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an interview with rlyblonde

Photo Creds : Emilie Wilde

NYC based  multidisciplinary artist Carina Allen aka rlyblonde has presented us with her newest single "Your Angel" (listen here) This track is jam packed with anger, and is a certified feminist alt-rock banger that will remind you of bands and artist that came before her. We spoke to rlyblonde about all this music, how she started and so much more!

Hi Carina! Thanks so much for answering my questions! How are you? 

Hello! I'm doing well, but I am very tired and ready for the holidays!

For those who don’t know you, can you introduce yourself?

I am Carina, I'm rlyblonde, and I'm a photographer-turned-musician living and working in Brooklyn, New York. I'm also 28 years old, as of a few days ago! 

How did you get into music?

I’ve been working as a photographer and director for the past 5 years in New York, mainly creating visual art for musicians and artists to help support their releases. I've always loved music, and really admired everyone who was pursuing it around me. I finally hit a point where I was tired of being in the background. I had faith in my own vision and I knew I had more to say. I spent 2021 to 2023 re-teaching myself guitar, figuring out my sound, getting in the studio, recording it, and producing all my own visuals. 

You are getting ready to release your new single “Your Angel," congratulations! Can you tell us a little bit more about it?

Yes! We just had the release show last week and I’m excited for her to be in the world. This song is sort of a final kiss goodbye to a lot of the anger I was holding onto during a certain period of my life. I had a lot of baggage from a past relationship that felt like it was following me like a shadow, and at times my only way out of it was to completely tap into the anger I was feeling. Sometimes anger is more empowering than sadness, even if they have the same root.

What was the creative and writing process like for “Your Angel”? 

It honestly was so long ago it feels like a feverdream…. I wrote it like most of my songs, alone in my living room, deep in the night. A shitty GarageBand demo arrives at the studio a year later… and now here we are. I will say when I went into the studio to record this track I knew I wanted it to go hand in hand with my next song, coming out Dec 15, “Girl in Your Story.” They’re totally opposing concepts, vibes, sounds, but I wanted them to have some consistency so they felt like two sides of the same coin. I recorded both of them with my producer Will Baker & also with my lead guitarist Dash Lunde so that they had sort of the same flavor, even if they are super different. Visually, I also prepared them with the same intention, filming both videos in one day, same crew, same camera, but totally different looks. You’ll see when the video comes out….

You are also a photographer, videographer and also a creative director! What made you want to make the switch and start making your own music? How do you think your other creative endeavors prepared you for your musical journey? 

I think my background 100% prepared me for this new musical path… I wouldn’t have been able to get here without it. I also don’t think I would have had the courage to change things up and make my own music if I hadn’t had so many amazing friends & artists around me encouraging me. For me, so much of the music IS the visuals, so this was my way of really just rounding out my vision as an artist. For years I’d done self-portraits that often were about my relationships, the roles I’ve played as a woman, female stereotypes and tropes, etc. When I started working on music it was almost a lightbulb moment of, 'oh right, this isn’t new, this is just an expansion of what I’ve already been doing.’ My vision is so grand and I'm very, very particular about everything I do, that I wouldn’t have been able to execute any of this the way I wanted if I hadn’t had years of production & visual experience under my belt already. Now I feel sort of like a baby again, learning about audio production, learning how to talk about music, getting used to performing. But it’s cool to realize you can still acquire new skills as an adult. There’s really no limit to creativity. 

For first time listeners, how would you describe your music?

Spunky, sarcastic, fun, loud.

Was there a different creative and writing process between “Fantasy” than there was with “Your Angel”? 

“Your Angel” almost feels like a track that could’ve been on “Fantasy," but just didn’t quite make the cut time-wise. She lives in the same world, but she’s definitely a bit darker. I think I was afraid to be, let’s say, too bold or too brash, when it came to expressing my feelings on “Fantasy.” I felt a safety in having a blanket of sarcasm over the whole project, whereas “Your Angel” is more unabashedly pissed.

When creating a song, what comes first? Lyrics, or music?

Usually lyrics come first, although sometimes I like to challenge myself and switch up my process. Sometimes I have a chord progression and rhythm that is just really hitting so I find words to fit it. But I’m always jotting down little phrases and ideas in my notes app that I can revise when the time comes to write new stuff. 

Who would you say are your musical influences? 

Liz Phair, Paramore, Courtney Barnett, Avril Lavigne, No Doubt, Garbage, Olivia Rodrigo 

We’re almost at the end of 2023, what can we expect from you next year? 

A new chapter of music! A new era! More shows! More fun! More cake!

Keep up with rlyblonde

Interview by Melody


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