Interview • Rhye
I interviewed you two years ago for Woman which kinda revolved around the idea that love is ephemeral. Could we say that Blood, your new record, is another proof that love is changing thing?
Yes, definitely. I’ll go with that.
Talking about changes, you’re now officially the sole mastermind behind Rhye though it was long believed to be a duo.
I’ve kinda always been the mastermind behind it, I just don’t like to phrase it that way because it sounds narcissistic. The way I like to phrase it is that I’ve involved myself with different to people to help me realize the vision.
You recorded this album with your previous shows in mind and probably the next ones. Less control, more spontaneity… It’s like a love story in a way, learning from previous relationships and then letting things without overthinking.
Yes, I mean every album is a love story in a way. There are a lot of emotional changes between the two records that contribute to this idea of letting go, triumphing from the dark, revitalizing.
You recorded Blood with your live musicians and other artists such as Thomas Bartlett or King Henry.
Yes, Thomas Bartlett is not in my band but he plays the piano on some songs. King Henry worked on Taste with me.
You have already worked with King Henry on his latest EP for the song Moment. How did you meet each other?
We met each other through our managers because we have the same managing team. I’m also pretty good friend with Wes who goes by Diplo and that’s who he works with. My girlfriend is also super good friend with Wes, she works a lot with him so there are many connexions! King Henry is very fun to work with.
You actually bought the option for this second record so that you could be free from any constraints. Freedom does come with a price!
It’s pretty big, yes! It’s a lot of money but I had to do that. The label that I was on had the second option and they literally didn’t want to do anything. They said that they would on to the option for ten years and it was evident that they just wanted to get paid for that option. It’s actually illegal to hold on to an option so I could have sued them but when I compared the amount of money it would take to sue them versus the price of the option, it was actually cheaper to buy it.
I read that you also drive the bus tour, will you do it again for the next tour?
You shoot your videos and create your artwork. Most of them feature your girlfriend Genevieve. Do you think every artist needs a muse?
I don’t know… I think every artist needs to do whatever they need to do to make art. I don’t need a muse, I can make music about anything that happens in my life. There’s no rule. You don’t need anything, you just need yourself to be creative.
Have you also choregraphed your next live shows?
I wouldn’t say choregraphed cause there’s no dance or anything but I’ve envisioned them. I worked with my musicians cause they’re very talented so I tried to figure out for them to have shiny moments. It’s definitely an honour to have these musicians around me.
I remembered your last show at Pitchfork, it was a subtle mix of lights and shadows.
I can’t really have bright lights cause as a child I had a really intense of synaesthesia so if I get strobes I can have like a seizure.
We’re going to talk about Geneviève again. She’s the founder of Ambient Music For The Secular Sabbath which is a multisensory experience bringing people together. You took part in the last night with Ry X and Lo Fang in Laguna Beach. Could you come back on the concept of that night?
It was a really cool night! I watched Mat [Lo Fang] doing his cello performance. He sang, he danced… He’s a very good dancer! He had these beautiful amazing dancers doing almost a samurai performance. Ry X is also an amazing performer, I’m very good friend with these two! I was just watching them and I thought I could ask them to join me. We started singing while walking through the people that were just lying on the ground, with no microphones. It was a unique experience.
You should bring the concept to Paris!
I really want to, it’s about finding the right space!
Let’s end this interview with a game. I’m going to give you beginnings of famous songs and you’ll have to finish the sentence with your own words.
All I want for Christmas is … a dragon, which is a camera!
When I find myself in times of trouble … I silence myself and I press myself into a creative mood.
if you wanna be my lover you gotta … give.
I’m up all night to … it’s ok, I’ll cry with you.
I can’t live if living is without … foods that nurture, bring and give love.
But we are living in a material world and I am … not a material guy!
You gotta fight for your right to … live.