Introducing Rasida

Words by Maisie Goulsbra

Rasida by Martyna Sakalauskaite

Rasida made her first impression in 2019 after the release of ‘Sorry For Wasting Your Time’. A statement jazzy number with a sultry melody, delicious key changes, and use of the saxophone. Its lyrics are poised as a discussion with a significant other but are just as introspective as they are conversational. A story about falling out of love. Incidentally, this track will find you head over heels as you listen.

At only 21 it’s ever more apparent that Rasida will be taking her listeners on an exhilarating ride, one that fills us with excitement for her future and ours as the listeners. Her next release is tonally far from tranquil, but with just as much musical maturity. Recognisable by her vocal range and runs, Rasida’s latest single ‘Don’t Go Back’ was released on the 26th of June and has proven to be just as impactful as her previous delivery.

We got a chance to catch up with Rasida to delve deeper into the making of her recent single release ‘Don’t Go Back’ and learn more about her and the exciting journey music has taken her on so far.

What were you listening to growing up? 

I grew up listening to everything. Literally everything. A lot of R&B, which back then was more like millennium R&B. I grew up listening to rare Groove, Soul, Soca, Dancehall, Bashment, and my Dad would listen to a bit of rock and old jazz too. So literally everything.

Would you describe yourself as a Jazz artist?

No, I’d say I’m more of an R&B artist, but you do hear a lot of influence from Jazz in my music. The new project ‘Don’t Go Back’ has more of a 90’s sound to it, giving you that nostalgic feeling.

 

 

 

You’re a singer & pianist…?

I think predominately I’m a singer and songwriter, but I did study the piano and still play now so I guess I’m all of those things.

At what stage in your life did you study music?

So I’d been playing the piano from the age of eight years old, going on to get all my Jazz grades studying the genre for three years at The Julian Joseph Jazz academy. After that, I went to the East London Arts & Music school in Bromley-by-Bow to continue studying music as well as maths (that didn’t go so well).

How was it to perform at All Points East and Lovebox? 

Crazy! Both of those opportunities came through college, Lovebox in 2017, and then All Points East the following year. Both great experiences for me. Being on the main stage, I was the first one on so there were probably like three people about to see me perform but to be on the big stage and see and hear your name was truly an incredible time for me. They even gave me my own trailer backstage, I can remember thinking “WOW what is this”.

As my set came to an end I swear they pretty much had to drag me off the stage, I didn’t want it to stop. I love performing live though, I’ve always admired bands performing with all their arrangments and instruments. An admiration I’ve tried to learn from making sure I give it my all when it comes to my own performances.

Would you go as far as to say you prefer the live performances over the writing and recording process?

Nah. I like them both just as much. Without the song recording, you don’t have anything to perform, and the songwriting process is my release. I don’t often talk about my emotions and what I’m going through, but you’ll pick it up through my output as a listener. And then when I perform it live and people can connect, it goes hand in hand.

Do you produce much of your own music as well?

Yeah, I’m a proper loner so I just sit at home with my little setup and do it all from there. I’ve got my keyboard, Drum packs, and a little synth. Everything besides the mixing is done from my home setup and once I’ve got the mastered version back it’s all ready to go!

Tell us a little bit more about your new track ‘Don’t Go Back’ and the story behind it. 

There isn’t much of a story behind it, to be honest. The song more so follows a theme of that “honeymoon period” at the start of a new relationship, those feelings of not wanting to leave them and just being present at that moment in time with that person. During the period I wrote this song you could say I was in that “honeymoon period” or at least coming out of it but reminiscing, wishing I was still in it.

Very different from my first release ‘Sorry For Wasting Your Time’ which was basically the opposite. I just write songs about what I’m going through and what I’ve seen.

Stylistically they’re very different arent they…

That’s the thing. This is something I’ve been testing out. As I said, I draw influence from a lot of different places so my music will never sound exactly the same. I want to see how people react to it. I don’t want people to think ‘I came to listen to the same piano-based Rasida and now you’re giving me this…’

Even if people were to say they want that ‘Sorry For Wasting Your Time’ sound, I just couldn’t and wouldn’t restrict myself like that. I think once there’s more of my music out there people will be able to understand me a bit more and think ‘Yeah this is different but still consists of those Rasida style melodies or that it still has that Rasida sound’.

Do you think you’ve made enough music to be able to distinguish what exactly that Rasida sound is? 

I think my melodies and lyrics make it a Rasida sound. My music is quite raw and honest, I don’t shy away from any topic I just say it how it is. I love a bit of harmony so there isn’t a song out there of mine that doesn’t include harmonies.

What does the summer have in store for you and what can we expect to see from you for the rest of this year?

I need to live a bit to be able to write.

Maybe a music video, but definitely more releases.

As we prepare ourselves for Rasida’ ascendance to the heights of Britain’s R&B genre, ensure to follow and continue supporting her impending journey.

Starting right now by tuning into ‘Don’t Go Back’.

 

Photography by Martyna Sakalauskaite

Words by Maisie Goulsbra