Our interview with gorgeous emerging singer-songwriter Rayla who has made a splash in the music industry. Handpicked to open for the likes of Fetty Wap, HRVY, Daya, and Olivia Holt, this 17-year-old’s fresh, unique sound delivers songs that are packed with relatable lyrics. Her single “Boys Like You” received an overwhelming positive response and charted on Radio Disney. Rayla released “LNT”, the lead single off of her debut EP “Alter Ego” that captures a mix of Rayla’s authenticity and musical talent well beyond her years. Rayla lends her vocals to the theme song “Just Wanna Go” for Disney Channel’s newest live-action series Fast Layne that premiered this month.

Hi Rayla, please tell us a little about you?

I am a 17 year old singer/songwriter, with a lot to say!

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Creative, passionate, fun

How it all started?

I have always been a singer and loved to perform. I wrote my first song when I was 5! I’ll admit it was not my best work but had a pretty good melody and a catchy hook. Lol. From there I started performing locally and eventually ended up at a recording studio in my town when I was 10. From there I was hooked!

When was it that you first realized that you wanted to pursue music as a career?

I was around 10 years old and was watching the Ellen Show and Taylor Swift came on. I realized right then that watching her, someone could take their passion for music and turn it into a career. I knew that was what I wanted to do.

What is your musical background?

Well, no one in my family has a music background, so we aren’t really sure where it comes from. I started vocal and guitar lessons when I was 10.

What kind of music do you listen normally?

I love all genres of music. So pop, urban and country. It really depends on my mood at the moment.

Tell us about your EP “Alter Ego?” What can fans expect from it?

Alter Ego is 7 songs that reflect my personal life, it’s like sharing my diary with the world! Each song has a different sound and shows a different side of myself as an artist. I have two songs with featured artists, “Ride or Die” ft. David Lee and “Love Drought” ft. Yuri Jones. These have a different vibe and I really loved the process of collabing with these artists.

How was working with big names like Fetty Wap, HRVY, Daya, and Olivia Holt?

All of them were amazing to work with! Each one is so different, but I love watching other artists perform and learning from them.

How about the feeling to be the lead vocal for the theme song “Just Wanna Go” for Disney Channel’s newest live-action series, Fast Layne?

This was kinda crazy! I didn’t even hear the song and I immediately said YES! I grew up watching Disney Channel so it was crazy to be asked to be part of this new series. The song is fun and upbeat, and the video was really fun to film! We shot it in a real garage and the whole team was amazing to work with.

Describe your sound in 3 words?

Moody, Vibey, Pop

What music influences do you have?

Halsey is a big influence, I really relate to her sound.

Rayla - LNT

What is your next goal as a musician?

There are a few artists I would love to do a collab with. We will have to see what 2019 brings. I hope to get back out touring, I just finished a 12 city tour and I’m ready to go back out again!

What are the five things you can’t live without?

Starbucks, Music, French Fries, iPhone, Sweatpants

Best advice ever given?

Stay true to yourself

Do you get nervous before a performance?

I would be lying if said no! But I really love being on stage, so as soon as my set starts the nerves just go away.

What is next for Rayla in 2019?

More music!

Any advice for upcoming singers?

If it is your passion you just have to keep working at it. Have confidence in yourself and your dream. Surround yourself with people that believe in you and support you. It can happen if you stay focused and work hard.

If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?

Good question! It would definitely be something in music.

Something people don’t know about you?

When I first got into music I was into country music

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

Halsey, I would love to just hang out and listen to her current playlist!

What is your favorite healthy food?

Healthy food is not my favorite but I will drink healthy shakes, just don’t tell me everything that is in it.

And your favorite cheat food?

French Fries

Which project is still on your bucket list?

Madison Square Garden!

Do you support any charity?

Through The Ryan Seacrest Foundation, I spent some time with the kids at the Children’s National Health Center in Washington, D.C. The foundation has a radio show in the hospital and the kids are the co-hosts and DJ’s. I just loved this experience and the work the foundation does and was so happy to be involved.

Any exiting news you want to share with us?

Watch for my new music video, “Alter Ego” which will premiere March 1st!

What does fashion mean to you?

I love getting dressed up for shows, and events but I also love just wearing sweatpants and hoodies.

How would you explain your fashion style?

I like to be comfortable and add a little edge to my style.

How important is Social Media for you?

It’s important to be able to share your music and what you are working on but I really don’t like being tied to it. I do like keeping my private life private and not sharing every detail.

Where we can follow you?

Instagram / Twitter @Rayla

Quote: “Years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do” – Mark Twain

Actor/Actress: Rachel McAdams

Drink: Joe’s Peach Tea or Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks

City: New York City

Movie: Way to many favorites to pick just one!

Sport Team: Currently obsessed with Zion, so Duke Blue Devils

Song: 11 minutes by YungBlud & Halsey

Photo credit: Robbie Joseph