As a longtime singer and songwriter, RARIA is no stranger to the need to adapt to the demands of the ever-changing music industry. She spent the past several years reinventing herself and now, the Melbourne-based starlet is breaking through in a big way.
Last spring, RARIA unveiled her critically-acclaimed debut EP Boys Who Broke My Heart, an unfiltered sonic diary that delves into the depths of love, heartbreak, and relationships as well as the emotions encompassed within those experiences. The four-song offering yields songs like “Tried To Love You” and her charming pre-release records “Will You Tell Your Girlfriend?” and “Break Up With Her,” which have cumulatively amassed over a million plays across streaming platforms. For her first post-release single, RARIA shakes the world with “Dude,” which further cements her space in the modern pop canon.
For our latest interview, RARIA chats with us about transitioning sounds, relatability within her music, advice to young artists, and more. Check out our conversation below.
Can you talk us through the beginning of your career in music? What was the transition from this energetic pop-esque to a more R&B-infused pop sound like?
I released my first single at the age of 15 under my eponymous artist project, ‘Rachel Costanzo’. I was heavily influenced by EDM back then (and I still am to some degree), but I’ve found a deeper love for making pop with a hint of RnB music. After 10+ years, I thought it was finally time to start fresh and try something new with all the lessons I have learned along the way. I’ve always loved writing pop music so it was an easy transition for me. I’m so happy that I finally made the move and I am where I am today.
Although a big leap, it’s definitely paying off in a massive way—is there anything that fellow musicians or creatives can take away from your transition despite how scary it might be?
If you feel like you’ve done all you can for your project and you’re starting to lose inspiration with it.. there’s no harm in starting fresh. It’s scary as fuck. But it could be the best thing for your music. It took me three years to finally make the switch and I remember so many sleepless nights crying over the decision, not knowing if I was going to completely ruin my career or finally have everything kick-off. Although the internet has been a game-changer for launching music careers, I was part of the generation that learned and developed my career publicly online, so doing a complete reboot is making more and more sense for so many people.
Social media, particularly TikTok, plays a large role in your career, is there a lot of pressure to stay active engage with your fans in this current age within the music industry? Do you ever take time away from it?
TikTok is a funny one. I think all musicians wish that’d it’d be a lot easier and more simple to promote their music but as social media evolves.. we have to also. I enjoy being away from my phone and being present in the moment so I’ve found it difficult at times… but I just make sure that the content I post is fun and is something I enjoy filming. So it’s not too much work for me now!
Last spring, you released your lauded debut EP Boys Who Broke My Heart. Do you recall your favorite memory of putting that project together?
My fav memory from creating my whole EP would have to be all the videos I directed and created with my good friend Nathan Smart. I’ve really found a love for creative directing and stage designing through the RARIA project. It was so fun and I felt so in control of my vision and what I wanted my lyric videos to look like. It felt so great having complete creative control and having a team that trusts my creative direction and decisions.
What emotions do you wish to make people experience with your music?
I hope that people connect and don’t feel alone if they are going through similar experiences as me. I also want them to thrash it hard at 3 AM and scream the lyrics at the top of their lungs!
Songs like “Dude” and “Tried To Love You” are amongst the many of your more intimate songs, do you think that your successful trajectory is tied to the relatability of your lyrics?
I’m a very “say it how it is” type of person. I’m not one to heavily rely on metaphors in songs but I think I can always find a unique way to say what I’m thinking and feeling. I’ve always loved writing conversational lyrics. I feel like people will always connect easily when you don’t try to complicate the delivery. It makes it so much easier to connect. So I definitely hope this helps people relate to my songs.
In previous interviews, you cited Rihanna and Jessie J as musicians who inspired you during your teenage years and now, funnily enough, you’re at a stage in your career where you are paving a way for the next generation of pop stars. Is there any advice would you give to young girls looking to pursue music?
Rihanna and Jessie J have always been musicians I’ve looked up to growing up. Although I would have to say that Lady Gaga has been my forever obsession. Her whole career is something I look up to in every way. Being Italian and knowing she had a similar upbringing to me and knowing that she was knocked back for years and years has helped me to keep pushing through when I’ve been told “no”. So my advice for young musicians would be to look at their failures as a positive thing because they are going to guide you to where and what you’re meant to be doing. Whenever something shitty happens in my career I just look at it as though something better is coming around the corner.
With “Dude” in the rearview, what are you looking forward to the most this year that you can share?
I can’t wait to perform it to human people!!!! Finally, now that we can have shows again. It’s going to be such an amazing feeling getting back on stage again, re-creating my whole show with all my new songs, and seeing faces in person and not over a screen! I also can’t wait for all my new songs to drop, I’ve been writing so much lately and have plenty more stories to tell.