As an artist, Rarelyalways brings a refreshing, unique approach to music, very different from many of his comrades. With his debut solo album WORK due out tomorrow, March 10th, via Innovative Leisure, the singer and songwriter is ready to share with listeners more of himself and his multidisciplinary approach to his craft.
While most artists grow up thinking of music as a form of entertainment meant for the stage and radio stations (or streaming platforms), Rarely was raised viewing music as something far more sacred than a way of being famous and making money. Born in London to a West African family, he was brought up by a single father who was a drummer playing gospel songs for religious services. It was during practices for these services where Rarely began to experience the power of music and to appreciate it as something to enjoy for just its artistic and spiritual qualities.
A real student of music, Rarely attended The BRIT School and navigated his way through the local London scene, playing trip-hop and heavy rock in various shapes and forms. His music has always leaned towards the darker, more mysterious side of things, existing freely outside any arbitrary genre and more within its own space where he can make a song into anything he so desires.
Today we are joined by Rarely to discuss his new album, experimental music, and much more.
How would you describe your own music?
Rarelyalways: “I would describe my music as a living production that’s innovative and disruptive.”
What is the story behind the name Rarelyalways?
“Rarelyalways started with ‘RA’ then eventually went to Rarelyalways, figured it slipped right off the tongue.”
What’s your favourite city or venue to play in?
“I love performing in Bristol; just feel like there’s something in the air down south-west.”
For those not familiar with you, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your music?
“I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting as I could be very slow at times; it seems life can occasionally be very fast-paced. Musically, I tend to portray this trait by adding loads of repetition and re-emphasizing themes and motifs. My tracks are symmetrical, baby.”
WORK will be released on March 10th. How do you feel about the project as a whole, and what has been the response so far?
“I feel like I’m on my way. Miles Davis said, ‘it takes a lifetime to sound like yourself.’ Three singles have dropped to date, and the feedback has been varied; my music brings all sorts of people together.”
What is the story behind the title WORK?
“The story behind WORK is essentially the undertaking of an assignment. You’ll see the entire track list relates to work and conveniently reads a sentence.”
What do you think of the current state of experimental jazz and hip-hop?
“I love the direction of experimental jazz and hip hop. In my opinion, it’s mirroring the highlights and cracks of the current climate.”
What are some of the bands that you are listening to or enjoying?
“Ash Walkers, Leland Whitty, and Sad Night Dynamite.”
What is the music scene like in London, how has it changed, and how have you changed since you became involved in the scene?
“I have no idea; I’m an introvert; music is almost an alter ego.”
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take three CDs with you for eternity, (assuming there was a solar-powered CD player), what would they be?
“Best of Jimmy Cliff 1975, Sleep: 111 Pieces of Classical Music for Bedtime, and Stevie Wonder, A Time to Love.”
What are your touring plans for when the new music drops?
“My tour plans in 2023 are based upon requests. Long story short is I’ve got capacity.”