Wednesday, October 1, 2014

{INTERVIEW} arum rae

We're so excited to share our latest interview with singer and TIOJ fave Arum Rae. Read ahead as we chat with this talented and stylish singer about living in a log cabin, touring with Gary Clark Jr., and her (totally legit) desire to do a duet with Jay Z.

Listen while you read:

Tell us about yourself! How long have you been making music and how did you get started?
I have been singing since I was four years old. My high school teacher took me under his wing and got me a scholarship to Berklee College of Music, which is where I started writing music. I then moved to an 1800's log cabin nine miles up a mountain in rural Virginia to find myself and to work on music where there was no scene or influence of pop world and trends. I felt the need to really dig without distraction. Then I would drive up to three hours for open mics [and] to convince each venue to have me back for a full set and maybe even get paid. There's no cutting corners, but things just started picking up. A song I wrote got picked up 10 years later by a TV show, and that has happened several times, so it's about doing the work today and believing it will provide tomorrow!

How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it before? What song would you suggest they start with?
I usually say rock and roll/soul, minimalist, concentration on vocals and beats. I would say come to a live show. Creatively, I feel that I run a big gamut, but I believe it to be still identifiable and "me."

photo by dominic neitz
Where do you find inspiration for your music?
I find inspiration in everything. In conversation, in my emotions and personal experience, and in motion itself.

Click ahead for more from Arum!

You’ve toured with some really amazing bands like Gary Clark, Jr., The Civil Wars, and more! Has there been a specific tour experience or moment that really stands out to you? 
Touring with Gary Clark, Jr. was really big and inspiring for me, firstly because we were all close friends. Before some shows I would learn some guitar tricks from the boys or watch hilarious YouTube videos, but listening to them play as a seamless and timeless band was an education. The music they're playing is pure and went straight to my heart.

What is it like being a young female in the music industry today?
This industry is dominated by men, which is great when you need your amp carried around! But the reality is being a female in this industry is very challenging. You have to keep your guard up and really be careful who you surround yourself with and what their intentions are. I love men as a heterosexual woman, but this industry can draw out the crazies like nobody's business.

We've been loving your style on Instagram -- do you have a go-to outfit that you stick with when you perform or is more a day-by-day kind of sartorial decision?
Thank you! I tried going with one look and that was just boring. I like to change up the clothes daily. It keeps me feeling fresh and in line with myself.

If you could collaborate with any artist (dead or alive), who would it be? 
If I could sing on Jay Z's, J Coles' or Drake's tracks, I'd be beaming! Or sing with Radiohead!

Would you rather tour with Justin Bieber or always speak in auto-tune? 
Tour with Bieber...

What artists are you listening to now? Who should we put on our radar?
I love love J. Cole, War On Drugs, and pretty much just always keep Nina Simone on.

Thanks again to Arum Rae for chatting with us. Arum will be in DC NEXT WEEKEND, October 11, with Generationals at U Street Music Hall. Grab your tickets here and rock out with us!

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