“I know that we’ve got a long way to go and I have to believe that change is a choice that starts with me.”
This December, Jeanine and Renata had the opportunity to interview critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Raye Zaragoza. They met her in the Green Room at City Vineyard NYC at Pier 26 to discuss her music and goals for the future. They also spoke with Caitlin Mahoney who shared with them about her career as an independent artist.
Raye originates from the city and she currently lives in Los Angeles. She discussed the differences between the two cities. As she says, “they are both poetically different” and they both have played a role in the development of her music. Her music focuses on the struggles of figuring out your own identity in this huge world, while staying true to yourself. Her songs are super thoughtful through her lyricism.
Time is a manufactured concept and people are constantly living in the past. She wants to focus on the present moment and the moments soon to come. Raye believes one of the big issues of human nature is holding the past against someone and that music is a tool that makes one think about the past, present, and the future.
Caitlin comments that performing a show helps to create a connection between the past songs she has written and someone in the audience who relates to the song in the present.
“Through the greatest struggles you find the greatest hope.”
As a songwriter, Raye believes tapping into the human condition is beneficial to forming a connection across many different people and beliefs. She says that a song paints a picture and is universal that can be relatable and timeless. Raye comments that her identity was cut into different pieces and everything she did only represented one part of her. With her music, she hopes to build bridges across all parts of herself in hopes of creating bridges for all types of people.
She wants to be the voice of the people. “I stand up for my people and for my people I mean anyone who considers themselves to be the people.” Through her music, she shares hope and as she grows older and learns more about the world, she is able to dive deeper into hope and meaning in her music that she hopes will universally relate to others.
This is important to understanding Raye as an artist because her music is about the journey, not just the destination.
Caitlin commented on this through her female empowerment song since her music is a pep talk to herself. What she strives for as a songwriter is finding the truth within herself and the relationship between herself and others.
“Time is a healer and time is the revealer.”
One of the important concepts discussed during the interview was the importance of being an active listener. Both artists described their feeling towards inspiring others through their lyrics and their composition. The shift towards understanding your identity, instead of focusing on boy problems, and breaking out from the artificial mainstream to create social justice music that connects with everyone.
Raye’s EP is called Fight for You since she was learning how to fight for things outside of herself and learning how to fight for herself. The goal is to put out music that makes people think and take a step back to digest what the artist is telling you.
Raye and Caitlin both performed amazing sets following the interview! As a listener, we were able to understand the messages both artists displayed in their music. The focus on identity and ones place in the world makes us stop and think about our own futures. Creating conscious music helps to make us more aware of what is going on in the world.
In 2020, Raye is releasing a new record and she will be continuing her journey of deepening her music and career and creating more of a balance in her own life. She is only as good as the instrument she plays and that instrument is her own body. While, Caitlin is hoping to keep playing more music and doing what she loves every day! We cannot wait to see what both of these artists do in 2020!