RINI on "Bedtime Story," Sensual R&B, and Making the Perfect Chicken Adobo [Q&A]


RINI makes R&B sound effortless. The up-and-coming Melbourne artist makes the sort of effervescent music perfectly apt to soundtrack sunset-soaked drives along the coast and late-night inhibitions. This sentiment comes to life in the sensual "Bedtime Story."

Taking a cue from more PG-13 after hour events than the moralistic teachings of childhood tales, "Bedtime Story" is an intoxicating slowburn. RINI captures the scintillating tip-toe, the excitement of that first night, while still making sure to respect his partner's boundaries and desires.  

"I was trying to say that I am ready for this girl, but at the same time, I don't want to force anything. But knowing that she was on the same page and she's liking the mood, it was time for me to make my move and make her feel good,“ says RINI on the underlying inspiration behind the new track. We stan a healthy representation of physical intimacy in R&B, especially when it sounds this good.

While RINI sounds undeniably polished in "Bedtime Story," the Melbourne artist has made leaps and bounds since originally going from busking on the street to penning a deal with Warner Records. We had the chance to catch up with RINI via e-mail to chat about his new single, go-to lockdown meal, and growing up in the Philippines.

What's your earliest musical memory?

My earliest musical memory would probably be the time when my mum would play my dad's old CDs of all Michael Jackson's music/music videos. Mum would put them CD's on and I would watch Michael perform and dance on TV and copy all his moves.

How would you describe your music without using any genre terms?

I'd say my music is sultry, smooth, sensual, like velvet and dreamy.

You emigrated from the Philippines to Australia as a kid. How did both your upbringing and the Australia music scene inform both you and your music?

Growing up in the Philippines definitely opened a lot of musical pathways for me. Back in elementary school, I remember sometimes my classmates would bring their guitars and jam over lunch times. I didn't know how to play back then so I just watched, but that sort of sparked my interest in playing the guitar, so I started learning it. My dad would always play music on the big-ass sound system we had in the living room ,so all our neighbours could hear it loud and clear and he'd always be putting on some Bon Jovi, Queen, Aerosmith bops and all these other slow rock jams. He also had musical instruments that he's collected over the years from working on a ship. They'd just be sitting in the storage, so I picked the guitar up and got my cousins to teach me how to play chords.  

Moving to Australia gave me a chance to experience something different. Musically, I was exposed to a lot of R&B music here in Australia because the friends that I hung out with listened to a lot of hip-hop and R&B music. I was introduced to a whole new culture, but will always have the influence that I had been given when I was young, and I think that shows a lot in my music - an old soul with a new sound.

You got your start busking on the streets of Melbourne. What's the greatest thing you took away from that time in your life?

Busking on the streets of Melbourne was a very significant time of my musical growth. I decided to busk on the streets because I wanted to make extra money for myself, so I could buy music production gear and also it was just the best way I could improve my confidence. I also gained a lot of followers from busking and gigging opportunities as well. The greatest thing I took from it would probably be that we need to work for what we want and be willing to try something new and different once in a while, learn to step out of your comfort zone.

Australia isn't particularly known for R&B, but you make it sound so effortless. What drew you to R&B in particular?

The way R&B made me feel was something I have loved for so long. I feel like R&B is so flexible in a way. You can make a song that has sad lyrics sound a little more calming and joyful rather than down and depressing. The groove of R&B music is also very pleasing to my ears, makes me want to dance.

You now find yourself in LA. Beyond the ongoing lockdown, how did you find the transition?

Moving to LA for me was a little difficult, but also a good thing. Difficult because being so far away from my family is something I've never really experienced like that, but it's also great because I've learned to be more independent, and I find myself being more motivated knowing that I'm doing music as an actual career and being away from home gives me the drive to work harder. LA is very different from Melbourne in terms of culture and also time. I feel like when I'm in LA everything moves so quick and you really have to keep pushing yourself, which I don't have a problem with.

Shifting gears, what was your favorite bedtime story growing up?

Unfortunately, my parents never told me any bedtime stories haha, so I wouldn't know one. I also haven't spent a lot of time reading books, which is something I want to do more often now, but it's because I spent a lot of time playing computer games when I was younger. Nothing else really mattered back in those days, I had too many territories to protect in San Andreas.

Guessing your latest single, "Bedtime Story," has a far less PG origin story? Mind sharing some of the inspiration behind your new single?

Yes, I basically wrote the song that way because I was in that situation with a girl. I was sitting at a certain point in the relationship where I was basically ready to take it to the next level physically without being forcing about it. That's why the song sounds exciting and fun.

What's your go-to meal? Break us down the recipe. Need some serious recipe inspiration while stuck on lockdown.

Chicken Adobo is the way to go. Shout outs to my Filipinos out there.
Just get some chicken and marinate it in soy sauce and garlic, leave it for a couple hours. Put it in the pan to cook, add some water and the rest of the marinade sauce then some salt, pepper and a couple of bay leaves then let it be for half an hour til the chicken's tender. Put some vinegar, cook for another five and then you're good to go.

What's next for RINI?

I'm excited for the next coming months leading up to my album release and right now my new single ("Bedtime Story") with the music video. We've also got a couple other singles to watch out for. It's going to be different, but I can ensure everyone who listens to RINI will enjoy the album. Once this Coronavirus is over, I would love to go all around the world and play this album live.

Who are your Ones To Watch?  

Yes! Right now I have Olivia Dean, an artist from the U.K. Love her music and her vibe. Another one's Dijon, his song "Skin" really got me and I think he'd be fire.

Listen to  "Bedtime Story" below:

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