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  • Tessa Brainard

Interview: "Night Drive" - Rita Mae

Photo Credits: Devan Narsai

Congratulations on the release of "Night Drive"! What was your favorite part about creating this song?

Rita Mae: Thank you so much! This song was written when I was going through a tough time, and writing the song was the first thing that gave me some relief. It felt so good to put the feeling into words, even though my situation hadn’t changed. Articulating how I felt into a song that I loved felt like a superpower. It got me through.

This song is about those terrible, heartache-inducing situationships a lot of young people find themselves in. What advice would you give someone who is in the middle of one at the moment?

Rita Mae: Oh god, I wish I had good advice for this. Not to encourage bad decision-making, but I do believe there’s some element of needing to go through things to truly learn. Like, everyone in my life could see a million red flags in the situation I was in at the time, and some people were even actively telling me to get out. But I was too deep in it, and I think part of me just needed to really fuck up and feel the consequences to learn. Now I think (I hope) I would do things really differently because going through that taught me something about what I want and what I know I deserve, which is a lot more.

What is something you learned during the process of creating this song and how will you use it in the future?

Rita Mae: I learned that collaboration can be magical! Before this song I’d never fully written in the studio with a producer- I was always quite cagey and protective over my writing. This was the first time I really let a producer (my bestie rede) in on the process, and it felt so cool to feel that we were creating something special together. I have learned that music is really something I want to share, rather than doing it all myself. I plan to continue to collaborate as much as I can.

You held a release show for "Night Drive" at Whammy Backroom in Auckland, New Zealand and it was your first headlining show! Do you have any fun stories or favorite memories you can share from that event?

Rita Mae: I did! God, it was such a great night. It was my first headline but it didn’t feel intimidating at all. I was in a room filled with my friends, everyone was really into it and made me feel so at home on stage. The best bit was that the whole room was singing all the lyrics to my songs- I’ve never really experienced that before. It was a pretty unbelievable feeling.

Photo Credits: Devan Narsai

Who are your biggest musical inspirations?

Rita Mae: My all-time biggest inspirations would have to be Taylor Swift and Radiohead. I’m always getting inspired by different artists, but those two are the thread that has consistently influenced my music since I discovered them in primary school. I feel like even though they are such different artists, the melodic and lyrical habits totally informed the way I learned to write songs, and continue to inspire me now.

What can listeners look forward to from you in the future?

Rita Mae: I’m releasing another single and an EP very soon- before the middle of the year! If you’re based in NZ you can come see me play opening for Gin Wigmore and BROODS on their NZ tours.

Interviewed By Tessa Brainard


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