Interview With Pop Singer & Songwriter ‘Rini K’

Tell us a little about yourself?

Hello! Firstly, thank you so much for doing this interview! I really appreciate it! My name is Rini K and I’m a new pop singer songwriter from Raleigh, North Carolina! I’m about to be 16 years old and I began writing songs when I was 11. I ended up writing and producing my first album, 6n7, which was released in May of 2020! I also released six music videos from the album and began to build my fanbase last year on social media!

How did you come up with your artist name?

My dad is Greek and so my family’s last name can be hard to pronounce for some people along with my first name! My full name is Irini Kaffenes and growing up people always called me Rini since it was easier so I decided to just go by Rini K for my music!

How long have you been in the music industry?

I’ve been professionally releasing music and actively been on social media for one year now! However, I started writing 6n7 when I was 11 so I’ve been making music for about five years!

How did you get started in the music business in the first place?

I entered the music business not too long after middle school, which was a time where I really had a hard time finding my passion in life. I was never good at sports, didn’t have a lot of friends, and was not interested in any clubs that my school had to offer so I ended up deciding to learn guitar as a hobby. I started to write songs shortly after picking up a couple of chords and ended up making my first album! After much consideration, I decided I wanted to switch to online school so that I could pursue a music career.

How would you describe your latest single?

My latest single came out on January 13th and is called Olive Branch! It was my first EDM col- laboration with producer CompletionBeats. I would describe the single to be a song that be- gins with a chill vibe that escalates into a track that puts you in an exciting and freeing world inside your head! The lyrics are about letting go of negative people in your life and choosing to forgive not only others but yourself from any pain they or you have caused in your life. It’s about being able to truly express who you are and offering others to be a part of your story if they choose to be supportive and kind.

When can fans expect the visuals for the single?

The music video for Olive Branch will be out on February 10th!

Who are your inspirations in the music industry?

My biggest inspiration in the music industry is Taylor Swift because of her ability to tell a story through her music. She truly embodies the music industry not only though her artistry, but also through her business decisions. Taylor is someone who completely understands how to con- nect the music with fans in a way that is authentic and true to her while also breaking record after record. I also admire how she stands up for artist rights and brings awareness to so many issues both within and outside the industry. From standing up for smaller artists and the issue with low streaming royalties to taking a stance for the LGTBQ+ community, I find her voice and the way she presents it to be so inspiring and admirable.

How do you go about writing a song and what is your process?

When I am doing a solo project, I always come up with the lyrics first for a song. I will usually have a lyric pop into my head at the oddest time and will then sit down and construct a song from it. However, I’ve been working on a lot of collaborative projects recently with EDM pro- ducers which changes the process a bit. When I’m working with an EDM producer, I usually will be sent a track first and then I will write a song over the track. The producer and I will often go back and forth with concepts, melodies, and small lyric changes until we are ready to record the final version of the song professionally.

What is the concept behind your forthcoming project if working on one?

I have a couple of projects going on right now! The one that is the most far along is definitely a more upbeat track and should definitely give a positive vibe! However, everything is still pretty early stage so I’m not sure what the lyrical concept is quite yet!

Any plans on touring to promote your latest single?

With the pandemic in place, there definitely won’t be a tour any time soon, however I’d love to tour with another artist in the future once everything is safe again. However, I am now on a live music streaming platform called Sessions Live where I stream Monday through Saturday at 5pm eastern time every week! I perform both my own music as well as covers on there! It’s the next best thing too touring right now!

What did you buy with your first check off music?

I’m pretty boring when it comes to this haha! I really want to invest back into myself with the money I make from music so my first check went straight to my bank account and will proba- bly be used to make more music or promote the next release! In the future, if I ever make enough money from music where I can spend some on fun stuff, I’d love to do something nice for my parents! Maybe I’ll take them on a nice vacation or something!

What are must haves when you’re in the studio working?

I’m pretty simple with my equipment in the studio, however I absolutely love my Audio Technica condenser mic and my Akai MPK 249 MIDI. Additionally, while this may be used more in songwriting sessions, I always need my Fender California Series Sonoran guitar which was the first guitar I ever got!

What is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed?

While this may seem pretty simple, some of the best advice I ever got was to not let all of the stress of social media get in the way of making music. It can be so hard these days to find a balance between being on social media, constantly keeping fans engaged with content, while also remembering that you are an artist first and that the actual music always needs to be the priority. The other piece of advice that I stand by is to be there for your fans. Other than the music itself, the fans need to be the priority. I am always looking for new ways that I can im- prove the fan experience in my community by being the most present I can be and to make their day a little better to the best of my abilities!

Will you be collaborating with any other artists in the future?

I’m currently working on some new projects with CompletionBeats again and am beginning a new project with EDM producer Daniel Seabra!

What artist have you had the pleasure of working with and what was it like?

The only artist I’ve collaborated with to date was CompletionBeats and it was an absolute pleasure working with him! He was an amazing person to work with because of his work ethic and desire to make this a collaborative experience! Many times you hear about producers that are very controlling of projects and that was the opposite of CompletionBeats! He gave tons of creative freedom as well as marketing freedom with the song which I greatly appreciate!

Name an artist(s) that you would love to work with?

I would absolutely love to work with Ashley Sienna! She’s a rising pop artist in Niagara Falls, Canada and releases the catchiest songs! I’d also be so thrilled to make a song with Melotika, who’s also an amazing artist from Canada! If I could work with a huge artist in the music indus- try, I’d die to make a song with Taylor Swift or Kygo!

Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for the beats or for the lyrical flow and content?

I think my music is mainly listened to for the lyrics and the way I deliver them in my voice! My past solo projects don’t have heavy production since I was producing them myself, however I definitely want to amplify the level of production on my future projects!

What area do you need to improve on in regards to your career? (Example: Better production, Delivery, Stage presence, etc..)

I would say that I’m always trying to improve my voice and songwriting skills and of course, production! However, in terms of my whole career, I definitely need to fine tune my social media strategy, especially on YouTube and Tik Tok!

What’s your all-time favourite song?

This question is so hard! I have so many songs that could be my all time favorite song but one of them has to be All Too Well by Taylor Swift!

What was the last album you listened to?

The last album I listened too was Golden Hour by Kygo.

Your favourite artist of all time and why?

My favorite artist of all time has to be Taylor Swift! I know I keep mentioning her but the impact she has had on me both as a person and as an artist is so huge. When I first listened to 1989, I was 9 years old and that album has stuck with me ever since. From her country days to her pop days and now her folk-pop music, she has stayed consistent both in her dedication to her fans and her talent in songwriting. She’s also grown as a person and her music reflects it. Whether you are a fan of her not, there is no denying that the impact she’s made on the music industry is so unique and she’s undeniably one of the most influential artists of her generation.

Whose your favourite five artists right now?

My top five artists right now are Taylor Swift, Halsey, Kygo, Lorde, and the Weeknd.

In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?

In the pop genre there are so many influential and insanely successful artists. Like I mentioned previously, Taylor Swift is definitely one of the largest and most impactful pop artists of today. However, if I were to narrow it down to pop artists in my generation (generation Z), I would say that Billie Eillsih has been the most successful and influential pop artist my generation has seen so far. Billie has grown a global fan base that got her to achieve record breaking awards before she was even 18 years old. Her unique style and defying of stereotypes put on female artists has changed the game for so many women in music. Her using her platform for things such as mental health and the environment has also helped so many people and has also given kids an outlet for those that suffer from mental illnesses.

Who have been some of your favorite artists that you’ve been able to work with?

Like I mentioned earlier, the only artist I’ve worked on a song with was CompletionBeats, which was such a great experience and I look forward to continuing to work with him! However, out- side of music projects I recently did an interview with the artist Melotika that appeared on her podcast “Hang Out & Chat”. I had so much fun doing this interview with her and getting the opportunity to share my story with her community!

How do you feel about the current state of music?

I think that the current state of music is so awesome because we now are seeing more artists than ever before get the opportunity to share their music with the world via social media. While there may be more competition, I think it is so amazing that artists all have a shot now at get- ting their voice heard and to build communities that care about what they are doing without a record label being necessary.

Any dream award shows you hope to one day play at?

I would be so thrilled to play at any award shows, but the ones that are at the top of my dream list are the MTV Video Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, and the American Music Awards!

What is your main goal as far as music?

My main goal is to be able to get to a point where I am able to support myself financially as an artist. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted my job to be doing what I love and if I am able to make music my job when I’m an adult I’d consider that “making it” for me.

Who would you say your music relates to the most?

My music definitely related to kids around my age the most (in their teens) because I am writing songs that are about my life experiences and the feelings that I face being at the stage of my life that I’m in right now.

What separates you from other artists? (What’s makes you different?)

I would say something that makes me different from other artists is the type of songs I write with pop/EDM production. Many people will say that pop or EDM songs don’t have much sub- stance lyrically, however I make the lyrics in my songs the first priority. I also try to get to know my fans on a personal one to one level so that I can relate their experiences into my songs.

When you’re not in the studio, What do you like to do for fun and relaxation?

Whenever I’m not working, one of my favorite things to do is watch reality TV (especially shows on Bravo) with my mom! We also enjoy dressing up as Kris Jenner together and walking around in public (prior to the pandemic) haha! You can find my Halloween vlog on my YouTube channel to see what that’s all about!
If you could work with any producer who would it be? I’d love to work with Jack Antonoff or Alina Smith!

What’s the biggest highlight of your career thus far?

This is such a hard question but I’d say that so far my biggest accomplishment in my career
has been releasing my debut album, 6n7!
What is your dream venue to perform at?
I’d be absolutely thrilled to play at Coachella one day!

What’s the name of the last book you read and by whom?

The last book I read was for school and it was called “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora
Neale Hurston. It was a brilliant book and I’m so glad I got to study it!

What’s your favourite sports team and why?

I’m not really into sports, but because my dad is from Pittsburgh and he’s so passionate about his sports teams there, I’m going to have to say the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Whose your favorite actor or actress and their best movie?

I don’t watch a lot of movies but when I do, I’m super into comedies! I’d have to say that I love Tyler Perry and my favourite film from him was “A Madea Family Funeral”.

Name someone famous who inspires you and why?

Oprah Winfrey is someone who really inspires me because she is the perfect example of someone who truly believed in herself and used hard work and extreme dedication to achieve what’s she’s accomplished. She did not let any circumstances or negative people step in the way of her goals, which I find truly inspiring.

What can we expect from you in the future?

You can expect lots of new music and collaborations coming up as well as lots of live virtual shows on Sessions Live! I’m also planning on putting out weekly YouTube videos soon and am hoping to eventually release a merchandise line!

Where can the fans check out for your music?

You can find me under “Rini K” on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and any other streaming platform of your choice. You can also purchase the 6n7 CD on Amazon!

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