Rebel Rae, The Music, Fashion & Much More

The 645: Where did you grow up?
Washington DC, very political.

Yeah, I have not been able to escape my political origins. I didn’t realise how into politics I was until I got out to LA.

We grew up in the state capital, so the government was so entwined in our education. You don’t realise how great your education is until you get out in the world. I was never a straight-A student because I was distracted.

I knew I wanted to be creative. Whether I make it or not, or spend the next forty years trying, this is definitely the path.

The 645: What new tracks are you working on?
Well, I did a bunch of songs I want to release in London.

One’s called London Town and I think it’s gonna be a smash, just give me a year gotta put some work and foundations down.

I don’t even want to release it in America, I just listened to it to myself and played it for friends who are American, and they were like can you send me that track you played me.

Absolutely not I said, this is like my intellectual property.

But they are like, this song is amazing and yet have no clue what the lyrics are about. The song goes, “in London Town, I take the bus, don’t give a damn about topping up, Tesco meal deal that’s what’s up, give me a pint for my liquid lunch.

No one in America knows what that means. That’s what I lived for this summer. I love London.

Exploring Echo Park with Rebel Rae, for The-645
Exploring Echo Park with Rebel Rae, for The-645
Exploring Echo Park with Rebel Rae, for The-645

The 645: What influences your music?
So I write my music a capella, there is Jazz influences but mostly just the sound of my voice.

The 645: Your voice is incredible.
Yeah, I had to work on it.  I’m not classically trained.  So, I always say like got drafted to the MBA, one day I was like I’m gonna join the professional leagues, Oh crap.

The 645: Is it true you studied fashion before moving into Music?
Well, I wanted to live in Los Angeles. I knew my parents were not too serious about school. I knew I wasn’t gonna get away with popping to LA on anybody’s dime.

I actually was an actress in high school. I used to take the bus up to New York, which is a 4-hour bus ride, all senior and junior year.

I thought I was gonna be a Broadway star. I had no clue. I was going to New York doing random auditions, it was so much fun aside from the crappy agents, fifteen, sixteen years of age you feel like you’re on a wild adventure.

During the summer of my junior and senior year, my friend wanted to do a summer class at a fashion school in New York.

I was like hmm I’ll get to live in New York, basically living at the NYU dorms, don’t know why the hell our parents trusted us so much it’s crazy. We were the coolest kids in school though.

Rebel Rae, The Music, Fashion & Much More The 645 Com
Exploring Echo Park with Rebel Rae, for The-645
Exploring Echo Park with Rebel Rae, for The-645
Exploring Echo Park with Rebel Rae, for The-645
Exploring Echo Park with Rebel Rae, for The-645

The 645: You have quite the online presence, is there pressure to be in the public eye more than normal?

Rebel: My friends and I talk about it all the time, as we are the first generation of artists who are forced to curate our starving experience. It’s a cultural thing with Instagram. The people who have the power to make your career, are so inundated, they don’t know what to do with this culture kids, they are so used to it being in their hands.

Then streaming happened, then Soundcloud, then Instagram, then people were able to be entrepreneurial and self-promote to build their own careers.

So that’s my curated life.

The 645: The best thing about making music in LA?

Rebel: It’s so beautiful here, literally LA is filled with experiences, you could be at a friend’s house party and Rita Ora walks in, and you’re like oh f*ck that’s Rita Ora. Okay, let’s do shots sit on the couch and b*tch about the music.

That’s really happened to me. I have been at a regular person’s house and 4-5 celebs walk in.

Exploring Echo Park with Rebel Rae, for The-645
Exploring Echo Park with Rebel Rae, for The-645
Exploring Echo Park with Rebel Rae, for The-645

The 645: Who would you like to work with?
I would like to work with myself. (Sings)

Just everybody who I like.

I would love to work with Janelle Monáe, St Vincent. My up and coming piers, because I’m all about promoting new talent. I really love collaborating with people who I consider talented. This one rapper her name is no name, she’s in Chance the rapper’s crew. Princess Nokia.

The 645: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Oh, there is no predicting that, I could say something like I’m going to be a big star and it’s not a pipe dream.

But it’s also not a pipe dream I could be a working paid songwriter, who hasn’t broken as an artist in 5 years.

The path could go anywhere.

I see myself more finically stable based on my music. I see myself having a lot more clothes and designs produced for Generic Brand Instagram that I have made. And a community of fans, authentic fans who understand and love my music.


Words: Tatyana Chmaissani
Photo: Ioannis Koussertari