Gorgeous newcomer Rainy Milo sure has the Tumblr girl look down with her oh-so-trendy platinum blonde locks, flawless beige skin and Topshop-esque style. Getting her unique looks from her Guyanese mother and British father, Rainy has already been seen in spreads for Miss Vogue, Wonderland, Company magazine. Image wise, she definitely has what it takes to get far within the superficial world of music. Yet it isn’t until you listen to her music that you’re in for the real surprise—damn, this girl can actually sing!
With a voice reminiscent of the late Amy Winehouse, it’s easy to see why the London-born singer is being touted as the next big thing to come out of the British music scene. Listening to her new track, “Don’t Regret Me,” a grittily honest urban love song (taken from her acclaimed 2012 mixtape, Limey) penned by Rainy herself, it’s clear to see that the teenager is not just a pretty face. Her eclectic taste in music and her love of poetry comes through with every line.
So when we caught up with Rainy, we were more than excited to know more about the talented and (social media) picture perfect girl who we’ll no doubt be seeing (and hearing) a lot more of in the coming months. Not only that, but at just 18 years old Rainy’s maturity, poise and great sense of humor were just as unexpected. Read on for the interview with the lady herself.
(P.S. If you still don’t believe us, find out for yourself how amazing her voice is here)
Photo Credit: Jason Chandler
Q: You started singing with local musicians and arts collectives when you were just 14. How did that happen?
Rainy Milo: I mostly found everyone via Facebook, being from South Norwood all my mates were guys and they started their grime scene but I wasn’t really into that. So I started looking on Facebook finding people that sort of dressed similar to me and then finding out who they hang out with and then via that I got into hanging out with music collectives from South East London.
So it was all done on social media. Do you find you are using that to connect to people?
Definitely. I feel like I’m on Tumblr every day and that’s how it started. I say that I first put my song out and expected no one to hear it but of course, now I think about it, because I had the Tumblr for about 2 years before ever releasing music I already had my own sort of miniature platform. Obviously it’s grown a lot now, but I had at least something to start from.
You’ve said in an interview that you grew up in an area “which gave little hope to anyone, it’s almost like they were told that they had a crappy fate and were willing to just go along with it.” Why do you think you didn’t go along that path yourself?
I feel like my mum always really drilled it into me and my brother and sister just not to become a product of our environment, like why can’t you be ghetto but kinda graceful, too? So I was determined to not just stay where we were. I wanted to see other things, hence why I was always hanging out in Central London and trying to be as far away as possible. I wanted to see it all.
You also mentioned that growing up your mum “never played only one genre in the house” and that this rubbed off on you – what type of music did she listen to?
It’s crazy, she went from Jim Reeves to Ella Fitzgerald, while my sister would be playing 2Pac in the house so literally I wasn’t starved of different styles of music, I think that’s why my music is so eclectic now, as I’ve pinched pieces that were played and made it my own.
You have a reggae DJ grandfather. Tell us more about that, did he influence you to get into music?
He was big around Brixton (an area of South London with a big Caribbean community) and me and my cousins would be there with him buying vinyls and, again, it was more music I was being around. I would be at my grandmother’s house on the weekends and there would be different music there, too, in my own house. So it was always following me.
What type of things inspire you to write music?
Just real life scenarios. I feel like I was just making music selfishly just for me, really. It was all my own personal self-healing doing that. So rather than talking about things, I would just write. I feel like that’s where it comes from.
Your music reminds me a lot of Amy Winehouse. Was she an influence? What other artists have had an effect on your music?
Definitely. Amy, Corinne Bailey Rae and N.E.R.D were the top three. Literally, I would come home from school every day and that’s all I would play. I always admired Amy and Corinne for how raw and honest they were.
What music do you listen to yourself in your down time?
Literally the same [as mentioned]! It takes so long for me to get into listening to new music so if I like something I just stick with it. But at the moment I really like Miguel, The Weekend and Frank Ocean.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not working?
I never used to like the cinema as I’d get really fidgety but recently I went to the Imax and I watched something in 3D and now I’m obsessed! I’m there like every other weekend watching movies!
What’s next for Rainy Milo? Where will we see you?
I am back again in October for a tour, a single dropping at the end of the year and in early 2015, the album.
Where do you see yourself in the next five/ten years?
Often when you’re a new artist everybody says, “You sound like the next…” or, “You remind me of this person.” (NOTE: Guilty as charged.) I’d like in 10 years time, a new artist to be told, “You remind me of Rainy Milo.”
COOTIE CATCHER CONFESSIONS
What’s the one thing you had to see in NYC?
I haven’t seen it yet but really want to see the Empire State Building because when I first came I came home with a bunch of pictures of the Chrysler Building and everybody was like, “You idiot, that’s not what it is!” I felt so dumb, it was just a waste of my first trip!
What do you wear to bed?
I always wear one of my cropped vests the ribbed ones, just the typical wife beater, and boxers.
Snog, marry, kill – Pharrell Williams, Johnny Depp and Chris Brown?
Kill Chris Brown (“Straight up!”), marry Pharrell, and snog Johnny.
Should you remain friends with your ex?
Hell, no. Print that in bold!
Sneakers or heels?
Sneaker or Tims
Who was your idol growing up?
I can’t even lie I loved Gwen Stefani and Britney [Spears]. I feel like that’s why I’m blonde now because I just wanted to be blonde like them.
Do you have any embarrassing songs on your phone/iPod?
No, I’m proud of everything on there!
Who is your #WCW?
There is a girl named Briana Shanee on Instagram, she’s really cute. She just moved from Texas to New York to model and I thought that was neat that she made such a big jump.
Would you ever do something like that?
Would I ever move far? I left London when I was 16 to go to the Bay to record my first mixtape and I was away for like 3 months and I’d never done that before so I felt like that was kind of my big jump.
Were you scared to come over to the U.S this time around?
Not so much this time, the scariest thing was getting on the plane. I always used to cry when saying goodbye to everyone and now I’m like “I just want to go now!”
Rainy’s official debut album, This Thing Of Ours, is out now in the UK, with an official release date for the US coming soon.