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6Qs with Singer Rime //

bySeif Al-Din

Rime When your first single peaks at #24 and spends 11 weeks in the Canadian Hot 100, you must be doing something right. Fresh off the success of “Yalla Habibi,” her hit duet with Karl Wolf, Moroccan-born and Montreal-based, for which they just filmed an international big budget video Rime (pronounced “Reem”) is happy to be where she is. The singer-songwriter writes in three languages, sings in four and has already found herself surrounded by good people — all valuable assets to have in the industry. Done recording her debut album, she’s ready to release the second single. When I asked her where her dream studio would be, she pondered for a moment then said she was already there. Check out her video “Yalla Habibi” and read what she had to say about how she got where she is and where she’d like to go next…

Now playing? Beyonce – “Halo”
Favorite singer(s)? Beyonce, Lara Fabien, Aretha Franklin
Breakfast, lunch or dinner? Breakfast

1. How did you get into music?
I was always singing. I started writing songs when I was seven or eight. I’d hear a song on the radio, then I would re-write the lyrics to fit what I was going through. In high school I did a few talent shows, and then in university my path diverged as far as it could go from music (major: Microbiology). But then I was working at a restaurant, and

when we closed I would sing at the top of my lungs. And this waitress came to me and was like, ‘You need to do something with that voice.’  So she introduced me to her producer friend,

I did some backing vocals for his album, then six months later he calls me up and he goes, ‘Do you still sing?” And I’m like, ’Yeah.’ He goes, ‘Can you write?’ and I’m like, ‘Well, I’ve written in the past, I think I can write.’ And he goes, ‘Okay well, come to the studio, we’re opening a new label and we think you might be a good fit.’ So he gave me beats, I wrote to two of them, recorded them…they loved it, and that’s where it started.

2. What language do you prefer singing in? Writing in? Listening to?
I love languages. On my album, I have a little bit of Spanish – I learned Portuguese when I was in Brazil so I have a little bit of Portuguese. I can’t write in Arabic, but if someone writes something for me I’ll sing it. As long as it sounds nice, I can go back and forth between all the languages. I have no preference. I love writing in French, because making a song sound nice in French is a big challenge. I like French hip-hop a lot, I think very often it’s a little more profound.

The thing with French is the audience is so attentive to the words that there are a lot of things you can’t get away with that you totally could get away with in English. English is easier, it’s more universal.

So I really like both, or all three, or all four — it just depends on my mood and where the track is meant to be released. For ballads, Portuguese sounds very nice. The vowels — the way they pronounce the plosives is sweeter, they’re not as pronounced, which sounds very nice. Japanese sounds really nice in pop-rock.

3. Take us through your writing process…
If I’m inspired I’ll just write. Sometimes I’m inspired because I have an idea and I think it would be a good concept and then I try to find a beat that will suit it, or I write the idea down and keep it until I have a good track to put it on. And if I’m told, ‘Okay, we need one track in the next 14 days,’ I usually work very well under pressure.

4. What do you do when you have writer’s block?
I change the environment. I listen to more songs, so it gets my brain off that melody or off of that train of thought. I read a lot. I think that the fact that while you’re reading you don’t have to think about anything — you don’t have to create — it alleviates a little bit of the pressure. Or I talk to people. I ask them about their experiences and then it inspires me again.

a lot of my first tracks were inspired by stories. because I see a common denomitaor — I hear that story and I’m like, ‘oh, I think i’ve heard something similar, so it must be a general human feeling so if I write about that a lot of people will identify…’

5. What’s your ultimate goal, musically?
To perfect myself as an artist by collaborating with different artists and eventually finding a sound that people will recognize. It would be ideal to be touring worldwide…I’d like to have some more Arabic influence. I’m not the type of artist that’s going to be playing a role — it has to be me. Complex, but at the same time easy to define.

6. How was working with Karl [Wolf] on “Yalla Habibi”?
It was nice to work with someone who’s driven like that. I learned a lot from him ’cause he’s done a lot of his stuff on his own. After working with him, and being on the set with him, I understood why. He’s so focused, disciplined and driven. He knows what he wants and how to get it. He’s very inspiring and makes it look very achievable.

Meeting him made me realize that it was a little more accessible than I thought it was — it’s just that you have to do a lot of it yourself. Good encounter to have in the first couple months of a budding career.

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