Genres: Acoustic, Classical, Folk, Roots, Singer-Songwriter
Instruments: Instrumentals, Classical violin, Guitar and Voice
Raine and I met outside the cozy Thom Bargen coffee shop. It felt like we were having more of a hear-felt conversation rather than myself simply interviewing her. Raine was super friendly and easy to talk and listen to about the music industry and her journey so far. Congrats to her and all her achievements so far! I can't wait to see what more wonderful opportunities come her way~!
Ashley: How long have you been playing?
Raine: I started playing violin as a young child, it’s been twenty something years.
Ashley: And why did you decide to perform?
Raine: It’s really hard not to perform. It’s just something in the blueprint of my life that this is something that I do. It’s so hard to not perform.
Ashley: What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Raine: The thing I’m the most proud of is how hard I have worked. I am proud of how I’ve prioritized art and music making in my life because that was the thing that was hard. It was a challenging, scary thing to do, to make it my main focus in life. To put my time where my mouth is. That is what I’m most proud of and that has lead to opportunities that I am so happy to have like going with Manitoba Music to perform music in the Ontario Conference last fall; and all of the work and the opportunities leading to the album release [which was] a really joyful, successful experience. This summer I’m touring all over the place and playing in a lot of festival, which is my absolute favorite.
Ashley: What advice do you have for beginners who are nervous to start sharing their own music?
Raine: I think it’s important to be clear about what you want and then to make a plan. I think the best thing to do is seek the advice and seek the counsel of people who have done this before you. I’ve had a ton of meetings with artists over the last few years and have learned so much and have benefited also from the community. I would say find people that you admire, ask them about [anything]. This community [we have] is really helpful.
Ashley: And how do you approach them, these people?
Raine: I always offer to buy them lunch and always write down everything they say and they take it seriously.
Ashley: But how do you find them?
Raine: Just ask [around]! All they can say is yes and no.
Ashley: How do you balance your music with your other obligations like work?
Raine: A lot of my work is music based so that is good and complimentary to my music. I have achieved balance by reducing my other work’s hours so I can spend more time in the music business. That is one thing, to work less.
Ashley: Does it make it harder?
Raine: Well, financially it makes it harder to work with but there is more time which is much more valuable. Time is the most valuable thing. I also used to always make lists. I have a bed time so won’t just work constantly around the clock [laughs].
Ashley: So how do you handle the nerves before performances?
Raine: Preparation before a performance. I make sure I’m really prepared. I’ll practice a lot and I practice all the aspects of the show especially for a really important show. All the on/offs, all the things I’m going to say and when I’m going to say it. I craft that and that helps with the nerves. I also think the more I perform the less nervous I am, [the process becomes more fluid]. Just practicing performing is it’s own treatment for nerves.
Ashley: What are you practicing? Are you playing through the songs? Technique?
Raine: I’m practicing anything that needs work. So on any given day it could be any of those things.
Ashley: And what is your songwriting process?
Raine: Sometimes different ways but usually it’s a first line that comes. Melody is often apart of that early process, too. I guess it happens it’s own ways. I sometimes feel a song is it’s own thing already and it depends on what I pick it up by first or what end is poking through the sand first.
Ashley: Are you one of those people that can write an entire song at once, or are you one of those people that takes pieces from a year ago and piece them together?
Raine: I feel that I’m more a collector of bits and they find their way together. In my experience it kind of feels like that. An accurate description of my process is that I gather pieces together and I feel like a responsibility as an artist to do that when I see those pieces. It often is a process until I find a match together with the bits and I can feel it and often it takes a long time. Sometimes it’s quick and sometimes it’s possible to usher that process along. I was at the Manitoba Songwriting retreat in March 2015 and we wrote a song a day; it’s possible. It’s a different process though.
Ashley: Is it harder? I don’t know it if I could do that.
Raine: It’s not that it was harder the process was very different. It was fun. It’s good practice to just make choices faster.
Ashley: How do you choose the feeling to come across in your song? How do you choose your emotion?
Raine: That part happens by itself. That is a pre-existing bit and it usually makes itself obvious in the beginning.
Ashley: Is it like a self-conscious thing or are you naturally picking that mood or feeling?
Raine: You know, I don’t think I can actually describe it. I think that is the crux of the thing. It’s the feeling that it is. It’s the place that where the song lives so I don’t think I decide that, it just happens. I think that just is the thing.
Ashley: So this album you just released, why did you decide to make this album?
Raine: Why did I decide to make this album? Because it’s a step on the way that to the life that I want to lead and it felt right and good to do it.
Ashley: What’s the best advice you’ve received as artist or as a musician that you just take with you?
Raine: The best advice I’ve received is [something] someone said to me very matter-of-fact ‘do not be strayed from you course.’ To me it means do not be swayed from what you love, it is important. I think it speaks to me [because we live in a culture where] art is valued a lot less that [how much I value it] in my heart and it can be hard to live like that. But do not be swayed because it is important.
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