Rainsford Is Unafraid to Pour Her Heart Out [Q&A]

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Rainsford is an artist that can do it all. As an already established model and actress, she is now taking the music industry by storm. After dropping her first single, "Too Close," in 2016, she's since released a series of singles and an EP entitled Emotional Support Animal, which ultimately broke new ground for her as an artist.

With the release of her first single of 2019, "Passionate," Rainsford showed incredible sonic growth. This was followed up by "Open Open," a therapeutic song capable of resonating with anyone dealing, or who has dealt with heartbreak recently. Excited to hear how her music will further evolve, we were able to sit down with her and get the inside scoop.

OTW: What is your earliest music memory?

Rainsford: My first memories of music have to do with my Dad. He plays guitar and had kind of a brief stint as a pop star exclusively in Italy, which there are some really funny videos from. The videos are hilarious! It's, like, him with just a blazer on, shirtless, and he was a model. He was this young, hot guy out on stage with hundreds of thousands of people… lip-syncing. No mic. No instruments. Just out there.

OTW: Like the Lizzie McGuire Movie!

Rainsford: It was insane. He's actually a good musician and taught me to play guitar. I remember when I was really young… I don't remember doing this, but I remember him telling me that he would be tuning his guitar, sitting on my bed, and I'd be like "I love this song!" So, I guess music was in my life a lot from a really young age.

OTW:  So when did you decide music was a direction you wanted to take?

Rainsford: I always did school choirs and school plays from the time I was really young. I remember when I was maybe in like first or second grade, I saw Annie The Musical and was like, "Wow those girls are amazing and they're so young. They're my age!" And then I tried to belt songs out and sing like Annie and I was like, "Wait… I'm pretty good at this." So from then on, I was like, "Okay, this is something I'm good at and something I really like doing." I grew up dancing too, but dance and music were all I ever wanted to do.

OTW:  When did you write your first song?

Rainsford: When I was in high school and we were studying postmodern literature, I started getting into poetry more and would kind of write my own poems that turned into lyrics. I would try to write songs, but I don't think I ever really recorded anything. It was just more for fun. They were probably really embarrassing and terrible. I moved to New York when I was 19, and I think that's when I first really started writing songs and recording them. But even those were terrible, and it's taken me a long time to figure out how to write a good song - hopefully they're good. 

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OTW:  How does your writing process differ from then to now?

Rainsford: I think I have a much better idea of song structure and storytelling. I've just done it a lot more so like anything, the more you do it the better you get at it. So, I think hopefully it's just more mature and better developed.

OTW: Your first EP is titled Emotional Support Animal, do you have an emotional support animal?

Rainsford: It's not technically registered… but I love animals and I foster kittens through a shelter by my house. I have three cats of my own and a dog. But, I think there was a bit of an insinuation that a person was my support animal in the writing, as well. So I guess it's kind of all-encompassing, non-specific… not just one animal.

OTW: Who does a lot of your production?

Rainsford: I work with two different producers: Nick Dungo is the guy who produced all the first stuff I put out. He has his own side project called Jajaboo that's really good. And recently, I've been working a lot with Cameron Hale, who's also really good. I'll do outside writing sometimes, but pretty much everything I've ever put out has been with one of them.

OTW: Give us a rundown of what goes on in the studio. What kind of vibe do you guys have? 

Rainsford: Basically, it usually starts out with a mini-therapy session where I tell them what I'm going through. They'll start playing something and I sit down, write the lyrics, melody and sing what I'm thinking. The song just grows from there.

OTW:  What was the inspiration behind your new single "Open Open?"

Rainsford: I think all my songwriting is kind of the way I work out what I'm going through in my life. I've been going through a pretty dramatic breakup recently. It's been… I guess… kind of up-and-down for several months now. I wrote the song a couple months ago when we first started having issues almost as an apology. I think one of my downfalls as an artist is that I'm too open in my songs. Then I'll be like a crazy-girlfriend and send my exes the song I just wrote about them.

OTW: What's the idea behind your new music video?

Rainsford: The first line of the chorus of the song is "I can't go back in time as much as I wish I could." So I was trying to think of a good idea for the music video. My favorite kind of videos are just kind of my taste in general. Like things that are a little bit tongue-in-cheek or funny. So, I was like what can I do that would be cool and serious but also a little bit funny? At first, I was like maybe we can dress up in Victorian clothes like Marie Antoinette and paint our faces white but that was too hard. We found this cool old-timey saloon in Joshua Tree, and I got a bunch of my friends to dress up in prairie outfits. So like going back in time. It turned out really beautiful, and I don't even know if people are going to put that together… but for me, it's funny.

OTW: That's great. I know a lot of artists that have a message embedded in who they are. What would your message be to your fans through your music?

Rainsford: I think I've always found comfort in songs I'm like, "Oh my god me too!" So hopefully my fans will be able to relate to what I'm going through or feel like they're going through something similar because all of my songs are basically pouring my heart out. Everyone ends up having similar experiences. That's just humanity. Hopefully, people will be able to find comfort in that.

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