Raydeo talks cinematic inspiration and being authentically bold
If Raydeo were to put ‘Alchemist’ at the top of his resumé, nobody could question it. With a growing catalogue of sonic goodness, and armed with the distinct drawl of his hometown, the Washington Heights, New York native recently returned with a welcome addition of braggadocious hip hop ‘TOLD YOU SO’, along with much-anticipated accompanying visuals.
Raydeo sat down with No Lip Service following the release of his latest single, speaking on his creative process, places from which he draws inspiration and how he defines success. Giving us a much anticipated insight into his headspace, join us for a chat with the rising wordsmith.
Hey Raydeo, how are you doing?
I’m feeling fantastic, grateful to be alive at 25 and just growing every day.
Your latest release ‘TOLD YOU SO’ has just dropped for all of the kings, would you tell us a little bit about how you created it?
One day I was just stumbling across youtube for type beats and inspirations for what was going to be next for me, and I was on yogic beats channel - a producer from the UK whose instrumentation is phenomenal. I came across this beat that surprisingly was a drill song but in a calm way and for the first time I heard myself on a beat like that. I’m known for my rappity rap elements and quirky punches on tracks I’ve released previously, so I wanted to try something new and give my own spin on it.
You’ve also released accompanying visuals for your latest track. There’s no question it has instant replay appeal, would you tell us more about the concept behind the direction and storyline?
We wanted to go serious on this one, real cinematic, raw and in your face with the scenery. Usually we’ve gone more animated when it comes to our visuals. For 'LOVE ME NOT', we made it feel like a sitcom from a heartbroken perspective as you witness your love one be swept away by another. As for 'ACTION FIGURE', we payed respect and honoured where we came from. There were raw cuts of me and who I surround myself with, as well as the neighbourhood that I grew up in. Fast forward to now, 'TOLD YOU SO' reflects a more grown up version of myself. Being a force to be reckoned with while also paying homage to the movie classic ‘Paid in Full’.
Now we’ve got a few fun quick-fire questions for you, are you ready?
Yes let's go!
As you champion your New York roots, do you find your background influences your output in any unexpected ways?
Always, I feel like I come from a lot of spaces where I’ve been into certain situations but stood out of it because it just wasn’t for me. Most of the stories I tell is from a viewer's standpoint who’s also in it but got away if that puts two & two together and from the music I listened/influenced by, it just taught me what I saw myself to be and I can amplify it through my art whether is creative direction, music and acting.
What is your favourite time of day to create?
Definitely afternoon, I like to give my mornings my mental muscle period so I can begin the day right and then conquer it.
Where do you seek inspiration?
90s action movies, video games and TV shows in general... oh and cartoons /anime as well!
What’s the most weird and wonderful thing about your creative process?
The things I dream up, it can be the most outlandish stuff ever but the way it manifests itself musically throughout my songs is immaculate.
If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Brazil, just because I love the culture as a whole but their music is amazing - plus the people are beautiful too without a doubt. Performing there would be a great experiment. There are of course other places I would like to go, just to see how they consume the message I'm delivering.
If you had to sacrifice one skill, which would you least like to let go, and why?
Organisation and here’s why, I believe when you begin to develop anything it starts off as a mess you know? But a mess like that, especially one that’s risky and outside of the box can change your life forever. Now you produced a message people will relate to sooner or later. I guess when I say ‘organisation’ I mean it in a sense of free will. We're consistently told how to do this and what’s the correct format, when really anything and everything is art. Art should have no boundaries, yes you can hone your skills and get better but it’s on your terms so have fun with it.
How do you define success as an artist?
Hard work and self-belief, you have to be mentally strong 90% of the day whenever you’re pursuing your career and the heights you'd like to reach. You reach success when you find the fun and carefree nature in telling the world who and what you are without gimmick or reason for them to love you. As long as you love what you see at the end of the day, everyone else will soon follow and with that comes success internally & externally.
How do you see your sound evolving in the next couple of years?
I see it being bold, I like to challenge myself and give myself new things to tackle.
'TOLD YOU SO' is out on streaming platforms now, check it out below alongside the accompanying visuals: