Quick Q and A with Raina Rose

The Austin Chronicle says of Raina Rose: “Even her name reads like a poem.”  Yes, folks, her lyrics are poetry and her voice is silky and satiny and all things exquisite.  She’s been on my radar for nearly ten years and it’s been a delight to observe her confidence grow and the love of her fans escalate.  Raina Rose keeps on getting better and she’s a genuine joy to behold.

To learn more about Raina, check out her website.

Here’s a video of Raina singing “Swing Wide the Gates.”

Since the last time you appeared at the me&thee, you got married and have had two sons.  How has marriage and motherhood affected your songwriting and your ability to play shows?  

Marriage and babies have changed everything. I used to be able to stop everything and write if the moment struck. Now, I have a few stolen moments each day and then if the house is clean, I can write after the kids go to bed. If my brain still works, that is. But that change can be a positive one, when I sit down to write I have to be totally focused. There’s no time for distraction. I used to think I was busy and tired, I had no idea! Marriage and kids are a fantastic adventure though it’s been a huge opening up for me.

Are your children showing signs of being musically inclined?  

My older kiddo is really into science! It’s so fun to see his eyes light up when you start talking about bugs or rocks. The little one is singing and dancing all the time. I’m worried about him… Hopefully he avoids songwriting and becomes a side musician.

Your most recent album is entitled Caldera.  What was the inspiration behind the concept of the album?

A caldera is the hole left in the mountain top after a volcano blows. I wrote all but two of these songs after Emmett was born, and I felt like that was an apt metaphor. The landscape had totally changed, not better or worse, just very different.

Do you feel that your singing or your playing has changed since you first began your full-time life as a musician?  

Absolutely, I’ve been at this for over 10 years now. I have much less to prove. I think that’s a good thing. I’m still fun, stubborn and full of love, but I don’t have time for bull**it anymore. At this point, this career is all I know and I’m committed to it with stronger roots. It’s nice to feel like a grown up and not a child imposter.

Can you think of a time when you were on stage or in the studio and went out on a creative high wire and tried something totally new?  What was the result?

I don’t know! I’m just trying to get stronger, calmer and more ME. My goal is to be as unapologetically real as possible. That takes a certain amount of constant creative high wire balance, asking oneself what is ego and what serves the music.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned about living the life of an artist?

It is crucial to humanity. The arts are how people communicate. They’re how people relate to the world around them. Recorded music is no longer a commodity, you can listen to most anything you want right now and for free. That’s a genie that’s not going back in the bottle. Yes, I will admit that it makes it harder to make a living, but hopefully we are able to reach farther than any generation of musicians has before. Living the life of an artist doesn’t always have to be art. All lives have aspects of the un-sexy routine, but to find art in the mundane is a true gift. I’m working on strengthening that muscle right now.

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