Ahead of his new album, the artist chats style, artistry, and his latest teaser single.

Photography by Louis Flashman

Photography by Louis Flashman

However congested the music industry is, the shining lights of artistry always find a way to shine through. Enter Rarelyalways; London born to a Western African family, the artist was raised by his single father, a drummer, who taught him the importance of gospel, community and playing music for its mere enjoyment. With an unyielding love for music and a wide range of influences growing up, Rarelyalways was set on a path towards success, attending the famed BRIT School and gaining a reputation in the South London gigging scene.

Catapulting himself into the ears of budding fans at the back end of the 10’s, the artist has been strikingly progressive in his style and approach. He has unveiled two diverse and compelling EP’s, Baby Buffalo and Manic, with each passing release highlighting an expanding understanding and nuance for the avant-garde and challenging. Combining elements of hip hop, trip hop, and electronica amongst other stylistic tendencies, Rarelyalways is creative to his core, and experimental in his essence.

The artist has been building up steam ahead of the release of his debut album, Work, which looks set to be a broad and bohemian body of work. The latest taster of the album comes in the form of his new single “REVIEW”, an off-kilter, grimy cut that is simultaneously charismatic and daunting, with the talent showcasing his ability to ride a wide range of textures and rhythms.

Looking forward to the new album, we caught up with Rarelyalways to discuss influences, style, artistry, and the new teaser single.

Listen to “REVIEW”

Read the full interview below

How did you first start writing and creating music?
I started writing/creating making music with the intention of finalising it around 2016-2018ish. I remember heading to Waterloo to meet Rebel Kleff (producer,) and those college days bring back goosebumps. Myself and Rebel had a few mixing sessions, conveniently at his house. This was a three-week program. How I wish it could’ve been extended; he’d literally bring my logic projects to life and give me useful tips on getting the most from software instruments.

What and who influences you to create?
The majority of my interactions are in relation to music and from a musician point of view, and I wanted to try a new approach. I had Music technology for four hours a week with Chris Mcciness in year 12/13, and I can truly say he was a big influence on me starting creating music, as apposed to playing off charts.

How would you define your style and its essence?
I’d say my style is one to be reckoned with. So many artist have tried what I’m doing, but there’s a thin line between sick and cheesy. I strike the balance well because I’m the real thing. My whole approach is unapologetic, disruptive and still evolving.

Talk us through your new single – what was the creative vision there?
I believe water is only one of many of the Divine creator’s inventions. In the chorus I disclose my action plan confirming “water, hand on my waist before they wither away, rejuvenate ”. I honestly felt that “REVIEW” brought more life back into the Hip-hop culture. My creative vision was to broadcast adversity/trails, then remind the audience how supernatural powers enabled me to withstand the threat. This couldn’t have worked by relying on man’s knowledge alone.

Where do you want to take your artistry?
I’m willing to take my artistry anywhere. Education (English literature), healthcare, I’ll even go as far to say it’s the vehicle for future projects I intend to fund later in relation to humanitarian schemes.

What’s to come from you?
I’ve been working on few features that you’ll never expect. Think it’s the perfect time to start collaborating now LP WORK is in the air. I feel like my growing catalogue is showing off my resilience in this industry.


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