Photo Credit: Zebadiah Potler
Later this week the world will get new music from a talented artist that is truly only getting started. Just 16-years-old, Noella Rain is far beyond those around her as Phoenix is her from start to finish. While most of us could barely jot down our feelings in a journal at that age, Noella went and penned a record full of personal and beautiful words that you’ll see later, can hit hard. We talked to this emerging star about the music, the moves, and more.
Kendra: Africa, Baltimore, Long Island. You’ve gotten to live here and there are a mere 16 years. Do you feel that instilled something in you to be the type of person to chase adventure, a livelier life, the life of a musician?
Noella Rain: Definitely, I’m very grateful for my unconventional upbringing. It has allowed me to understand the world in a deeper way, and how everyone is so incredibly but wonderfully different. I thrive within change and truly dislike being comfortable because that limits my growth as a person and artist. I think the world is so beautiful. In being able to experience a lot of the world from a young age, I’ve been able to understand how people are all unique, but also the things that touch and motivate all of us as humans. I’m beyond thankful for that and think it helps me create more meaningful music.
Kendra: It’s one thing (and a very hard thing) to turn an interest into a career, let alone convince those around you it’s the right choice. Especially at 16. When you started getting interested in music around 13, did your parents think it was just a hobby at the time or were you adamant about letting them know – this is it?
Noella Rain: My parents are amazing and truly so supportive. My parents are both very musical themselves and fell in love through a drama group in high school. All of my family is very creative and music has always been a part of my life for sure. I would say initially when I first started writing songs around 13, I loved it, but I wasn’t in the mindset that I wanted to pursue that professionally.
When I was 14, the summer before my freshman year of high school, I recorded my first EP. That year had been probably the most painful year of my life and being able to record the songs I had written over that period of time was a healing experience for me. When I turned 16, was when I took the initiative, did my research, and decided to pursue my passion for songwriting and music fully.
Kendra: Major kudos on writing every track on your upcoming release, Phoenix. Each one is a personal look inside who you are and what you’ve lived through as a teenage girl – which, it doesn’t matter what decade we’re in…the struggle is forever real. It’s as if your diary will soon be on display for the world to see. Does that make you nervous at all?
Noella Rain: I’m not nervous. If I can touch anyone with anything that I’ve been through that means everything to me. I feel most myself when I’m singing, writing, recording, or performing. I want to be genuine, and I believe the way I can touch the most people is by being unapologetically true to myself, and not creating my music around fear or based on what I think others might want to see. But, every song on the album is truly personal. Each song has its own unique message to ultimately send a message of freedom, the importance of self-worth, and the true strength you will find when you don’t let your past hold you back from being yourself and moving on.
Kendra: Was there one relationship in particular that inspired “Black & White?”
Noella Rain: No, not exactly. There was one specific relationship that I drew a lot of inspiration from, but I also drew inspiration from talking to my female friends and ways that they have felt similar in their personal relationships. I don’t want the song to draw attention to myself, my intention when writing “Black & White” was to describe a general feeling that I think a lot of us can feel in relationships but is hard to pinpoint or describe.
Kendra: I must admit that “Bare” made me tear up because I think anyone from 12-102 could relate to that first line, “I just want to be beautiful.” It hits, hard. But by the end, there’s this wonderful confidence found. What’s your advice to people, especially girls your age, who are dealing with being happy with the reflection in the mirror right now?
Noella Rain: It means so much that the song touched you in any way, I’m so glad to hear that. My advice is simple but hard to live out. Stop comparing yourself. A comparison can kill you. First of all, we need to understand that your worth is not defined by your reflection in the mirror and that you are not the only one who struggles with insecurity, we all do, truly. Find the specific things you do find beautiful about yourself and focus on those as much as you can.
Kendra: Phoenix drops this week, if you had to sum it up in five words what would they be?
Noella Rain: Passionate, Reflective, Diverse, Vulnerable, Strong
Kendra: On top of the music, you also do some acting? I saw you were in the production of Tarzan. Is that another creative outlet you’ll be exploring more in the future?
Noella Rain: I would like to do some musical theatre if the right opportunity would arise, but currently, I’m completely focused on my original music and preparing for the release of Phoenix.
Kendra: With the new album out this week, what are your plans as we cap off 2019 and head into 2020?
Noella Rain: In all honesty, I’m not sure, but I don’t always like to plan out everything in my life, I’m a bit unpredictable. I can say that I will continue to write music always and hope to perform more and maybe go on a small east coast tour over the summer if the album does well.