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:: Spotlight :: Interview with RAEN

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Hot Australian girl group RAEN have achieved good success in the UK with their exciting live performances and good chart positions with the single ‘Drama Fanatic’. The group have recently returned to Sydney to launch their new single ‘Honey’, the new single from their upcoming debut album ‘After The Storm’. The sexy and disco-themed song has infectious remixes and there is also a terrific video that showcases the beautiful girls at their best. I recently caught up with the E and the N of the band - sisters Natalie and Emily.

Q. Tell us about moving to England and how you set about your career there?

Natalie. We’ve concentrated on the UK scene as we have a big market there. We’ve got to know the area, touring around the clubs and having a ball.

Q. What type of crowds have you been attratcing?

Natalie. We attract a wide range of people but mainly nightclubs. We played a few gay clubs and they were probably the highlights. We’ve done a few under-18s shows and they went well too, considering we were a brand new act to them. All our shows are high energy with lots of dancing.

Q. Tell us a little about the group's background - how you met?

Natalie. We’ve known each other for a long time, through dancing and singing. Mum used to be a ballet dancer so that’s where the dancing element came from. We’ve always had music playing at our house. All the girls of RAEN did a musical theatre course, and it’s why our shows have a theatrical look about them, the costumes, etc. We lived in the northern beaches area of Sydney.

Q. Your new single is ‘Honey’…

Natalie. Our latest single ‘Honey’ has just been released in Australia with a UK release imminent. It’s a fun, catchy, fresh-sounding song. The song had been on the backburner for a while. It was one that we wrote. Our producer worked a good vibe for it and it comes across as a feel-good song. The remixes are punchy too.

Q. You did an amazing horror video titled ‘Zombie’…

Natalie. 'Zombie’ was something of an opposite nature for us – something of shock value, a little controversial. We were bouncing some ideas with our English director – the idea of fake blood, attacking each other, etc. People ask if we fight a lot. We say that we’re like sisters and any disagreements will resolve quickly. So it seemed funny to be killing each other. It was fun to do. It was shot in the outskirts of London. We broke it up into episodes but you can watch the six minute film. If it becomes very popular, we might continue the storyline. We don’t mind getting dirty. We did all the stunts ourselves. [see it on Youtube]

Q. What are your influences?

Natalie. The dance scene has influenced us greatly, with artists like Christina Aguilera being one we’ve always liked. She’s really stepped forward.

Emily. We love Prince too. It was great to listen to him during the 90s. Madonna’s ‘Immaculate Collection’ album was great also. We grew up listening to them as we all have a background in jazz dancing and hip-hop. We take a lot of influence in our writing from artists like Prince, Madonna and Janet Jackson.

Q. What is happening on the fashion scene for you?

Emily. We’re doing a Girlfriend beauty article soon and we’ve been heavily involved with a label called Master Slave. They are in Liverpool Street, Sydney and we’ve been wearing them all the time. It’s a high-fashion, cutting edge label. We love fashion and being creative – that goes along with the music as well. With Master Slave we want to emulate that cutting edge fashion on and off the stage. It’s important for us. We love various designers, though, and want to see more shows and wear other labels.

Q. What type of audiences are you looking to attract in the future?

Emily. The shows that we've done at Trademark in Sydney is our age group. In the UK we’re doing not only adult clubs, but family shows as well – shopping centres and under-18s clubs. It’s good that the age of our fans range from 13-50. Our parents like it too! All our songs have a positive message and don’t cancel out certain age groups – no explicit lyrics. It’s very down to earth.

Q. What can we expect from the album?

Natalie. It took us about two years to do the new album ‘After The Storm’. We recorded that in Los Angeles.

Emily. There are several ballads on the album plus the up tempo ones. There’s a cover song on the album called ‘Cosmic Dancer’ – an old T-Rex song. We’ve previously covered ‘Get Right Back’ – the old Maxine Nightingale 70s song. We did some re-arrangements to that and it became quite successful for us. We’ve co-written on half the tracks and written the other half.

Q. Good luck with the single and upcoming album…

Emily. Thnaks. It's great to be back home now .Everyone has been very supportive and to see familiar faces.

'Honey' is out now.

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