Folly Rae makes pop tunes that are packed with life’s ups and downs, dealing with broken relationships and the like with self-assured, attitude-filled odes to standing up for yourself and not taking any nonsense. Now signed to Black Butter – home to Zara Larsson, no less – she’s working her way through a string of buzzy singles, the latest of which, ‘You Don’t Love Me’, is out now.
Hey Folly, how’s it going? Enjoying summer?
Hello, I’m loving the sun when I get to enjoy it as I spend a lot of my time inside a studio with no windows! Haha.
Your new singles ‘Sniper’ and ‘You Don’t Love Me’ are great, are they about the same ex? It sounds like that relationship was super hard work, if so.
My ex definitely gave me a lot of inspiration, good and bad!
Have you always used music and songwriting to work through your feelings? What else do you enjoy writing about?
Music is where I get to express myself the most. This EP is all about a relationship and breakup. Now, I’ve written a lot about the other side of heartbreak and the strength I took from it, making mistakes, whats going on in the world etc… the smallest thing can inspire me to write a song about it.
When did you realise you wanted to pursue being a musician professionally?
It was around seven years ago, I dropped out of college and was working three jobs and thought I’d try songwriting to see what happens, what did I have to lose?!
What were the first steps you took towards becoming a pop star?
I self-made demos (probably very terrible ones!) sent them out to producers, had writing sessions with everyone I could and uploaded music to BBC Introducing.
You’re half-Norwegian, right? Have you ever lived over there?
No, Never lived there!
Your new material is quite different from your previous folky sounds, what prompted the shift?
Life happened! I love sad songs but the more people I met and producers I worked with, the more I grew mentally and creatively then I found that my sound began to follow me. I still like to write sad songs, but sad songs you can dance to!
How did you come to sign with Black Butter?
About two years ago, myself and my team released my an EP. One of the records, in particular, a track called ‘U’ did quite well on Spotify and it got Black butter’s attention. I’ve always admired them and thought they were a cool label!
The video for ‘Sniper’ is loads of fun, how much of it did you conceptualise yourself?
Grace Pickering and Emil Nava (directors) had an amazing vision for the video. I knew grace from photoshoots we did together in LA, and she’s my favourite creative. She knows what I love. We spent hours going through ideas and a lot of them came to us when we were on set filming, like using a tennis racket as a weapon.
Have you spent much time in the US? What is it about that iconography that drew you in?
I saved up and went to LA when I first started writing music. I had such a crazy experience in Hollywood that I was mesmerised by it all! The idea of that messed up Hollywood life intrigues me so much, one minute you’re at a party, the next thing you know, you’re back sleeping in your car in a Denny’s car park!
What else have you got coming up?
I’m playing a few festivals this summer, plus another announcement very soon!
Folly Rae’s single ‘You Don’t Love Me’ is out now.
Words: Sam Taylor