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Reborn was an incredibly bold single, was it intentional for this bold production to match this theme of rebirth?
It really was, straight away the song felt like it needed something fierce and driving. The whole thing inspired me to do something a bit bolder and more daring in a way, which is becoming a bit of a theme for me at the moment.
You shot the video in such a stunning location – Lake Quaraoun in Lebanon – what made you choose this location in particular and what were the inspirations behind the video itself?
With music videos, it’s amazing to be able to go somewhere that you’ve never been before, so I thought I’d use this opportunity to experience something crazy. Going to Beirut was something that I didn’t imagine I’d ever do and it was so beautiful and interesting. The video shoot happened through the night which was quite intense. The video is meant to be an aesthetic experience really, it’s not very conceptual. I just wanted people to find themselves immersed in this grand location in the middle of nowhere.
What are some of your most vivid memories of iconic music videos when you were growing up?
I often think about some of the early Avril Lavigne videos, but other than that I didn’t watch that many, I don’t know whether it’s because we didn’t watch that much TV or whether I just missed the golden age of music videos on the telly. YouTube was when I got back into music videos, I guess!
After hearing ‘Reborn’, I genuinely wasn’t sure that you could better yourself – but I love ‘Do It’ even more, so congrats on that! How did that song come about?
‘Do It’ was one of the songs that I wrote with Fryars, somebody who I worked with on the first album. We were in the studio one day and we were having a deep conversation about the restraints that mean some people don’t do the things that they wish they could do, or they hold themselves back. It’s a situation that I find myself in very often as well, I think we both wanted it to be quite cheeky and fun, it’s meant to be an anthem for people to feel inspired and do things. Someone just texted me actually, saying that they weren’t sure about whether they should book a holiday but ‘Do It’ was on in the background and they said that it made them book it, which is exactly what the song is all about!
The video for ‘Do It’ is amazing as well, it’s so fun and vibrant – but I wonder why you chose to film the video in NYC in particular?
I haven’t spent much time in New York at all really, so in my mind I just had this idea of me running around the streets wearing something colourful. That was the concept of the video and through working with Noel Paul (director), we came up with the idea of being with my friends and daring each other to do things as we go around the city. It was all very natural and the city has high energy, like the song, so it felt right.
When touring this new record, can fans expect any changes to your live performance compared to your tours in support of ‘Unguarded’? Because previously you used to play a lot of keys on stage…
Dancing has become something that I’m really enjoying, I’ve explored it a lot in the time that I’ve had off between these two albums. I’ve really got into it and realised that I love dancing. It’s something that people usually do in the club when they’re drunk, so it feels nice to do it when you’re sober! [laughs] I play keys a little bit on stage, but not as much as I used to. It makes performing a lot more fun!
You’ve recently performed at Islington Assembly Hall in London, which is a brilliant venue, but are there any other venues in the UK which you would love to play in the future?
I’ve got a bucket list of venues I’d love to play and headline shows in London are always pretty special, but playing at the Hammersmith Apollo would be amazing, sometime in the future.
You also performed at Brixton Academy for BBC Introducing’s 10th birthday last week – how crucial have they been to your success as an artist?
They’ve been massive for me, they were everything in the early days when I started getting played on BBC Radio Lancashire. It was really a big deal for me. I remember the evening I went in to do my first ever live radio session, the experience is priceless, although they’ve still not got any easier!
A lot of the press shots and imagery for the new music you’re releasing seems to be centred around reds, purples and pinks – and a lot of artists (especially those with synaesthesia) relate music to certain colours? Does your mind work in a similar way?
I don’t think I have synaesthesia but I am definitely a very visual person, I love painting and I love art. I knew quite early on that the colours of this new album would be very vibrant and were around a palette of blue, purple, pink and red. So when it came to doing the artwork, it was the first time that I’ve felt like I knew exactly what I wanted to do. It was a challenging but great experience, to curate a whole photoshoot for the album artwork, but it was really wonderful and I’m excited for people to see the album cover when it’s out there.
You worked with Ariel Rechtshaid on the last record, have you been working with him again on new material?
We did a session when I was over in America working on the new stuff, but he’s a really busy man so we didn’t end up doing more than one day together. But he’s a very close friend and I always ask him for advice, he’s a bit of a big brother figure to me. The production on the new album was done by Fryars and a duo called MyRiot (who’ve worked with London Grammar).
‘Do It’ by Rae Morris is out now, via Atlantic Records. Her new album is set to be released in early 2018.