Fresh new talent Rhian! is originally from the Caribbean Island of Trinidad, is London-based and a huge advocate within the LGBTQ+ community. Building a name for himself within the community, Rhian! is a regular performer at various events and venues across London including the Freedom Bar in Soho and more. His debut release 'I Need Your Love' served listeners with a taste of what was to come from his forthcoming EP entitled 'The Real Rhian!'.
We caught up with Rhian! to hear about his single 'I Need Your Love', the production process behind it, biggest influences in the scene, gig highlights and more.
Hi Rhian!, thanks for joining us here at Flex. Let’s start by talking about how you started your career as an artist - what influenced you to become a singer and songwriter?
I grew up singing with my family. There was always music around at home. I sang my first solo in church when I was either 4 or 5 years old. Writing came out of necessity. I wasn’t allowed to be myself growing up and the pain and anguish of concealing my sexuality had me humming melodies quietly in my bedroom. Those melodies became songs that I kept to myself and were my therapy. My first paying gig was a jingle for a chocolate cookie named “Nibbles.” I was 10 or 11.
You’ve recently dropped your debut track ‘I Need Your Love’ with an incredible official music video - what does this track mean to you?
Thank you. ‘I Need Your Love’ represents where I am in my life right now. It’s fun, sexy, confident, camp and energetic. I’m finally comfortable in my own skin and I think that shows in my writing and in the vocal delivery. This song is my first single. It is and will always be very special to me.
Can you walk us through the production processes behind ‘I Need Your Love’ - how did you create it and what inspired the music video?
I came to the studio with all the parts of the track in my head. It was my first time working with a producer and I was so nervous. Paramour made me feel very comfortable. He is amazing and has a perfect pitch. I played the chords of the chorus on the keyboard and sang it for him. I told him the bpm I wanted, hummed out a rough idea of a bassline and we build the track from there; me humming or tapping my ideas and him laying down the various instruments. He let me do my thing with the vocals and I layered and harmonised different parts.
I handpicked everyone in the video. I started visiting different clubs in London in January with a specific vision in mind for establishing relationships. A few weeks before the video shoot, I contacted everyone and they were all up for it. The video is inspired by the song lyrics. It was very easy to create a storyboard with Leon Lopez, the director of the video. It turned out better than I ever imagined.
We’re really enjoying the unique vibe on your debut single. What would you both say are your strongest influences in the scene right now?
I’m so happy you’re vibing with me. My influences are a combination of so many things. Where I’ve lived in the world, who I’ve met, the things I’ve done and the songs and the sounds that I’ve heard. I hear music everywhere and in everything; a door creaking, the engine of a car, the birds chirping all inspire me. I’m constantly stopping in my tracks to hum a melody that’s popped into my head because the environment that I was in inspired me.
What are your three favourite records of all time?
This is a tough one. I’ll try by best:
Make It Happen – Mariah Carey
I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston
You Make Me Feel Mighty Real – Sylvester
You’re a regular performer at the Freedom Bar in Soho - what have these performances been like and do you have any pre-stage nerves at all?
I was so nervous for my first performance. I remember singing a stripped down version on Radiohead’s Creep and the audience cheering me on a few notes in and throughout the performance. The other performers were so supportive and welcoming. I have performed there every month since. There’s a special, amazing energy that Freedom Bar has. It has become one of my favourite places to perform at.
Other than being an artist, what other passions or hobbies do you both have in life?
Music has been my saving grace my entire life. There is music in every part of my day, but to answer your question… I guess I would say fitness. I have been training at the gym 5 days per week consistently for more than 10 years.
What can we expect to see next from Rhian? Are there any upcoming releases, collaborations or gigs you’d like to mention?
Oh Yes! A whole lot more. This is just the beginning. I am releasing a 6 track ‘I Need Your Love’ EP with dance remixes on the 12th of August.
I’m still recording for my forthcoming EP entitled ‘The Real Rhian!’ A release date hasn’t been set but I’m hoping for a spring release. The plan is to release another single before that.
My next gig is at Above The Stag in Vauxhall, London on the 25th August. It’s hosted by Conelth Kane and he has created this space for LGBT singer/songwriters to showcase their talent. It will be the first time that I will performing songs that no one else has heard before. I’m so excited.
Check out Rhian's single 'I Need Your Love'
Follow Rhian! on:
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