Having made a name for herself in London's underground scene, Russian-born Londoner RADA is about to push her sound to the next level.
An enigmatic figure in London’s music scene, RADA has spent the last couple years quietly building up a sonically eclectic and thematically poignant collection of songs, to the delight of her ever-growing fanbase. Now, with a new EP on the cards – the first song of which, “Whisper Song” out now – we catch up with the singer about her evolving sound, what inspires her, and what the future looks like.
Give us a brief introduction to yourself: where are you from and what do you do?
I am Rada. I’m a singer/songwriter and aspiring creative director. I am originally from Moscow, Russia, now living in London.
Talk to us about what you're working on at the moment.
At the moment I am working on an EP (the name I can’t reveal just yet). But it’s an experimental project of 5 songs, one of which, “Whisper Song”, is already out now. The main purpose for the project was to explore my sound and give people more of an idea of what my sound is, because I don’t have much music out still and I feel like people still don’t really know what I am going for. I felt as though a project would show more of me as an artist, and also give me more room to explore. The word I would use to describe the whole EP though is “ethereal”.
How do you feel your background has influenced your music?
I think my background has shaped my music a lot more than I have realised before. I grew up in Russia, and went to music school from the age of 5, so music was a big part of my life growing up. I honestly never thought of being a musician for a while; I always preferred art and I was very shy, so it was never an option for me growing up. But when I moved here and I was exposed to different types of music and genres, I gained a new the love for music that I had lost a bit while being classically trained. I was quite a closed-off, emotional kid moving here, so I started to write poetry because I thought it was cool haha. Then, when meeting one of my friends Kish!, he encouraged me to make music and we started collaborating and that’s where it started really. Funnily enough though, I am going back to my classical routes with some of my new music and I’m trying to tap in to my Russian heritage again, which is something that I have tried to push away for so long.
Where does your name come from?
It’s the name my Mama gave me and it means “happy” in Russian.
Who or what are some of your biggest sources of inspiration - not necessarily just from the music space?
What are some of the biggest challenges you see facing you personally and also the scene currently?
One of the biggest challenges for me personally is trying to stay independent while funding myself, because my ideas are becoming more ambitious, thus more expensive. Also trying to balance and look after my mental health while being exposed to the world is something that I find challenging and scary at times.
In terms of the scene at the moment…I feel as though there isn’t really much of a scene. I’m seeing a lot of people with management or labels now, so everything feels a bit superficial. I read a bit of your previous interview with Josif, and I really agree with what he said in his interview about these platforms and labels offering a hand to smaller artists whole only thinking about the benefit of the company rather than the artist. So as a result, they produce mediocre content, because these companies have a set structure for how they think an artists will grow.
On top of that, I do think as a result of lockdown and being social media, there really is a lack of togetherness. Artists are kind of staying in their corners making content, and it does feel a bit “influencery”. I have fallen into that trap myself, and now realise I need to actually spend time with my craft and create (not just for social media), and also am trying to be around other artists and friends more so we can really create something together.
Overall, I want to see more creative risks being taken by artists, and I want to see more genuine collaboration because that’s what creates an exciting scene.
Ecco2k, Tia Corine, EarthEater, Brent Faiyaz.
What does the future look like for RADA?
More music! I want to explore my sound even further, because I feel as though I’ve only scratched the surface and have just started to experiment and enjoy the process of making music. I also have many ideas for videos which I would love to bring to life, hopefully when I have bigger budgets to execute them too. Me and my friends have many ideas and things we are currently working on, so I want to push that further and carry on creating!
Future Plays is a weekly spotlight of fresh new artists curated for the community, by the community.
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