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In Conversation with Ragz Originale

Obsess over this ear-candy

There’s a fresh turn in the wind when a new record is released by Ragz Originale. The London-based singer and producer always keeps his highly-coveted fans ready to pounce, with each single adding a new sound to his ever-evolving sonic empire. Having previously produced for the likes of Skepta, FKA Twigs and SOPHIE, Ragz started off on his own in 2018, with the release of his debut album Nature. Since then, there’s been an avalanche of  EPs and singles – a collection which blends musical genres, a fusion of rap, R&B and alternative electronic music. 

Each release is created with absolute intention; because building a foundation isn’t easy when you’re a growing artist. Yet it’s been an indispensable part of the journey. As Ragz describes, it’s an addictive trap when you get a taste of his tunes –  “once you’re in you’re in.” Well, we’re never ones to shy from a cult-like following 😉 And since the artist came out with his new single OG Lullaby last week, we thought we’d catch up with the rising star, talking: artistic growth, Marmite-music and his forthcoming mixtape releasing in January next year. Always acting with grateful consideration, Ragz Originale is bringing us good vibes for 2021.

So I got hooked when you released ‘Ring Out’. Can you tell me more about this single?
With Ring Out, I tried to show as many [musical] sides of myself as early as possible. It could have been really easy to go down a structured-lane, but I wanted to step outside my comfort zone to show more sides of me which will hopefully come in the future. 

What in particular were you stepping out your comfort zone with?
The sound and the pace. It’s a more uptempo song, more bass and production heavy.

Did you enjoy the process of doing something different?
I love every moment. I love pushing my audience, and giving them new things and a fresh sound. When someone’s gonna hear something for the first time, it’s interesting to see how they react and respond to it. 


You also have a mixtape coming out next year, I read it has smooth R&B influences?
Yeah, amongst others. Sound-wise, I want people to feel that it’s a place that is very familiar but not nostalgic. More like a fresh route to a destination you’ve probably been. I always feel the best types of music are either super forward, fresh and never been done, or very classic. And this is a very forward way to get a classic feeling.

Ah, so it’s the best of both worlds. You sound like you’re very considerate of how it’s received. How important is your fan-base to your music?
I know my music and once people are in it, they’re in it. It’s a committed space. It definitely goes straight to the soul. When you’re a fan, you’re an absolute fan. 

Like Marmite ? – love it or hate it.
Yeah, but you won’t hate it! It’s more like once you dare to listen, it’ll catch you. That’s what I hope at least.

So you went from producing for Skepta (and others) and now you have gone out on your own. How does it feel to have made this transition?
It’s a lot more nerve-wracking than just being behind the board. When you’re working on someone else’s vision it’s like a service – once you’ve done and service they’re happy with it, you move on. The “another day at the office” type thing. When it’s myself, I live with it. With every single sound I’ve put together. Whether others like it or not. Everything’s a lot more personal. Everyone who likes, comments or speaks on it, I feel it a lot more. 

You take it to heart?
Yeah it’s in the heart. I’ve always tried to cope with detaching myself from the emotion of a song I like. I always see things as moments, once they’re out and it’s all together, I just allow it to live. Never rewinding the moments in my head to see how I could have done it better. 

How do you think your music has changed over time?
Now it’s more production-heavy. A lot of excessive ear candy. But I like the way it’s changed. I make music to place myself in how I want to be seen, or what kind of energy I want to give off. Yet everything is still natural. I know what I’m capable of, and I’m very invested in the journey.  

Is it a direction you want to go in the future?
I want to get to a point where I can do long Whitney Houston ballads. <3 

Oh yes! That’s everyone’s dream though right?
I want to get to a place where I can get there and be that free with my music. Just keys and strings for the whole song. Where you can do anything and it still sounds good.

Well, we’ll be keeping an eye on ya for that. 100%. Thanks for talking!

Ragz’ OG Lullaby is out now

Words by Rose Holmshaw