ASBO Meets: RafiellaB

With a glimpse of pop and a hint of edge, RafiellaB is one of North-London’s finest upcoming artists to look out for this 2021. Releasing her debut single ‘Boo!’ in April, the young singer-songwriter is on the verge to take this year, with a twist of experiences through her ever-growing sound. Giving us Lily Allen vibes, the 19-year-old enthusiast explores realism to the core lyrically and personally. Let’s just say, if you aren’t listening to RafiellaB, then you are definitely missing out.

This is behind the scenes with RafiellaB.

What first got you into music, and what drew you to the field?

I was lucky enough to have been brought up in a creative family where my older brother and sister allowed me to see the joy of creating their own music. At the age of 16, I started to struggle with my mental – health and expressing myself. Writing my own music allowed me to understand my thoughts and to process them. By getting the feelings out of my own head and creating something tangible, I was able to love what my emotions had created rather than being scared of them.

Who are your musical inspirations?

From a young age, I was introduced to a wide range of music from Stevie Wonder to Dolly Parton. As I got older and started to have my own taste in music, I loved to listen to different genres depending on how I was feeling at the moment. For me, there isn’t a better feeling than listening to a song that you relate to. Today I love to listen to Daniel Caesar, Lily Allen, Billie Eilish and Lianna La Havas, to name a few.

Your most recent release was Boo!, tell us more about it?

Where do I start… Boo! is a really special song to me as I love the emotion I feel when singing it. I wrote the song in 10 minutes, and I usually find my best songs have come to me very quickly. I love the feeling of writing down lyrics as quickly as possible, as it means I have so much I want to say. Some people may think I am talking about heartbreak, but I now know I definitely wasn’t. I was writing from a place where I finally realised how much my time and energy were worth. I want people to hear this song and remember that they get to create their own boundaries and don’t have to explain themselves to anyone.

Who would you want to collaborate with?

There are so many artists I would love to collaborate with. But if I had to pick one right now, it would be Lily Allen. When I first heard Lily’s music, I loved that she sang about topics that no one was discussing at the time. She’s continued to use her voice to talk about issues that are important to her through her music or her book with honesty, courage and integrity. Her energy in her live performances is so special. I’ll always remember crying hearing her singing ‘3’, which is about her kids; even though it wasn’t directly related to my own life experience, I felt so connected to her emotion.

Has Covid taken a toll on being an artist?

Covid has had such devastating effects for so many, and I feel awful for so many of the music venues that are struggling to stay open. Artistically, I think lockdown led to a lot of thinking time which often translates into song writing for me. I would have loved to have been able to do live performances, and I really miss being in the studio too! Fingers crossed, everything gets back to normality soon, and we can all start rebuilding and supporting the live music industry.

What venue would you love to perform at?

There are so many amazing venues in London alone, not that I am biased… But for me, my favourite venues have always been intimate. I especially love the Jazz cafe in Camden as it allows you to feel connected to the artist in an informal setting. I would love to perform at a venue like this.

What is the best advice you would give to someone looking to be in the same industry as you? 

The advice I would give would be to just try and stay in the moment rather than focusing on the future. This is something I really struggle to do, but I’ve noticed that the more I do, the more I feel content with where I am.

Keep your eyes out for Boo! releasing on 9th April 2021.

Words: Amber Meghani