r e l is making music she calls "evoca-pop", also labeled by tastemakers in the field as "alternative r&b" & "electro-pop". r e l is "20 years old, 20 years wise" and based out of LA. Her music is emotive, warm and enchanting, combining electronic & organic elements with lush, glossy vocals.
As always for F&F Open Mic we asked the r el five of our favorite questions and we let her tell the story! Check out the questions below. For the best Open Mic experience make sure you listen to her tracks while reading.
1) What story are you trying to tell as a band?
r e l is an evocative project–through storytelling–but really its less about the actual story than it is about evoking curiosity in listeners. (Hence the genre "evoca-pop"). I believe curiosity is the gateway to all things magical (and crucial): creativity, love, sensitivity, humility, peace, etc. If I can evoke that for listeners, only good things can come. I am making music because I love people and because it falls out of me and because it really is the fastest way into someone else's head and heart.
2) Who, if anyone, has been your biggest supporter/ mentor?
I am fortunate to have several people in my life whom I consider mentors. Really, I couldn't thank these people enough for believing me–I hope you know who you are :)
I would have to say my biggest supporters/mentors are my family. It's hard to put into words because it isn't a typical storybook support (aka "Dance Moms", "Honey Boo Boo", etc), but its a leaving-the-work-to-me, having-high-expectations, and above all, loving me and being there that have made me the artist (and person!) I am. I have the greatest respect for my family. My mom's mom passed away a couple weeks ago at 99 years old. She was a Holocaust survivor from the Netherlands who brought her family to America after the war. I've always heard stories about her jazz-singing days with her brother (killed by Nazis) who apparently looked and sounded very similar to Frank Sinatra! My dad's mom was a singer (although not professionally), my cousin is a singer, my dad is a singer and gifted-guitar player, and my brother. It is something that runs in my blood, from both sides and like a current. I think rhythm and melody must be genetic...
3) Why did you decide to start a band together?
The r e l band came together really fortuitously. I had just started my freshman year at USC, and had a first real show (and by real I mean not through school or a coffeehouse feel) coming up at the Whisky a Go Go. Urgency and luck led to the formation of the band.
The OG crew is Austin Foley (multi-instrumentalist: Ableton Live, guitar, keyboards), Kiko Brenneisen (drums), and Andrew Hill (bass). Love these boys.
4) How do you plan to grow your popularity?
Like a snowball rolling down a hill,
Or a roller coaster reaching the top of the track!
I have a couple projects under-wraps right now that I plan to release soon. And some live shows coming up. And I'm writing all the time, collaborating with other creatives (my favorite thing), and listening to a lot of great music. It feels like very big, very magical things are coming.
I'd love to have the opportunity to tour–with other artists/bands, and without. Music is powerful because it travels far and wide and fast, and I that's how I would love to grow as an artist :)
5) If you could have a billboard anywhere on the planet where would it be and what would it say?
Time Square in NYC because so many people of different backgrounds pass through there.
It would say:
and curiosity as the key
to open great big doors
to grand exciting things!
About F&F Presents:
F&F Presents is a indie and alternative rock blog based in Orange County, CA. Our mission is to create outstanding content for Fans & Fanatics who are hungry to learn about, listen to, and love great music. Watch our band interviews here.