We catch up with non-binary singer rienne ahead of their forthcoming single, “honey”
Music always held the power to transport us to specific scenarios. It brings us to different sceneries. Jump us into different moments. In the case of rienne's forthcoming track , honey, the single brings us to the private moments of a lively party or a picturesque montage from a coming-of-age movie. Through the haze of the alcohol and ringing high of company, rienne pines over someone from a distance. They bask in the joy of the connection before letting go. Their sweet vocals smoothing over guitar riffs feel reminiscent of Immunity-era Clairo—gentle and delicate while remaining wholly honest.
In an exclusive interview with Wonder, rienne shares that honey was initially named flowers. It was only renamed to its current title because, in true Gen Z humor, it sounds more aesthetic~. They express, “The original base of the song didn't sound nice, so I changed it to honey.” rienne adds, “As a challenge, I made a song based on my experience. It built up [and] a lot of people—[like] my labelmates—liked it.”
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But upon digging deeper into the story behind the song, rienne divulges that an experience in their first American college party inspired honey. “There was this girl, she was super pretty, and I was really drawn to her,” they share. “It was so weird because I've never felt that gravitational pull when I looked at someone. It just kept going on that night. But at the end of the party, I didn't do anything because she [had] a boyfriend.” So when people listen to honey in its entirety, rienne wants them to feel the urge to do the opposite. According to them, “I just want people to listen to my song and think that, ‘I shouldn't be like rienne. I should make a move and not just think about it.’” They quip, “If you can, you should make a move—with their consent!”
Rienne shares their humble musical beginnings sprouted from their family. They grew up around a music-loving father and watched cousins praised for their talent in theatre and singing. Instead of staying behind the scenes, rienne tried their hand at music to prove that they could do it, too. Thus began their exploration into music, armed with a naturally sweet voice and a year’s worth of guitar lessons. Rienne found their sound in indie music, inspired by boy pablo and his contemporaries. “Because in pop, there's this perception of what people want you to reach,” they express. “It was something I never felt confident in doing, so I just felt more comfortable in indie music. I feel like I could be myself, and I could still have fun with my music,” adds rienne.
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“That's when I realized that it feels so freeing to finally step out from the traditional ways when it feels like it doesn't fit you. Or it doesn't define who you are.” – rienne
As Wonder celebrates Free Love this February, we ask rienne about what it means to be a non-binary musician singing about romance in this era. “It feels really good because, growing up, I never really had anyone to look up to, even fruity people,” rienne expresses. However, later in high school, they found people who shared their identities. They add, “That's when I realized that it feels so freeing to finally step out from the traditional ways when it feels like it doesn't fit you. Or it doesn't define who you are.” Despite having close relationships with those who don’t fully accept rienne for who they are, the singer still finds acceptance from others. Rienne expresses, “It's nice to have people support you and see some sort of resemblance in what you do in your music. It makes me feel valid for some reason.”
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honey is just a taste of what else rienne has to offer, as more tracks and demos are in the works. “So hopefully, we could have an EP,” they express.
Pre-save rienne’s upcoming song “honey” by visiting this link. The track drops on February 25th on Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer.
Art Macky Arquilla