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Rina Sawayama by Nathaniel Goldberg for Elle US June/July 2022

Rina Sawayama Reigns as Queen in Elle US

In this interview with Veronique Hyland for Elle US, you get a bit of insight into why she creates the art that she creates.

Rina Sawayama by Nathaniel Goldberg for Elle US June/July 2022

Rina Sawayama is a star that makes inclusive music that you don’t necessarily hear all the time in the mainstream. In this interview with Veronique Hyland for Elle US, you get a bit of insight into why she creates the art that she creates. You can also take a look at the fashion that she displays as she always look good while she spreads her message of joy.

Rina Sawayama by Nathaniel Goldberg for Elle US June/July 2022
Coat, Alexandre Vauthier Haute Couture. Feather headpiece, RD Plumes, $99. Earring, Boucheron. Stylist’s own leggings.

On using video games for inspiration

For me, everything’s about stories. A good video game is a great story. Who’s the main character, who’s the side character, what’s going on around them? Who’s going to listen to this, and what are they going to feel?”

Rina Sawayama by Nathaniel Goldberg for Elle US June/July 2022
Dress, Fendi Couture. Tiara, Chaumet. Necklaces, from $800, bracelet, $800, Erickson Beamon.

Music as escapism

“I used to go to the Virgin Megastore in Piccadilly Circus and listen to albums, or sit outside Brixton Academy at 9 A.M. and wait to get into the Bravery gig. Music was the excuse for escapism and running around London.”

Rina Sawayama by Nathaniel Goldberg for Elle US June/July 2022
Bustier, Bermuda shorts, hat, handbag, pumps, Schiaparelli Haute Couture. Necklace, bracelet, Cartier.

On creating music that best represents her

“I grew up with songs about heterosexual love, and I don’t negate them,. I think there’s a place for them. Most of the world is heterosexual; it’s not a big deal. But my best friends and my chosen family and I are queer, and they are not hearing the songs that represent them.”

Rina Sawayama by Nathaniel Goldberg for Elle US June/July 2022
Jacket, shirt, skirt, boots, Valentino Haute Couture.

Creating universal messages with hyper-specific topics

“Being kicked out [of your home] for being gay is not something that most of the world experiences, but that feeling of parental rejection is. I always try to keep the chorus more universal, generic, so it’s easy to understand, and then try to tell a story in the verses. That’s something that I’ve really amped up for this [next] record, and I will continue to do. If I can heal someone around me or someone that I don’t know with the songs I write, and I’ve been given an opportunity to do so, why wouldn’t I take it? There are so many songs out there in the world, it kind of turns into noise, and I just want to do meaningful work.” 

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