INTRO BY KAT VISTI
INTERVIEW BY CAMI LIBERTY
Raye Zaragoza's music carries a meaning about things that are close to her heart, which is hard to find in popular music these days. Her Native American, Mexican, and Japanese heritage influences her music. Her song "In The River" quickly gained popularity due to it's powerful response to the Dakota Access Pipeline. We sat down with Raye to learn more about her debut album entitled Fight For You plus much more!
When was the moment that you realized that you wanted to be a musician?
"When I was a kid, maybe 8 or 9, I remember thinking to myself that writing a song was the “coolest thing” a person could ever do. But the moment I knew I wanted to play music for the rest of my life was definitely at my first show ever (other than playing at farmers markets) that was at The House of Blues Restaurant Stage on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. I had the most euphoric feeling during that performance and I knew that this was going to make me happy for the rest of my life."
How would you describe your music for those who have not heard it yet?
"I would describe it as contemporary folk with a message. Music made to make you feel but also think."
Last year you released your debut album “Fight For You” – what was the process like creating the album?
"The process was exhilarating! My friend & mixing engineer Justin Hergett & I decided to collaborate on making the album in October 2016. We sat in his studio and I played through all of my songs. We chose which songs would work best for the album, and also talked about ideas for songs I should write for it. In March 2017, I tracked the album with musicians In New York at Dubway Studios with engineer Chris Montgomery. Justin finished vocals with me in Los Angeles. He mixed it, passed it along to Dale Becker for mastering, and by June it was released! It was a truly invigorating creative experience and I had a blast touring on the album all summer and fall. I’m already excited for making another one."
Of the songs on the album, which would you say you’re most proud of?
"American Dream for sure. It was the last song that I wrote for the album and really feels like the through line for the whole album."
Where do you find most inspiration when creating music?
"I find inspiration from everything around me, from people I meet, places I go and stories I hear. I also get inspiration from current events that have an emotional effect on me."
If you could collaborate with any artist whether it be on a song, tour, or something else who would it be and why?
"There is an artist I’ve just discovered that I would truly love to work with - Milck. She is also using her music to inspire change and I think we’d write a great songs together. Or have an awesome tour together!"
Is there anything that we can expect from you in the near future?
"I will be touring with DISPATCH and Nahko and Medicine for the People this summer! I’ll be doing sixteen tour dates with them including Red Rocks and Central Park Summerstage. Super excited for this summer!"