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Elevated by an upcoming debut EP following the Mr Series trilogy of singles, the rise of Remée looks set to continue with a community of musicians behind her.
REMÉE’s dedication to her craft becomes apparent in the first two minutes of our meeting. She joins me in the Baltic Triangle, where she wanders down Jamaica Street dripping in style and unquestionable confidence. After a quick hug and hello, she makes her mission clear. “Do you mind coming to check out this venue quickly? I’m trying to plan a live show at the minute.” We descend upon the newly opened Baltic Hotel, exploring the exposed brick and the echoey rooms of the venue’s layout. Throughout the tour, the artist remains curious, throwing out questions and weighing up every answer carefully as it comes. Her determination is striking, but quickly mellowed by the warmth of her conversation. “I love performing in darker, more enclosed spaces, so I’m just trying to see where’s best for me,” she admits humbly before turning back to the task at hand.
Though easily the first trait to notice about the artist, her hard-working nature isn’t surprising. When we last spoke back in 2017, she was a pop-focused fresh face, ready to dominate. Four years on, that eagerness to create remains and is joined by an unalterable sense of identity, gained from years of experience as a staple of the Mersey scene. “I’ve been told in the past that I have too many words, or too much to say,” she tells me a little later over afternoon coffee at 92 Degrees. “But after writing stories in school, I started listening to Avril Lavigne, Hilary Duff and Lily Allen, so I’ve always really connected to that word-heavy kind of sound. I would listen to what they had to say, and it made me believe I could write in the same styles as they did. Now, I respect artists that have no hang-ups about going all out. People like Travis Scott or Lil Nas X are changing the game. I would love to do similar things to what they’re doing, but from a woman’s point of view.”
However, as she developed her artistry, a newfound fluidity emerged. “I don’t want to be compared to other acts, because I don’t really like staying in one style. I know that people do think the same, and have similar ideas, but I think it’s all about focusing on your own vision. After making music for a while, I realised I wasn’t into staying in one genre, just playing pop music, RnB, or reggae; I want my music to be a combination of it all. I could go into a studio with any musician and, if I like what they’re playing, we would be able to create something no matter their style. I want to make a heavy rock song at some point.” She pauses. “I’m always asked, ‘What genre do you create?’, but it’s not about the specific sound. I just make music. The style is me.”
Far from being limited to the confines of genre, Remée’s music is instead guided by ideology. On each track, the artist’s poetic flow surrounding heartbreak, failed relationships and the ability to keep surviving takes centre stage, guiding beat-heavy groove elements from a range of genres. Her latest project expresses this adaptability best. Titled The Mr Series, the trilogy of tracks pulls from an array of musical schools, as each delves into details about specific relationship issues. Where Mr DLMD (Don’t Let Me Down) weaves subtle acoustic melodies with electronic synth harmonies, Mr Not A Keeper centres itself around a trap-inspired beat with an addictive chorus hook.
Finally, her latest release, Mr Puppeteer, melds an orchestral string sample with complementary RnB motifs. While each is distinctive, what unites them is Remée’s ability to transform her heartbreak into a shield of self-assurance. “I’ve had the worst experiences in relationships, as my music probably gives away,” she laughs. “But I try not to get too emotional in my songs. When I was on the Levi’s Music Project, Loyle Carner told us that artists should write from the heart, because that’s what people will connect to. I always write from an honest place, but I like to be metaphorical when I create tracks. I feel it resonates with more people. I don’t want to pour my heart out about how horrible a person was, it’s just not me. I’m still so young, I think I’m still processing my experiences and understanding them. I think that kind of emotional maturity will come at an older age anyway,” she grins.
With her eyes so clearly set on the future, our conversation naturally progresses to wider issues surrounding the music industry. Like many musicians, securing funding for her music is an increasing concern. “It’s a struggle,” she sighs. “When it comes to funding it can be so frustrating. I have a job, so that allows me to create, thankfully, but I don’t have a manager or PR, and doing all that on your own, it can be a bit overwhelming. But I’m gonna push on. I have to. I think it’s the only way to show people how serious I am about this,” she says before a brief silence. “There are ways around it, though, you just have to be creative. When we did the video for Strange Like Me, we filmed it all in my mum’s bathroom. A mate of mine helped me out, and you couldn’t even tell that it was in her house, which was great. But I want to go bigger.”
However, it soon becomes clear that the artist has a way to remedy financial limitations: turning to the local creative community. As we chat, she sings the praises of several musicians, photographers and artists in the city that have all contributed to the artist’s growth over the years, with Zuzu and artist Kieran Foster being just two standouts. “The community has impacted my music definitely for the better. People are really welcoming and kind,” she smiles “I don’t have a team or anything, so when someone reaches out from the local creative scene it’s a true collaboration, which is so nice and organic. There’s no pressure, so it feels like the possibilities are endless. More stuff ends up being created because it’s free. I like that about the music scene up here, it’s very casual,” she spills, before sipping the last of her coffee.
When finishing up, the artist’s final thoughts are once again focused on the Mr Series. “I’m going to release seven or six minutes of film with the three songs, and it will tell a little story. I work a lot with fabric and make my own clothes, so I’m very interested in building a visual image alongside the tracks,” she tells me, excitedly. However, videos are not where the artist’s future plans end. In October comes her debut EP, which will feature the Mr Series alongside an array of new tunes. “I’m so excited about it! I’m working with an amazing producer and so it feels so new and exciting.” There’s another brief pause that hangs with the artist’s future potential and unfiltered love for her craft. “One day, I’ll buy a castle, so that all the artists I’ve worked with come over and make music with me,” she laughs. “I just want to collaborate and see what I can make.”