We spoke to Rayla previously at the site, so when we had to opportunity to catch up with her again we were on board. Rayla has been one of our favorite interviews and this talented singer is someone that should be on your radar and playlist. It has been enjoyable watching her career grow and we look forward to seeing what she has coming in the future, but we know it will be successful. She is so interesting, so make sure you read our interview below!
Rayla is a 19 yr old, singer /songwriter having success with two songs charting on Radio Disney. She has toured the US and Canada and has opened for Fetty Wap, Daya, Olivia holt, HRVY and Jana Kramer.
BSCKids: Rayla, tell us a little bit about your journey as a singer/songwriter, when did you first realize this was something you wanted to do?
Rayla: I’ve been singing (or as my mom will say, screaming) for as long as I can remember. I had different moments when I was younger, where I realized I didn’t just like singing but I genuinely wanted to do it for my whole life. One of the first times was when I was watching the Ellen show with my mom and my face was GLUED to the TV. I must’ve been like 3 feet away from it. Taylor Swift came on for the very first time and sang a song and I looked back at my mom and was like “Mom, I’m gonna do that one day.” And I’ve really been doing it ever since!
How do you feel that you have grown as an artist in the last few years?
I have evolved so much as an artist and as a person! I started so young that every year is such a huge change! I’m proud of the work I’ve accomplished but I know there’s so much more coming that I’m extremely excited for.
Tell us a bit about your touring of the US and Canada, what has been your favorite venue to perform at so far?
My favorite venue on tour had to be in Washington D.C. The crowds’ energy is honestly something I’ll never forget. I loved touring so much because I really felt like it was me just having a normal conversation with the crowd and sharing my stories through my music. Every person I met felt like family by the end of my set. We all related to each other, shared experiences and bonded over the music, I’ll never forget it.
Tell us how you got the gig to do the theme for Fast Layne?
I actually had a song on Radio Disney called ‘Boys Like You’! It played for a while and even charted at the top 20! I went out to LA to the studio to do promo for the song and radio interviews, I got to meet the whole Radio Disney team and had the best time! A couple weeks later this opportunity came along, and they asked me to apart of it! I was so honored to be asked, there was no way I wasn’t doing it!
What would you say was your favorite Disney show growing up?
I was a huge Hannah Montana girl!! She was my first concert I went too, and the Jonas Brothers were on tour with her, I will never forget that! I watched the show as much as I could be but since I’m the youngest I didn’t get to rule the shows we watched, my older siblings were in charge! – lol.
We are digging, “Happy First!” where did the inspiration for the song come from, and tell us a bit about your writing process for it?
Well this song is about someone super special to me! We had a relationship that ended and during those times that we weren’t communicating, all I could see was his life over social media, which of course meant that he looked happy and that he was having the time of his life!
I realized I was posting the same type of things, when I was quite honestly super sad.
It made me feel like both of us were competing to prove that we were okay and happy without each other, when in reality it’s okay to mourn the loss of a relationship and it doesn’t make you weak!
Can we expect a video for Happy First?
Unfortunately, with the whole quarantine production for the video has been put on pause! Since I’m preparing to release new music, I’m thinking of putting my energy into a video for my upcoming music so everything is up to date and current!
If you could have someone do a cover of Happy First, who would you want to do it?
This is a GREAT question!! Like how do I pick just one artist! There are so many amazing artists out there today. If you said I could choose the option to have like 10 artists to do it, that I could do!!
If I really have to pick just one person, it’d probably be Lennon Stella. Somehow she makes every single song she sings so beautiful and her own. I’d probably cry hearing her voice on my song. She’s just an amazing artist.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I love to paint!! I’m not very good at all but I paint all the time. It keeps me stress free.
What has been your favorite birthday present?
I’m always so happy on my birthday no matter what that I literally forget about gifts and all that – LOL!. I’m definitely the person to encourage people not to get me anything. I do remember a favorite gift when I was younger, was probably a Hannah Montana hair dye kit. You painted the color in and then it eventually would wash out and I can’t remember if it was any good, but I loved coloring my hair when I was little.
This year my birthday was during quarantine, so my family arranged a drive by party. It was so much fun to see my friends and family for those few minutes. We blasted music while every drove around out driveway. One group of family friends decorated their car and threw water balloons – it was really special especially under the circumstances.
We hear you were born in NJ, so were we…what is your favorite NJ food?
Omg!! I love that!
You could never go wrong with a New Jersey bagel!!
What would you say is your favorite picture on your Instagram account and why?
I always love posting covers!! I’m not sure if I have a favorite picture, but my favorite cover is the one I did in December, “All I Want” by Olivia Rodrigo. I just love that song, it is so relatable and the emotion of it is so powerful.
Who do you enjoy following on Instagram?
Okay honestly this quarantine has made me stalk almost everybody!! I feel like I know most people personally. lol. But I always love watching Kylie Jenner and Stormi. I think she’s the cutest baby and I’m always sending those posts to my sister.
What do you feel like was the hardest song for you to write and perform?
A lot of my favorite music that I have right now isn’t even out yet, unfortunately!! I think my newest release “Happy First” was the hardest to release because of how real and honest the story behind it is. I loved writing it, but when it came down to having the whole world hear it I was definitely nervous! Secondly, my song “Boys Like You” is the most honest song and there are still times I get a little choked up on stage when singing it. When I performed it at The Gramercy in NYC and the audience sang along and knew the words, that was incredible, and I will never forget that.
Kids of all ages really connect with your music, what do you think is the reason for that?
I think a lot of people who connect to my music are around my age, probably because I write from real experiences and so many of us are going through the same things. I have some unreleased music that I’ve performed and my mom’s friends really love them and say how they can so relate to the lyrics!
I think whatever the song is and whoever the audience is, I always make sure to write music that is 100% vulnerable and relatable. I like to write about the things people don’t usually talk about or dare to say out loud. I write about the feelings a lot of us think only we feel, but in reality we’re all in this together and I think my music brings a sense of comfort to people that they are not alone in those feelings.
What can we expect from you in the upcoming year of 2020?
Well 2020 has definitely not been what anyone has expected and a lot of things have been put on hold! That being said, the show must go on somehow, so I’ve been writing so many new songs in quarantine and teaching myself how to produce! I’m taking it day by day and am loving this time to perfect my craft and really figure out what I want to do next!