Muse: Raissa

Meet Raissa (@thisisraissa), one of our stargirl muses.  Born in Spain of a French-Algerian father and Spanish mother, Raissa spent her childhood between Beijing, Sydney, and Kuala Lumpur. The singer, songwriter, producer, and actress inherited a mastery of French and Spanish from her parents, and a love of writing songs from Leonard Cohen at age 11. Since then, she pulls as much from antique Gothic literature as vintage anime. Entertaining and performing is Raissa’s life pursuit. She writes and directs honest and vibrant music and videos that exhibit her visionary artistry.

Raissa’s perspective is of heroism and the fight for truth and love, and what it means to be young and enthralled by it all.  Raissa just released a new music video for her single, Cherry ~ stream it now!

We were lucky enough to chat with Raissa about her process as an artist and photograph her in our newest stargirl set.  Listen to Raissa on spotify while you read the full interview and check out the shoot below. 

Can you tell us about your journey into the world of music and how you got started as a pop artist?

I started writing songs age 12 and the producing more when I was 14 after getting my first laptop with GarageBand on it. It was all kind of private, I grew up in Malaysia and didn’t think a career in music was realistic but I still couldn’t help but make music anyway. I moved to London after graduating high school to attend art school (not for music) and while I was there I realised how badly I wanted to to seriously pursue music, and even though I had no idea where to start, I owed it to myself to try!

What themes or messages do you aim to convey through your music?
Hope and self-actualisation are big themes for me as an artist, the relationship to oneself and self reflection have always come out in my music pretty naturally, I also try and find joy and humour in how I make my music!
Is there a particular pop star who has influenced your style or career?
I’ve had a range of influences growing up, my parents are big music fans so who and what they listened to has had and continues to have a big impact on me. But people like Lady Gaga, Prince, Bowie and Kate Bush are people I really admire. Sufjan Stevens is also a big influence on me as a writer.
Could you describe your songwriting process? Where do you find inspiration for your lyrics and melodies?
It depends, in the past I’ve treated my songs like diary entries, but, more recently I’ve found that rhythm has been guiding how I write my songs a lot, letting the energy rhythm of what I’m working on in the studio carry me though the writing process and not the other way around.
Collaborations are a big part of the music scene. Is there an artist you dream of working with in the future?
I’ve loved Teezo touchdown for a while now - I would love to work with him!
I also think Nathy Peluso and Rosalia and total beasts, and I could learn a lot from them.
How would you describe your own fashion and image, and how does it connect with your music?
That’s an interesting question because more recently I feel like I’ve been going through a kind of metamorphosis both with how I conceive of making music but also with how I think visually, and that includes how I dress - but I think I’ve always been drawn to finding interesting contrasts with how I dress.
As a young artist, what advice would you give to others aspiring to break into the music industry?
It’s likely will lose yourself along the way, but you can always, always find your way back.
What's next for you in your career? Are there any exciting projects or tours on the horizon that your fans can look forward to?
I’ve been working on new music! Was in a bit of a rut for the last year so that’s feeling really good, planning to okay more shows and hopefully wrap up this project to be released top of next year!

photographer: @peggyshootsfilm
model: @thisisraissa
makeup: @verysaltylooks
hair: @stargirlgianna
assist: @polderexpress

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