Check out our interview with R&B, pop, and soul artist Rawle who just released his debut EP “Find My Way” this month.
Compared to such contemporaries as Usher and Jason Derulo, Canadian artist Rawle released his debut single “Alone” in 2015 before touring across the U.S. and Canada. In 2017, he moved to LA and quickly started booking shows in Hollywood, including a pre-show performance at the BET Awards. He’s since released two singles including “Broken Love” (2020) (471k streams) and “Who Are You” (2021).
His debut EP is a labor of love that details his own story of finding himself amid the trials and tribulations of life. From heartbreak to understanding and overcoming triumphs, the EP also features Melanie Amaro, winner of the first season of The X Factor US.
Follow Rawle @rawlemusic
Hi Rawle, please tell us a little about you?
I am a singer-songwriter born in Georgetown Guyana, and grew up in Canada since the age of 3. I’m very outgoing and am also very outspoken on topics I am passionate about. Most importantly, I love to create music and tell stories in my songs.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Passionate, ambitious, and tenacious.
How did you get started in the business?
I got started in high school when I interned at an independent record label while I was in grade 11. It was a co-op program that I did as an elective in school. I also began interning with Chris Smith Management when I was 20. Chris Smith was the manager of Nelly Furtado and Tamia and many others at the time.
How has this changed your life?
Well, it opened my eyes to the business part of the music industry which is super important. I was able to learn about negotiations and certain important contracts and just the day-to-day activities about what goes in terms of building an artist’s career. It was all very valuable information which I still use to this day to build my own career.
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get into the industry?
I networked a lot. I have a very outgoing personality and also my time as an intern allowed me the opportunity to attend really high profile industry events and tours, so I was able to begin to meet celebrities and powerful music executives that took a liking to me as an individual. And then I fostered and nurtured those relationships.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Smooth, soulful, and clean.
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
Honestly, I looked up to so many amazing artists from the 90s, from Aaliyah to Boys 2 Men, Usher, and Luther Vandross. Seeing them have such passion and skill drove me to just always be thinking about music and singing. And my father also sang, which made me realize that it was apart of me.
Tell us about your debut EP “Find My Way?”
Find My Way is really special to me because I actually wrote some of the songs on the project a long time ago and I never wanted to release them do to lack of confidence in myself. At one point I decided I would never let the world hear my music. I was vulnerable and scared that maybe I wasn’t good enough and the music wasn’t good enough. But that was my own insecurities. It was also a lot of nay sayers that were in my head that I was allowing to cage my creativity. So Find My Way is my introduction and my “hello” to the world. Finally releasing this music is actually healing me, allowing me to let go of the past and my fears and stepping into being who I am meant to be. I am very proud of the music on it and I am excited for everyone to hear it.
And about your singles “Broken Love” and “Who Are You?”
What interesting is Broken Love and Who Are You were both supposed to be a part of the EP. But at the time I wasn’t 100% sure about all the songs for the project and some I hadn’t written yet. Broken Love I wrote shortly after my father was murdered, and I was in such a dark and sad place in my life. I needed a way to release myself from that so I wrote that song as a beacon of light to get out of this dark tunnel I was in. In terms of Who are You, I actually ended up free-styling that song on the spot in the studio. It was about a previous relationship that I wasn’t completely over yet even though I thought I was. It just came out of me from the raw emotion I was feeling at the time.
What’s the story behind the songs?
The story is mine. It’s really just snippets of moments that I’ve endured and lived through. Learning to navigate life and my feelings and what it took to find my way through all of that in midst of doubt, fear, anger, anxiety and so much depression. Finding the courage to get to this point in my life, the brighter days. It’s just the intro to the beginning of my journey because I am certainly just getting started and there is so much more I have to share and offer the world through my music.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part for me at this point is when the music is final and finished. Hearing my idea and words come together into the final song is beautiful for me. It never starts how it finishes. I am always dissecting the songs and changing things and finding better ways of writing and expressing the music and lyrics.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a really good one.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
I’ve learned that trusting yourself is super important and following your gut will always make sense in the long run.
What do you think is the secret to have a successful IG account?
Engage with people. Show them you care that they care. I know so many people reach out and interact with me on mine and it really makes a difference.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
I would tell myself to never give up and keep working on yourself. Don’t quick and don’t listen to negativity. Just believe in yourself no matter what.
How would your best friend describe you?
Passionate, outgoing, a lil cray cray in a good way, very spontaneous, genuine, and most of all authentic.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
How to love yourself! Because I believe we are taught to love everyone else and everything else first and not ourselves.
What’s next for Rawle in 2022?
Lots of performing and just building my career. I want to introduce myself to the world and offer it dope music and inspiration.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I love sea moss. Anything with sea moss in it. And I love cucumbers so much.
And your favorite cheat food?
Seafood [laughs] and ice cream would be my top two cheat foods.
How would you explain your fashion style?
My fashion style is a reflection of me and my temperament in that moment. I’m like an onion. There are so many layers and I like to play with that and express those layers through fashion. But I would say it’s very clean, sometimes flashy, and luxurious yet edgy.
What is your own definition of happiness?
My definition of happiness is to always put yourself first in a healthy way, take time for yourself, make decisions that will better you, grow you, and just being at peace is what makes me happy.
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
I would love to visit Africa and Fiji someday. I’m not sure yet who it be with yet but I definitely want to visit those places.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Aaliyah! She’s still is such a heavy inspiration to me. Her music moves me every single time I hear it to this day. I love the way she carried herself and what she stood for. It was so enchanting to me.
Best advice ever given?
Wow, there’s been so much advice over the years but the best one was to be yourself and love yourself!
Do you support any charity?
Not as yet, however I am interested in supporting charities that support youth.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
I see myself in 5 years thriving. I haven’t thought out all the details yet because who knows what will happen. 5 years is quite a ways away, but I do know I will be international and will be doing my part to make a difference in the world and in peoples lives in a positive way.
Favorite song? Why?
This is such an unfair question because I love so many songs. I do love NAO’s Don’t Change. I’ve played that song out and still play it out to this day [laughs].
What do you think of Social Media?
I think it’s an amazing revolution that has so many benefits and equally so many dis-advantages. You know you can really reach the world and build a brand or career, but there’s also a dark side to it. People lose touch with humanity and reality and obsess in unhealthy ways because of social media. I think it’s a great tool when used with balance.
Where we can follow you?
You can follow me on all social platforms @rawlemusic or at www.rawlemusic.com or Google rawlemusic.
Quote: “No matter what, love yourself for you.”
Movie: Harry Potter.
Tv Series: Fresh Prince.
Favorite Food: Seafood.
Travel Destination: Fiji.
Sports Team: Miami Heat.
Photo credit: Ray Kachatorian