Let’s talk about Rainsford (@rainsford). The LA-based model turned indie singer/songwriter first garnered attention thanks to her work with Twin Shadow, but has since carved out a space of her own.
Just days ago, she released the music video for her new single, “Crying in the Mirror”, which was directed by Cara Delevingne, and stars Kaia Gerber and Gregg Sulkin. She wrote the song in the wake of a bad breakup, and the accompanying video draws audiences into a relationship that both parties would be better without.
Rainsford debuted her EP, Emotional Support Animal, back in 2018, and thereafter released a handful of singles, amassing over three million streams on Spotify. The independent artist has been on quite the roll this year, releasing "2 Cents" in April, followed by this most recent single, and we can't wait for more. Having previously spent time in Nashville, she started out working on country songs, but then shifted her genre with more indie, pop, and R&B sounds.
In honour of the release of “Crying in the Mirror”, we talked to Rainsford about staying creative during quarantine, how her collaboration with Cara Delevingne came about, and what she wants people to know about her music. Watch the video here, and keep scrolling for the interview below.
What have you been up to during quarantine?
I’ve been mostly staying at my home in Los Angeles with my sister and my kitties. I’ve been working on new music, and doing my best to continue to be creative and productive. We took a little road trip up to our family home in Montana to visit our brother and get out into nature for a bit, which was such a blessing. And thankfully, we have a really wonderful group of quarantine friends to bond with and spend time with.
Have you felt creative during this time? Or the pressure to be creative?
Yes, to both. So much of my self-worth comes from my work and feeling like I’m contributing positively to the world somehow. I always want to be busy, and feel like I’m propelling myself forward in my career. This time has definitely been a challenge in that regard, but thankfully I have a lot of music to release. I’m finding ways to continue making music videos, and I’m starting to have some songwriting sessions again.
At first, I was painting a lot and trying to push myself to explore new forms of expression; but I’m also trying to give myself permission to live life at a slower pace for now, and to try to enjoy the time I have to hang out with my friends, because we’re never all free at the same time like this.
Can you talk a little about your music background and how you got started?
I’ve loved to sing and dance for as long as I can remember. I started ballet when I was 2, and continued to dance intensely all the way through college, which was a big influence for me musically. I started writing poetry and songs in high school, but I was really shy about singing in public or sharing anything. I always knew I wanted to be a singer, it just took a lot of writing and working with different producers to find songs that I was really excited about and wanted to share.
What is your creative process? Has it changed since you first started making music?
It kind of changes all the time, but I’m always writing down lyrics on my phone and saving melody ideas. I work primarily with one of two producers, both of whom are really close friends of mine. So when we get into the studio it's basically a therapy session, followed by writing a song.
What inspires you? Where or what do you get your inspiration from?
All my songs are pretty much autobiographical. Up to this point I’ve almost always written about what I’m going through at that particular moment in time — inspired by heartache, heartbreak, friendship, depression, and so on. Recently I’ve been wanting to write songs that are more conceptual, so I’m looking forward to exploring that more.
Cara Delevingne directed your “Crying In The Mirror” video — what was it like working with her? How did you get to know her?
Cara and I became really close recently. I think she is an incredible artist, and just an amazing human being. I had an idea for the "Crying In The Mirror" video, and when I told her about it, she really loved it too, and immediately started elevating my perspective on it. She is such a talented director. During the shoot, she was easygoing, confident, encouraging, and explorative. We edited the video together, and I couldn’t be happier with the final result.
What was it like working with Kaia Gerber and Gregg Sulkin?
I was shocked that this was Kaia's first time acting in something. She was vulnerable, excited, and didn’t hold back at all. It was so much fun to work with her and Gregg, and to watch them play together. Not to mention the fact that they’re both gorgeous and kind. I’m thrilled they wanted to be involved.
What do you want people to know about you or your music that they might not know already?
That I do absolutely everything myself. I write the songs, and I come up with the ideas for the videos, and help bring them all to life. I make most of the art myself too, and I don’t have a label. I care SO MUCH about every song I release. It means so much to me when people want to listen to my music.
If you could collaborate with anybody, who would it be?
God. Just kidding. I’d like to collaborate with Prince, Kate Bush, or Justin Bieber.
Do you have any bizarre talents?
I’m really flexible? I’m good at getting the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube. Also, I make a lot of puns. Too many. I annoy even myself.
What are some of your hobbies outside of music?
I love to dance and do some gardening, and I love animals. I foster kittens every summer. Also, I love spooky stuff, like ghosts, Ouija boards, and magic spells.
What’s next for you?
I have a lot more music coming out this year. I've been working on a mixtape with unreleased demos. Besides that, who freaking knows. It’s hard to make a lot of plans at this point.