know is that finding the right balance between pushing yourself and having fun is vital to making progress without burning out. But finding that balance is easier said than done.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Finally releasing music! I get so caught up in the fun creative bit – writing music – that I can find it hard to knuckle down and go through the more regimented process of recording and releasing. You wouldn’t believe the number of songs I’ve got backed up. But I have solid plans to release at least six of them over the next year.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Kate Miller-Heidke for her original approach to songwriting, and Amy Taylor (Amyl and the Sniffers) for her super-energetic stage presence.
Are there any new projects in the pipeline?
Yes! There is another track dropping this year and several more planned for release in 2023. Also my current writing project, a New Adult psychedelic horror novel, is due for completion next year.
The music industry is constantly changing, where do you see yourself in a few years?
I’d have to say I have no idea – I’m finding everything develops organically and I just go with the flow and see where it leads me. It’s important not to lock yourself into one limited pathway.
What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?
The best bit is being able to express yourself creatively and share a piece of your inner world with others. The marketing aspects hold much less appeal.
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.
I’m a real psychedelia fan, so King Gizzard, The Lazy Eyes, Babe Rainbow. Also love a bit of bogan rock – the Chats, the Dune Rats. Other favourites that come to mind include Ali Barter, Butterfingers, Hiatus Kaiyote. I could go on.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
Social media has allowed independent artists to reach potential audiences like never before. It’s been an industry game-changer because it means artists no longer need to rely on labels to get their music out into the world.
How will you continue appealing to the international market?
I will stay authentic and if that appeals to some people then that’s great.
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
I’ve been something of a lone wolf thus far, partly because I’m socially awkward and partly because I insist on doing things my own way, but I do have hopes of overcoming these and doing some collaborative work! I have a few artists in mind but will approach them personally rather than list them in a public forum.
What advice do you give for other artists wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t be afraid to show the world who you truly are. It’s what sets you apart and makes you interesting! Follow your heart, not the trends.
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your followers and fans?
I love hearing from people who are enjoying and connecting with my music, so certainly don’t be shy about reaching out and saying hello! I’m readily contactable on Facebook, Insta, and over email and do my best to respond to everyone who has taken the time to comment.
Any last words?
Gosh, that sounds a bit threatening!
Spotify: Rainie Zenith