— SINGER, SONGWRITER
Though it’s not unusual for a soulful voice to come out of the UK, each time a new artist emerges, there is always a one-of-a-kind quality to their musical gift. Rainy Milo is one of those distinct talents. At the age of fourteen, Milo began performing with local artists and writing songs in Southeast London. With such ambitious beginnings, it’s evident as to why she evolves through music—it's central to her growth as a human being. That very concept shows it’s face in her craft and approach to creating time and time again.
I first discovered Rainy Milo some years ago as I perused SoundCloud for new music. When I innocently stumbled upon her profile, little did I know I was in for a sonically charming treat. Her song plays were in the thousands, and her location was listed as London, so I curiously began to click through each track. Romantically-experimental R&B blared through my speakers and I was delighted by what I heard. The 22-year-old singer and songwriter’s music was doused in raw emotion and you felt her connecting with each word she crooned. A true mark of a passionate artist, might I say.
Most recently adding acting to her resume and starring in Disney’s Christopher Robin, Milo continues to push her bounderies as a creative soul. It's inspiring to see her rise in a multitude of ways.
Songwriting is an art that not many people have mastered. In fact, people make entire careers out of just writing music. What does it mean to be able to voice your perspective in this way?
It’s everything to me. It's strange. I often struggle to get my thoughts across accurately in email and even conversation, but somehow when I mix words with melodies, I find ways to express myself better than I can in any other space in my life. It’s the best outlet for my feelings, and I find myself saying more and more openly through song. I discovered when I'm writing a song I feel ways I hadn't even admitted to myself. It’s a huge part of my healing process as a human. Also, creating bodies of work is almost like a documentary for me, it’s a way to encapsulate a period of my life.
How is your Guyanese and British heritage reflected in your identity as an artist?
I grew up with two parents from totally different parts of the world, with completely different musical tastes, yet they had an appreciation for each other’s. It opened up my mind early in age to variation and seeing beauty in what’s different. I think that absolutely influenced the experimental and mixing influences aspect of my music that I always strive for.
Being that you’ve been singing since you were 14, how have you been able to fall in love with your art over and over again?
Honestly, I'm not sure how, and in fact I love that it always takes me by surprise. Just when I think I love what I do and love music, I hear something by another artist that makes me think “Damn, this feeling right here is why I love music.” When I'm uninspired and feeling over it, out of nowhere I create something I wasn't expecting from myself and I fall in love all over again, every time.
Every artists creative process is unique to them. What does yours look like?
I often like to write my songs in my bedroom alone or in small groups with people I have a synergy with. Sometimes I just can't come up with ideas when I'm around too many people because I feel as though I can't think straight or for myself. Once I have an initial idea for melodies and lyrics to a piece of music I worked on with a producer, that’s when I'm ready to open up to a back and forth with someone to rework melodies. Even if the song turns out nothing like my first idea, I always like to allow myself to just do me in the beginning. I like to sit on public transport too, to write lyrics. I find the feeling of me moving actually stills my mind and helps me center myself better.
You’ve spoken about your mom being your inspiration style wise. What elements of her style inspires you the most? How do you extract those elements and make it you?
The boldness, the not caring what anyone thinks even if it’s too loud–she just does her. My mum is always overdressed for every occasion and that inspires me. I often look at old photos of her and reimagine those outfits in modern times. Also, coming from the Caribbean to the UK she didn’t have much. Everything she did buy, she would treasure, which means she has quite the collection now, as she never has the heart to throw anything away. So, I often just borrow her clothes which always makes my outfits look like a remixed version of my mum.
One’s craft can serve as a healing tool of sorts. How has your craft helped you put your pieces back together when they fall apart?
My craft has allowed me to take long periods of time writing from hindsight, giving space to evaluate how I'm feeling or have felt. I’m able to pinpoint and express particular moments in time and write about them. It's very close to talking to a therapist I could imagine, because, you have to press yourself to remember situations and why they went that way.
One thing that’s for sure, is as life goes on, we sometimes realize that we’re all still “figuring this out.” How have you embraced that notion?
I'm such an over thinker that the only thing that can give me peace is believing what is meant to be will be, and what is truly meant for me will always find me. I have to be honest though, I tell myself that and it calms me for a time and then I go back to worrying. Then, I remember we're all on a rock in space not knowing what the hell we're doing. I'm at peace and then I worry, it’s a never ending cycle that I allow myself to go through.
Think about the first time you had a "dream" until now. I'm sure your life path has changed and gone in directions that you couldn't have imagined, in both good and bad ways. With this happening, how have you not allowed your circumstances to alter your dreams or make you forget about them?
I have no Plan B and that means I have no choice but to see this dream through to the end. I couldn't live with myself without knowing how this book of my life ends, so I keep writing it–literally in music. I always tell myself if I could change anything, it would be everything and life doesn’t work that way. I'm happy with what I've done so far. As you said, it’s already gone ways that I couldn’t have expected, so I'm dying to see what other surprises will be batted at me.
What's your biggest piece of advice to anyone on their life and dream path?
No plan B's babes. You need to give all of your energy to your dream!
What is the most significant thing about your still evolving story that you want people to know?
I never know what the hell I'm doing and then suddenly I know exactly what to do. I love something I create, leave it alone come back and suddenly I hate it, work on it and then fall in love with it again. As selfish as it sounds, I feel relief when other artists I know tell me they feel those same ways too. It reminds me that we're human and its part of the process of bettering our craft. I say this for any creatives out there who are unsure right now and feel like this. I want them to know I've felt that too and it’s okay.
How do you DREAM IN HD?
When I imagine my future I try to get it down to all of the details. How will a song I haven’t finished yet, be mixed? How will my future home smell? I think about it all. I have to stay ready.