Introducing: Stephanie Rainey
Irish singer Stephanie Rainey made somewhat of a breakthrough in the latter half of 2015 with her debut EP Half Of Me, particularly the single 'Please Don't Go'. With a debut album due soon(ish) we think Stephanie is one to keep an eye on in 2016, so we asked her to introduce herself properly.
Hi Stephanie, can you introduce yourself to The Music Fix readers?
I can, my name is Stephanie Rainey and I’m a singer-songwriter from Ireland. I’ve just released my debut single over here, 'Please Don’t Go'.
You’re in the midst of putting together your debut album, how’s it going?
It’s going really well. I have a lot of material already for the album but I’m lucky enough now to be doing some co-writing with some very cool people. Sometimes it’s nice to break away from the normal things you would do yourself so that’s a really exciting thing to explore and see what comes from it.
What can we expect when you’re ready to release it?
I think it’ll be quite an emotional album. I really want it to just be an expression of my life to date, the good bits, the bad bits and everything in between. I want to make a record that connects with people - any album I’ve truly loved has done that to me so I hope to do the same. The only way to do that is to be honest and I hope it comes across that way. I’m sure there’ll be a few up-tempo tracks in there too, I have such varied taste that it’s bound to come through on the album.
What have you been listening to that influences the new record?
A lot of what I regularly listen to is what I grew up listening to so in a way I’m not sure how much my actual taste will influence the sound of the album. I grew up with a lot of old school folk music like Neil Young and Bob Dylan but then I loved pop and rock music in my teens so I think I’ll draw from all those influences. I generally like to let a song take whatever direction it likes so I don’t even know what to expect myself. You never know, it could end up being an acid jazz album - though I don’t think my label would be too happy with that.
‘Please Don’t Go’ is a really beautiful song, but the video takes it to another level. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Anyone who’s seen the video and read the backstory to it will know that about 12 years ago I lost my nephew quite suddenly. So I’ve been through a major loss at quite a young age. About two years ago I was visiting a friend in hospital and as I was leaving I was looking in all the different rooms I was passing and there were people in there who looked so sick. I was honestly just hit by a massive wave of empathy. I knew what the families I was passing would have to go through if they lost someone and it brought me straight back to how I felt after losing Fionn. 'Please Don’t Go' is probably the easiest song I’ve ever written. I had the lyrics done by time I got home - I was recording them on my phone in the car and I had the song finished and demoed in about an hour when I got back to the house. Since writing it I’ve always wanted to make a special video for the track so i thought for a long time about what to do. One day I came up with the idea to get people I knew who had lost somebody close to them to come in and talk about their experiences. It’s funny because the actual interviews were so long and detailed but whats written on the flash cards in the video perfectly sums up what loss is all about. A few words that mean something can hit you in the chest far more than anything else.The people who took part in that video are and always will be such an important part of my life. They were just amazing.
Are you surprised by the online reaction to it? It’s an understatement to say it’s pretty big on YouTube and Facebook.
Honestly, I could never have predicted the reaction its had. I made the video for myself really. It was just something I wanted to do as an expression of what I know people are going through. It didn’t matter to me if 4 people watched it or 4 million people watched it. It was probably one of the only things I’d done up to that point where I wasn’t chasing the outcome. What I will say is that from the second we started shooting it, I knew I had something special but I didn’t predict how much it would affect people. It’s the thing I’m the most proud of doing and I think it always will be.
Do you have an earliest musical memory? Was there a record or act that made you think 'I want to do this!'?
My earliest musical memory is my dad singing me to sleep. He really got me into music. I used to tell him he had to sing me 100 songs before bed and he’d be asleep by the third one. I went to my first gig with him when I was maybe 7 or 8. He took me to an Irish songwriter called Jimmy McCarthy. It was in the biggest venue in my city and I met him afterwards. It was then that something was sparked inside me. My uncle was also a touring musician at that time. He was signed to Virgin here in the UK in a band called Compulsion so I was exposed to the whole idea of being in a band quite early on. I’ve always loved music and I was lucky enough to be able to pursue it.
If we were to look at your MP3 player, would we find any of your own music on there?
Ha ha, eh, probably. But I don’t listen to it a lot. I think it’s possible to destroy a connection with your own songs by becoming too familiar with them so I try to listen to myself at a minimum. Plus I’d probably start to annoy myself after a while.
Is there any style of music you just don't get?
Metal. I’ve tried.
Where’s the strangest place you’ve played live?
I played on a bus one night. That was interesting. People were getting on and off. It was actually a lot of fun but definitely very strange.
We’re excited for your 2016, how do you see it playing out for you? World domination?
Ha ha, I don’t know about world domination. My main aim is to make an album I’m proud of and that I think people will enjoy. I also want to work on more videos and exploring a few more ideas I have in
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
Do I belieb?
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
Ooooooh, strong with a good drop of milk.
Thanks so much for your time Stephanie. Can’t wait to hear the album.
For more info on Stephanie and her music visit her website.