Rella for The Meadow
Rella is a natural-born storyteller. Over a bed of lush harmonies and guitar melodies, the 22-year-old singer-songwriter and guitarist spins tales of unrequited love, loss and personal growth. “I don’t always write about true stories,” Rella says of her songwriting process. “I like to fictionalize.” For Rella, her songs aren’t limited to her reality; every song is an opportunity to create a new world, explore a new perspective and empathize with someone else’s pain.
The daughter of a bass player, Rella is a true child of the Nashville music scene, attending the same high school as Taylor Swift. It wasn’t until a severe heartbreak in the middle of college that her career as Rella began. Born Sarah Baker, Rella took on the name of her grandfather’s grandmother, a Vaudeville performer. She found solace in songwriting, her first love, and released her first single “Intervention” in 2019: It’s an act of violence, you living so close to my space / cause everytime I wanna be free from you / I’m scanning every crowd for your face.
t h e i n t e r v i e w
1. Please start with a little introduction about yourself!
I’m Rella, I’m an alternative pop artist from Nashville, TN and based in Nashville though I lived in New York City for the last 4 years. I play the guitar, sing, and write songs!
2. What genre would you say your music belongs to?
Genre is tough for me because I listen to so many genres and I think that shows in my music, but the closest I would say is probably alternative pop or indie pop.
3. What is the story behind your musical journey?
I grew up in a suburb just outside of Music City so music has always been a part of my life. I’ve been writing songs as long as I can remember and when I was 20 I had my heart broken and used songwriting as a way to cope with that situation. I showed the songs to a few people and got really positive feedback and felt like I was meant to be doing music professionally, so since then I’ve been trying to make a career out of it.
4. And how has your journey been so far?
It’s been really positive! I’ve gotten some great opportunities in music even though I’ve only been really actively pursuing it for about two years now. I’m learning more about it every day.
5. I am in love with your latest, “Not Over” and now you have an upcoming single “Maryland” that will be out on the 30th of April! What should we expect with your new song? Will it be something completely different or is there a theme behind your music?
Thank you! “Not Over” is a song that I’m featured on with Pineapple Island, so the song is definitely more his style than mine. Thematically that song is similar to my upcoming work because it’s about unrequited love and being really chaotic in relationships, but in terms of genre and instrumentation, my stuff is totally different.
6. Tell us what “Maryland” means to you and what your aim is/was during the making.
I wrote “Maryland” as part of a 7 day songwriting challenge, so I sat down to write it that day feeling like there was no way I was going to write something good and just trying to get it done and have something to present. I wrote the first verse and thought it was all I had in me at that point and then as I was going about my day the chorus came into my head and got stuck there so I sat down and finished it all in one sitting. It turned out so much better than I could have imagined and I’m really proud of it.
7. How is/was the process of the making of the song? You can share any memorable BTS stories here.
The process was really fun. I worked with a new producer, March Martin, for the first time, since this was the first song that I’ve worked on in-studio since leaving New York. This is a really dumb story but when we were recording vocals I kept having to do this one part over and over that says “It might already be too late, but -” and March randomly said “Classic late butt.” So now everytime I hear that part I think about “classic late butt.”
8. What is your creative process?
It’s different every time, which is what I love about making music and songwriting. Songwriting for me is about discipline, and producing is about collaboration, which I say because I’m not a producer so I need a collaborator and I’m really grateful to March for doing such great work on producing this record!
9. Who is your musical inspiration?
I have so many I couldn’t possibly name them all, but I’ll say who comes to mind: Taylor Swift, Joni Mitchell, Ariana Grande, Billie Eillish, Lauryn Hill, and SZA.
10. Any tips for our musicians out here?
If you’re going to get serious about music, really do it and invest as much time and money into it as you have the means to. If you don’t ask for things and really work your ass off to get them, you’ll never have them, and even if you don’t get what you want, it’s worth a shot and you’ll learn something!
11. How do we gain access to your music?
My music is available on all streaming platforms!