• Scott Bates

On The Up: RAENE

Growing up in the Midlands, RAENE knew very young she belonged in front of an audience. “When I was about 5, I started amdram because my dad did it” she laughs. “They recognised that I had a good singing voice - I’d always enjoyed singing, but when it was recognised I started taking it more seriously.” It’s hard not to take notice of her voice - her debut single Afraid To Love is carried by her demanding vocals, full of emotional strength. It’s not far from the likes of Adele or a slightly more sombre Taylor Swift.

Continuing with the acting on and off until her early teens, RAENE eventually decided to focus on music and attended the Birmingham Ormiston Academy, where she begun to find her own voice. “When I started there, everyone else seemed to know what kind of singer they were, what kind of music they wanted to perform - I didn’t, so I had to explore and see what I enjoyed most” she explains. “I found myself listening to a lot of Justin Timberlake, especially his earlier music, then I got into a wide range of R&B, which has influenced me a lot”.

RAENE says she’s always enjoyed writing songs as well as performing, although her approach has changed over time. “I always used to write chords first, but more recently I’ve had a line come into my head and had to start writing. It happens a lot in the shower, actually!” Her writing comes from a personal place, something that she finds “for me, is like a diary. You’re sort of putting your heart on your sleeve, opening up about very personal things - then you realise that you’re revealing this all to the world!”.

Although she’s opening herself up to the world, she says she thinks “this is a good time to be putting music out. People are looking for it - everyone’s wanting to find ways to pass their time, things to do, and a lot of people find music helps them.”. The release of Afraid To Love was initially set between two gigs, which were cancelled due to the Coronavirus, but this still didn’t stop her. “I was with some friends recently, and I was kind of unsure when to put it out, and they were all going “Just release it!””. RAENE did get to perform the single live a few times before its release though, and it’s received airplay from BBC Introducing East Midlands. RAENE says she wants to “gig a lot more” once she’s able to, but in the meantime intends to keep putting more material out there. “I’m currently spending a lot of time writing and working on music.” She has a new song on the way too - Inventory, out on May 18th.

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