ASBO Meets: Raissa, The up and coming star bringing a heroic vibe to the table of pop music

‍“Diamond blood, I’m gonna make it”. These are the lyrics to GO FAST BABYRaissa’s debut single for her upcoming EP- HEROGIRL, and it surely does a good job in painting a picture of where the artist currently stands. Recently signed to Mark Ronson’s label, Zelig Records, the 23-year-old French and Spanish pop singer seems to be rising like foam. Her empowering sound and bold but cute look, along with her magnetic personality has all come together perfectly to make her the valuable girl with diamond blood she metaphorically talks about in her song. GO FAST BABY has so far amassed over 114,000 streams on Spotify and the music video for it has more than 200,000 views. 

Praised by artists including Labrinth, Raissa not only serves great vocals, but as proved by the visuals of her latest music video for the song GO FAST BABYshe shows to have an inspiring vision of defeating the evil with the power of love. She sees herself as the hero of her own story and encourages the world to do the same. We sat down with Raissa to discuss her journey so far, her vision as an artist and her latest work.

I wanted to start by asking for a little bit of background about you as an artist. How did you discover you had a passion for music? 

My parents have always been big fans of music, and so it was a big part of my childhood, I was singing and dancing since before I can remember. 

How did you carve out your place into the music industry? And who were your biggest inspirations while being an aspiring artist? 

I just kept my head down and kept going, tried to stay true to myself even when it felt like I couldn’t. I fought to be me. I think that was the most important thing. As far as inspirations go, I’m a huge Lady Gaga fan. From a very early age, she made me feel like there was room for me, both personally and as an artist. 

I have noticed by what you post on Instagram and your music videos that you are quite into stars, anime and mythical creatures like fairies and unicorns, what made you make this your theme/signature as an artist? 

These are natural inclinations of mine, and I think that because they are they end up looking like an intentional signature. I’ve been a huge fan of scoff and fantasy since childhood, and it comes from my dad, same with vintage anime, specifically Studio Ghibli movies. HEROGIRL (my upcoming EP) in many ways, is my take on a Miyazaki heroine. 

Would you say you’re exclusively pop, or is there a mix of genres in your sound?  

I think nowadays pop music means what makes young people feel good and excited about life, and that could be anything. I aim to make music that creates hope and beauty! I think that’s what pop music is at its core, not so much a genre anymore. 

What do you believe your purpose is as an artist? 

To try and illuminate hope in others, and to become more hopeful and brave myself though doing that! 

You’ve previously mentioned in other interviews that a great song is ‘honest’, would you say that all of the songs you have made so far are personal to you? 

Absolutely, there isn’t a word coming out of my mouth that isn’t mine and only mine, so I think that’s pretty personal. Honesty is powerful; I think can feel it when something is. 

What is the short hair, bangs and e-girl outfits inspired by? 

I feel like myself with this haircut, it’s the one I had when I was little, and I think it’s important to try and come back to who you were before the world polluted your love for yourself and the wonder you had about everything around you. I wouldn’t say I’m an e-girl though, or that my outfits are girl outfits, I don’t claim that. I just dress like the hero of my story, I think everyone should leave the house feeling like that! Whether it’s through clothes, makeup or just their state of mind. 

Moving on to your latest work, congratulations on your new single GO FAST BABYit sounds amazing! – one of my favourite songs. What is this song actually about? What feelings and emotions are you trying to transmit to people with this new song and what was the inspiration behind it? 

Thank you! That means a lot… The song was very visceral, it all came out in one go, the top line was all there in under 20 minutes. The delivery is a little bit tongue in cheek and sassy, but at the core it’s really about feeling powerful enough to say goodbye to bad things and running brightly and bravely into what awaits ahead, regaining control. 

What was the inspiration and message behind GO FAST BABY’s visuals? Were there any other music videos that inspired you with the visuals? 

Whenever I finish a song, I write down a treatment for the music video, and I think about HEROGIRL’s story as a whole and where it’s going and progressing and where she needs to arrive in order to make her ultimate point. It’s a hero’s journey, and the music videos depict it in a way that’s heavily inspired by sci-fi, fantasy and vintage anime films and TV shows, not really other music videos! 

Moving on to your upcoming EP and album, what should we expect from it? Could you reveal something about the kind of theme it will be? 

Expect a story that unfolds gradually building upon the previous thing, and that gives everyone a chance to be a part of it — Hope, bravery and lots of beautiful visuals. 

You’ve recently been signed to Mark Ronson’s label Zelig Records, how is it like working with Mark Ronson? and how does it feel transitioning from being on your own to being signed to a successful record label? 

Mark and I haven’t worked in person yet due to the pandemic. I will say though, that I’m grateful to everyone at Zelig, they trust and believe in me and give me all the tools I need to create and be in control of my vision and project. It’s like doing exactly what I did before, but with resources and talented people who help expand it beyond what I could do just myself in my bedroom. 

Who are your dream collabs? 

I have people I’m a big fan of but I wouldn’t say I have specific dream collabs. I think the best collabs happen naturally so I’ll have to wait and see! 

Finally, what is some advice you would give your fans? 

You are the hero of your story, the world may sometimes be an icky place, but that doesn’t have to make you icky. Be a light, love yourself as much as you can and hold the hand of others. 

Words: Gabriela Jimenez