Rising GDE/Island Prolific/Atlantic Records signee Raiche made her return earlier this month to release her slow-burning single “Pick a Side.” Dealing with the traumas of a burdensome relationship, Raiche seeks answers from her lover to revive their love. “I don’t know what I’m dealing with,” she confesses on the tune.
“Pick a Side” comes on the heels of her 2019 EP Drive, which helped accelerate the budding singer-songwriter closer to stardom in the R&B sphere. With a fistful of earworms on-deck, including her ambitious song “Money Pies,” Drive enabled the singer to open up for Pink $weats’ Pink Beginnings Tour. Though quarantine halted her performance plans in 2020, the pandemic allowed the Pittsfield, MA native to take the time to craft her forthcoming debut album.
Get to know Raiche for Billboard’s 20 questions as she speaks on becoming an artist full-time, her parents’ unwavering support, and how her hometown molded her identity.
1. What’s the first piece of music that you bought for yourself, and what was the medium?
I grew up very sheltered. I couldn’t to listen to too much. But when I was in middle school I begged my mom to let me buy the Hannah Montana double-sided CD. I was a pop music lover early.
2. What was the first concert you saw?
The first concert I saw was the Jonas Brothers. I was quite obsessed with them!
3. Who made you realize you could be an artist full-time?
I always felt like I could become a full-time artist. After high school I prayed, and asked God if it was for me, then let it be — and if it wasn’t, then I would be happy doing whatever else was meant for me. And after that, all of these doors of opportunity started to open up. I’d say it was my parents that gave me the support and love I needed to be able to do anything I set my mind to.
4. What’s at the top of your professional bucket list?
I have a couple things at the top of my professional list. One, would be to place a song with a BIG artist. Two, to collaborate with an iconic artist like Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder or Erykah Badu. Three would be to be the voice of a lead character in an animated movie.
5. How did your hometown/city shape who you are?
My hometown shaped who I am in many ways. I went to a private christian school K-8, then a small high school where my sister and I were the only children of color. After high school, I dove into understanding my ethnicity and honestly never really felt like I fit in anywhere. The feeling led me to discover my true self — owning my true self. Being comfortable with my true self. Accepting myself just how I am, nothing more, nothing less.
6. What’s the last song you listened to?
“Appletree” by Erykah Badu.
7. If you could see any artist in concert, dead or alive, who would it be?
If I could see any artist live it would probably be Tina Turner or Sade.
8. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen happen in the crowd of one of your shows?
I haven’t seen anything to crazy in my concert yet, but when something happens I’ll be sure to let you know.
9. What’s your karaoke go-to?
My karaoke go to would be [Journey’s] “Don’t Stop Believing” or [Mark Morrison’s] “Return Of The Mack”.
10. What did your parents do for a living when you were a kid?
My dad was and still is a personal trainer. He had his own gym for a while, called the Wright Connection. My Mom is an esthetician and had a day spa called Essencials.
11. What movie, or song, always makes you cry?
“You Get What You Give” by New Radicals always makes me cry.
12. What TV series have you watched all the way through multiple times?
I’ve watched Euphoria and Keeping Up With the Kardashians all the way through multiple times.
13. What’s one thing that even your most devoted fans don’t know about you?
Some of my most devoted fans might not know that I have anxiety and am very shy. It’s been a journey pushing myself past my comfort zone, but it gets easier and easier as I grow.
14. If you were not a musician, what would you be?
If I weren’t a musician, I would be a hair stylist, or a real estate mogul in the making.
15. What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
One piece of advice I would give to my younger self would be stop caring so much about what other people think.
16. What did you learn most about yourself as an artist during the pandemic?
I found my balance during this quarantine. I’m still mastering overall balance but, I think I’m becoming more in touch with my higher self.
17. Describe the creative process for “Pick a Side”?
The creative process for “Pick a Side” was that the song was submitted for my project, and I was able to add some elements that resonated with me to make it my own. The song felt fresh and perfect for the project.
18. What can fans expect from your debut album?
Fans can expect some new and fresh vibes. I’m extremely excited for this new project.
19. What did you love most about your 2019 EP Drive?
I love my 2019 EP Drive for many reasons. Drive is my little baby. It helps me gauge my growth as an artist, and I’m very appreciative of that.
20. What do you miss most about touring and doing shows?
I miss the energy of touring. The family vibes from the band and the love from the fans is an experience like no other. I’ve been preparing for shows lately and I’m so excited to tour with this new music.