“Music is psychotic,” says Renee Rapp.
She always imagined herself doing music, though most people know her through her characters in Mean Girls: The Movie and The Sex Live of College Girls. She said acting and songwriting were her biggest insecurities, yet the two talents have become a very important part of in her life. She said that Snow Angel brought her more answers than questions, but “I’m always going to have more questions” is the answer to her questions.
Like floating in the middle of an illusive sea where the currents of alt pop, folk, R&B and alt rock weave into a unique sensation, Snow Angel tastes like midnight phantom meets cherry melancholy. The songs are at times confessional and sensitive, and other times are sensual and transient. Rapp lifts you up with cloud-life soundscapes and taps you on the nose with a chilling drop of consciousness and vulnerability. Experiencing her music is like being inside a theater, where incredibly good storytelling and lyrics poke imageries and deep thoughts.
“If I put every genre that I’m obsessed with and idolized those artists who helped create and shape that sound and spit it back out through my ears, this would be that,” she said about the conflicting and otherwise transcending sound palettes in Snow Angel. “It’s everything I have wanted it to be.”
She said music theater had a huge impact on today’s pop music and her own songwriter. “I think amazing theater and storytelling is equivalent to incredible writing. I came from a background of listening to incredible lyricists in the pop world and the R&B space. I came from Sondheim and Andrew Lippa…those are very specific story-driven, beautiful crafted things. So I think that musical theater has such a huge influence on pop music.”
Written by Katrina Yang
Press Q&A with Renee Rapp
Q (Potted Purple): Was music always the end goal?
Renee Rapp: To be honest, music was always the goal. Music was always the thing I wanted to do, and honestly, was the only thing I thought I was going to do. It’s not that I didn’t like to act. I just didn’t think I was a good actor at all. I thought that was the shittiest part of my talents. I thought that was not a good thing. That and songwriting were my biggest insecurities. Acting just happened to be a really, really cool conduit, something that came into my life and ended up being incredibly important. Music was always mommy.
Q (Amplify Her Voice): You have worked with many incredible women both through your acting career and music career. How have these experiences impacted you and your space in the music industry?
Rapp: I’m like a product from people I’ve been around. I’m very spoiled, especially with the women and non-men in my company. My best friend, I met through work, she is not only my best friend, but she also directed a lot of my music videos and has a very, very big hand in my personal life and my music career. She comes to the studio with me and is on background vocal of Snow Angel. She’s just incredible. I wouldn’t be who I am without her as my friend, and being fortunate enough to work with somebody who is so talented and very thoughtful feels very spoiled. The women in my life shape a lot of things around me.
Q (Out Jamz): Your music transverses intriguing crossroads of RnB and alt pop, so how do you envision this fusion resonating with listeners?
Rapp: I hope good. It’s everything I have wanted it to be, at least right now. I feel very proud where this sonic palette has gone and where we ended up. If I put every genre that I’m obsessed with and idolized those artists who helped create and shape that sound and spit it back out through my ears, this would be that. I hope that people like it. It would suck if they don’t.
Q (Portray TS): Sometimes when an artist comes out with a packet project, listeners assume that there’s some kind of personal resolve that artist is able to neatly wrap everything up in their life. For you, when the album was finalized, do you feel like coming away from it, do you have answers for yourself?
Rapp: I feel like I have more answers. My answer that I came away with is that I’m always going to have more questions about myself. That is my answer. I try really hard to make sense about everything, and I get frustrated when I started to blame myself. And I think the answer I need is to start accepting that a little bit more because if I don’t beat myself for it, it won’t cause me any harm. Therefore it’s just something that I deal with. I think I left with more answers.
Q (P&P): What draws you to the techniques of scene setting and world building that you used?
Rapp: Slime Tutorials. I’m a theater kid, and I think amazing theater and storytelling is equivalent to incredible writing. I came from a background of listening to incredible lyricists in the pop world and the R&B space. I came from Sondheim and Andrew Lippa…those are very specific story-driven, beautiful crafted things. So I think that musical theater has such a huge influence on pop music. It’s so exciting. It has such an impact on my writing and such an impact on my career.
Q (The Honey Pop): What song of Snow Angel that you most identify with as far as your Capricorn sun goes and your rising and moon?
Rapp: My Capricorn is “Poison, Poison.” I feel like my Pisces Moon is “I Wish.” “I Wish” is the song I wrote about my parent and mortality when I was ten. It’s something that really haunted me for a while.
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