I am so pleased to share my third artist interview in my Get to Know series, and my very first interview of 2021, with Sussex (UK) based singer-songwriter Rxth!
Regular readers of my blog will have seen that I recently shared the press release for Rxth’s latest single Beauty in Spaces, which also has it’s own animated music video. Read on to get to know more about Rxth including her musical influences, mindfulness and so much more!
Please share with us your journey into music and how it all began for you.
Music has always been a big part of how I express myself and make sense of the world. I wrote my first song when I was 8 and I went on to experiment with ways of recording them as soon as I could. I was shy though so I initially just enjoyed it as something I did for myself. It felt like therapy and a positive way of processing my feelings.
I was involved in musical theatre from a young age but never dreamt of sharing my original music as it felt too vulnerable. That was until aged 15, when my music teacher roped me into performing a couple of my original songs at a concert – which I was adamant I couldn’t and wouldn’t do. I thought I was going to die from nerves.
It turned out to be a pivotal moment. The fear turned into adrenaline and it was possibly the most cathartic experience I’d had up to that point. I felt the most ‘me’ I’d ever been and I knew then that it was something I had to pursue.
I went on to study music at college and university, gigged in bands, wrote commercially, worked in the music industry then finally, I’ve come full circle to perform my own material now as a solo artist, as I’d always hoped I’d be able to do. Still feeling the fear but doing it anyway 😉
I very much enjoyed listening to your latest single Beauty in Spaces. How did the idea for this single come about?
Thank you! It was written during a period of uncertainty and change in my life. In retrospect I was coaching myself to focus on the possibilities, rather than the fear that uncertainty brings up. Reminding myself to acknowledge and face the discomfort but lean into new opportunities for growth rather than to shrink from the apparent challenge.
I’d been doing a lot of meditation and particularly Joe Dispenza meditations, which talk about our ability to rewire our brains, shift habitual thinking and become a ‘new’ version of ourselves.
Those concepts and experiences heavily influenced the song lyrically – there is power in what we focus on and the story we tell ourselves about something. We often have a choice to turn challenge into opportunity and the key to that is our focus.
The music video for Beauty in Spaces is animated and conveys the message of the song in a unique way. How did the concept of this video come about?
By the time it came to produce the music video, we were in lockdown. I could see how the same lyrical themes of ‘uncertainty bringing up fear’ and the challenge of focusing on positive opportunities for change, were playing out on a global scale. All you saw in the news was the horror of it all.
In response, at a time when so many of us felt helpless, I wanted to create hopeful visuals as some small counter to the images of fear that were being screened daily. My aim with the video was to extend the message of the song from personal transformation to collective and societal, whilst portraying their inevitable interconnectedness. The video takes the viewer on a journey from a dystopian world-view – through imagery symbolic of a personal transformational journey – to a more utopic future, world-view.
Animation provided a great way to explore these ideas visually without leaving the house during lockdown. I was excited to collaborate with the talented DavisVegas Team in Columbia. I think they now know a lot more about chakras than they ever expected (or wanted) to! 😉
How has life as a musician been for you since the pandemic?
As a musician that works from home and has a home studio, I feel like I was pretty well equipped for the isolation of it all. I adjusted fairly well to the quieter pace and have tried to make the most of the ability to focus on the music with a reduction of other distractions and obligations.
I miss my family and friends though. I miss live music and travelling. There is plenty that I took for granted that I won’t again. Watching anything that was filmed before the pandemic looks like it’s from another time and instantly sparks nostalgia.
It definitely feels like a transformative period right now. We’ve never seen a collective global response or focus quite like this and I’m sure we will come out of this time with a greater appreciation of the interconnectedness and interdependency of humanity.
Who are your musical influences?
Kate Bush was played throughout the house as I grew up so she was definitely an early influence that I have a lot of love and respect for. I can see those strong feminine, mystical and ethereal vibes weave their way into my work.
I love Billie Eilish’s vocals and sass, and Finneas O’Connell genius production. There is a depth and realness to everything they create together, with a sound and look that feels uniquely theirs. I have mad respect for that.
Anything Trent Reznor or Nine Inch Nails has a place in my heart. An older friend gave me the album ‘Downward Spiral’ when I was a teen struggling with depression. It saved me. I suddenly appreciated the power of music to reach someone when they were otherwise unreachable.
I understand that you are also into mindfulness. How would you say mindfulness has helped to shape your life?
As someone that used to struggle with depression and anxiety, I’ve invested a lot of time in learning how to maintain mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellness, in a consistent way. A multi-pronged, holistic approach is very helpful and mindfulness is a part of that.
Having a creative brain is wonderful when you are channelling it positively but it can create havoc with your nervous system when we let it run wild with imagined and unwelcomed scenarios or beliefs.
I found mindfulness brings me back to the present moment, which is where the power is. Mental and emotional focus appears to be key to attracting and creating the reality you want to experience.
A long deep breath, and mentally being back in the present moment can change your experience of the moments that follow. It can also enhance the richness of your life experience by connecting you more fully to your senses. It is very easy to be distracted and miss the magic of the world around us.
I found mindfulness also helps you feel more connected with yourself and allows you to be more intentional with others.
I love that it is starting to be taught in some primary schools now. It is such a positive practice that we can all benefit from.
Please share with us details of your forthcoming projects.
I have another single coming out at the end of March and then an EP late spring/early summer.
The themes of self-awareness, personal transformation and connection are threaded throughout the coming EP and I look forward to sharing it.
Thank you so much, Jem!
Thank you so much Rxth for giving me your time and for sharing so much about your creative process. I am looking forward to your next release. You can follow Rxth on all the usual social platforms, as well as here for more updates!