IN CONVERSATION WITH ROHINI REGE – “THIS IS ME GROWING”

Rohini Rege is an indie-pop artist, whose reference artists are singers such as Taylor Swift, Maggie Rogers and Lana Del Rey and who recently released her second song entitled “this is me growing“, a vocally powerful pop ballad that shows us all the joy, the energy and strength that resides in every woman. A track that touches all emotions, which is addressed to all those who at least once have lost their calm and control, but who then had the strength and courage to reflect and work on themselves to awaken their most sensitive side! Rohini’s strength and independence shine perfectly in the power of her voice, but at the same time, she also shows her sensitivity…


YMX: Hey ROHINI REGE, how is it going? some of our readers might not be familiar with your project, how would you describe yourself, in a few words?

ROHINI REGE: It’s been a crazy ride, releasing my first original music during a pandemic! I’m a singer-songwriter originally from Houston, TX. I’ve always loved the stage – singing has always been a huge way for me to express myself, and music, in general, has been what connects me to other people. I’m excited to have just begun the journey to sharing my own stories with people in the form of music. Now I live in Austin, TX – where I’m hoping to soon check out the live music scene if things open up soon – intimate live performance settings are what I’m going for right now! I’d say my music falls into the indie-pop genre, with strong influences from artists like Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, and Maggie Rogers. I also have a background of singing and arranging a cappella, so I love including tons of vocal layers and harmonies in my songs, with a more poppy/electronic twist – which you may notice in my latest single, ‘this is me growing’. I’m greatly enjoying the process of meeting and working with some talented independent producers, and that’s also teaching me a lot about my musical style as well!

YMX: Your current work is the result of a long journey; What first drew you to making music?

ROHINI REGE: I was drawn to music at a young age. My grandmother was a professional Indian Classical singer in her home state in India (Orissa), and she trained my mom in the same style of singing and music. My grandmother also composed and wrote her own songs, and that’s been a big reason I decided to try my own hand at songwriting. So essentially from birth, I was exposed to music through family – but their music is so different stylistically from where I ended up choosing to make my own! I first fell in love with the piano at age 3 or 4 when I used to listen to my mom practice singing and go plunk out the melody I heard in my head on a keyboard. From there I took actual piano lessons throughout childhood – and piano is still my foundation for songwriting to this day. I never quite felt the same way about any other instrument, but I’m glad to have it as my foundation. So I’d say my biggest inspirations and what drew me to making music is my grandmother & mother, who continue to perform and sing even now in their retirement. I am so lucky to have a supportive family and community of musicians and music appreciators that have encouraged my creativity and songwriting.

YMX: What would be your dream collaboration?

ROHINI REGE: If we’re talking charting artists, I’d love to collaborate with Maggie Rogers. She combines folk music with pop in the most interesting way, and her story, as well as her songs, have been a huge inspiration to me. She’s a brilliant songwriter and is just starting her career out – so I’d be excited to see how her music changes in terms of style and maturity over the next several years. Alternatively, I’d never say no to collaborating with a great producer like Benny Blanco or Bon Iver, but I don’t think I’m ready for that calibre of talent quite yet 🙂

YMX: You recently released “THIS IS ME GROWING“’. Can you tell us how that project came about?

ROHINI REGE: I just released my second original single called ‘this is me growing’. The first line of this song that came out of me was “But if you can handle fire, then colour me impressed”. This song is for anyone who has apologized for being “a little too much” or for having a strong personality. I’d experienced ups and downs in my friendships and relationships that had led me to believe that my personality is too much, that I’m too direct or aggressive, that my emotions are too strong – this song is both about me learning to value the more emotive and fierce parts of myself while also learning to awaken a softer and more sensitive side of that tempers the wild and fiery. And while my intensity is an asset, it can be helpful at times to know when to simmer down, be patient, and just let things be. And more than anything, the song is asking for patience and acknowledgement that this is me growing – I believe we’re all constant works in progress in terms of self-growth and change, and this past year has really shown me that. I felt that I wanted to be in nature for this cover art too – to represent seasons, growth, and change.

YMX: What inspires your songwriting work?

ROHINI REGE: So many things, at this point! My friendships, my past relationships, my family, and my surroundings – but most recently, I’m inspired by hard times. I’ve always sung, but I never picked up a pen and started writing my own songs until about a year ago, when I finally felt ready to be that vulnerable with the world. It’s amazing what beauty and art can come out of trauma and overcoming obstacles. This past year has been tough for everyone – right before lockdown started, I experienced a brutal break up that caused me to move out of where I was living formerly (San Francisco), and back in with my parents for a while. Soon after, lockdown measures were put into place. Between my personal grief and the entire world adjusting to this scary, unfamiliar, and very mundane way of life with the news upsetting us every day, I felt my emotions brimming over the top, and writing songs was the only way I felt I could properly get those emotions out. And once I started sharing my originals with my community and found that people actually could be related to them – I thought wow, I’m so amazed that literally what I wrote in a journal entry on a plane ride turned into something that people now sing along to.

YMX: We are all missing live music at the moment. Once on the other side, which music venue would you choose for your first gig?

ROHINI REGE: I miss live music so much. And the idea of performing again once the world opens – couldn’t be more excited. I’d love to start by doing more intimate performances, sort of SoFar Sounds style – I’ve never actually performed any of my original music live due to the pandemic, so I’d love to be able to see audience reactions and emotions up close.

YMX: What’s your band strategy in terms of music promotion? Direct-2-fans or via the “big dogs”?

ROHINI REGE: My strategy right now is more direct. Since I’m newer to the scene and just started releasing my own work as an independent artist, I’m not looking to pitch to labels or the big dogs any time soon (though I would never say no to an opportunity)! I’m more so hoping to get my music shared and streamed, to share my story, and to meet a wider network of musicians that will enable me to grow further as an artist and musician. I also work in marketing, so there’s a little bit of content and social media marketing I’m hoping to spend more time on for my upcoming releases.

YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future?

ROHINI REGE: Right now, my plans are really just to make and get a ton of music out there! Got any artists or producers looking to collaborate? I believe that the more music I make, the better quality it’ll be – and once the world re-opens fully, I’d definitely like to do gigs locally and possibly tour as a way to check out the music scene in new cities. Eventually, I’d like to record a full album, but I’d like to be at a point where I have more of an artist and producers’ network so I feel confident that my full vision can be carried out into the world. So right now, I’m all about songwriting, making more music, and trying to meet folks in the music space, which at times proves to be tough during a pandemic!