Photo credit: Chris Giuseppini
Hey Rayla, How’s your summer been?
This summer flew by so fast!! I’m not ready for it to be cold again, but this has been the most rewarding summer and I’m extremely grateful.
Can you tell us about your debut single “Boys Like You”?
“Boys Like You” is definitely the most vulnerable song I’ve written. It came out of a very personal experience. I was in a pretty unhealthy relationship, where no matter how badly I was being treated, I kept going back. Once I realized that I didn’t need him anymore, I got out! The song really has an empowering message and I hope it can help other people, that may be in similar situations and give them strength to move on!
What has been your thought on the reaction of the song?
Amazing!! “Boys Like You” is so personal and releasing it was like putting my entire diary out for the whole world to read. When I started getting messages and having people tell me how much they loved the song and how they really related to it, I was like “oh wow, ok I’m not the only one” and it’s genuinely the best feeling. I like knowing that my music helps and impacts others.
What was your reaction like when you learned you charted on Radio Disney?
I remember I was on vacation and I got a message of a picture of my song at number 2. I first looked at it and saw Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift and then there was me right in the middle of two women I look up to so much. I was definitely in a little shock because I couldn’t believe it. I was like “there’s no way this is real, what am I doing with them, how’d I get here?” I’m so thankful and moments like that are the best.
What’s the process of writing one of your songs?
Every situation is different! But usually I’ll come into the studio with an idea, a melody or just a mood and start by creating a beat with my producer. Then if I’m working with someone, we will start bouncing ideas off each other and slowly but surely, you’ve got yourself a song!
You have also created a growing social media presence for yourself. Why do you think social media is so important for singers today?
Social media is definitely important because it gives artists a place to stand for something and connect with the people that support them. As an artist we can share pieces of our music, how we create and what our day is like directly with the fans. It’s like they get to take the journey with you. I can’t say I’ve completely gotten the hang of all of it, but I’m learning.
With a following already, your supporters must have a name for themselves. Does your fan base have a name?
This one’s super traditional and it just naturally has become “Team Rayla”, but I love it!! Lol
How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?
This is really important to me. I know what it’s like to be a young girl so badly wanting someone to notice them. So, I always said I wanted to try to stay in touch with every supporter I have, whether it’s getting to meet them at a show, or just responding to a comment.
What was the craziest fan encounter you have had?
One of the craziest times was when I was just starting out, and I was 13 at a One Direction concert. These two girls ran up to me and were super excited asking for pictures. I was like you’re excited to see ME??! It was so funny and I’ll never forget it.
What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your fans?
Lately I’ve been using Instagram stories and IGTV which is @Rayla. I love that I can share what I am currently doing instantly with my fans. I can even give a tease of a new song or a video I am working on and get an immediate reaction.
You recently had the opportunity to open up for HRVY, can you tell us a little bit about what that experience was like?
That was so much fun! HRVY was great! I was really eager to perform because I spent the last year in the studio. I’ve been working on defining who I am as an artist and developing that sound. So, when I got the opportunity to finally share all this new music I had been working on, I was really excited! The whole night was amazing. It was one of my favorite performances yet because the audience was really engaging and into it.
What’s an average day for “Rayla” look like?
An average day would be trying to sleep in as late as possible, getting up for coffee, then heading to the studio. Once I’m at the studio, I’ll either have a writing session, be working with my producer or putting finishing touches on a song. Honestly, every day is different and if I’m in NY, that day is very different then a day in LA.
What goals have you set out for yourself in your career and in your personal life?
So many goals!! For my personal life I think it would be to finish senior year of high school. In music I have these small goals that are slowly being reached and it’s crazy, because a year ago I wasn’t in the place I am today. I think 2019 is going to be a great year and hopefully I’ll be performing a lot more and definitely releasing new music. 🙂
How has this whole music career experience been?
It really is so up and down. It’s one giant roller coaster. You really have to be patient in this business and grow some tough skin, but it is super rewarding and worth it! For my career it’s been really cool to watch myself grow as a person and an artist.
How do you want your music to impact your supporters?
I want them to feel joy, comfort and all the feels!! I’d love for them to feel like they’re singing and going through whatever the song’s about with me. To feel the authenticity and want to just keep listening on repeat!
Do you have any last things you want to tell your supporters?
Thank you so much for everything, I would not be where I am without each and every one of you!! Stay amazing!!
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview with me.
Of course! This was so much fun, thank you!