The Must-Hear Singer of The Moment | Meet British Soulbird Rainy Milo
There's just something about Rainy Milo that feels raw and endearing. The South East London singer/songwriter shares the truth of relationships and life's trials with us like you would with your BFF, pouring her heart out in lyrics that feel like journal entries. In 2012, at just 17 years old, she released her first EP, Limey, winning us over with her chill and sultry vocal approach. Two years later, This Thing of Ours -- Milo's debut full-length album -- dropped, fusing jazzy instrumentals with R&B influence. As Milo gears up for her new EP, we look forward to her signature sound but are even more amped over the fact that she is coming into a style all her own. Milo was more than game to share a bit about what's coming up in her schedule, her inspirations, and favorite spot to grab Japanese food in London.
Tell us about your upbringing in South East London, and how you take the spirit of your hometown and incorporate it into your music and style.
I grew up with a strict and eccentric Caribbean mother. She didn't want me becoming the stereotypical idle teenager that our area often raised because there wasn't much to do, so I wasn't allowed out often which led me to spend hours at home listening to music. My mum would play a lot of jazz, gospel, R&B, and reggae, which later influenced my musical tastes a lot. As I got older, when I could go out more, I would spend my time writing and meeting with other musicians from my local area and thats when I was inspired to make music something that I wanted to do full time.
As a songwriter, each lyric and song of yours holds great meaning, but could you pick a favorite track and share the story behind it?
One of my favorite songs is on my debut album called "Miss You." I wrote it the first time I traveled abroad to make music. I wrote it for all the people at home that I was missing and wished could have experienced some of the new things that I was seeing with me. It also has lyrics like, "I didn't mean to leave it so long to say I was sorry." It's me apologizing to someone I begrudged for too long. The experience of missing them from so far away made me realize I didn't want to hold bad feelings anymore.
You’ve talked about recording in Los Angeles and San Francisco at a studio with vintage equipment that helps to create a unique and authentic sound. Does the West Coast have influence on your sound? What draws you to California to record?
I just really adore the sound I get in my studio in San Francisco. It's like my comfort place now for me. There are subtle California vibes in some of my music. I also love how I hardly know anyone in San Fran, so when I'm in the studio everyday for a month straight I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything! Haha.
Your personal style is so fresh, who/what inspires your look?
Thank you! In the past year, I've learned to embrace and love my natural hair. I'm inspired by Lisa Bonet. I love her curly hair looks and her dreads. I also love Whitney Houston's curly hair and Sade's sleeker hairstyles. I'm just really into like 90s natural beauty.
You recently worked on the Londunn x Missguided campaign with Jourdan Dunn. What was that experience like?
It was so much fun working with and watching the other models on set. I'm so happy I got to be a part of the campaign. It was exciting because I've never been in anything like it before.
“When I was younger I would write one line and instantly critique it. Now I write what I feel as it comes...rather than stifling myself while I'm in the process."
Who are your music icons?
Sade, Amy Winehouse, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Ella Fitzgerald.
You’ve been writing songs since you were 14. After years of recording and performing, how have your writing techniques and lyrics evolved?
I've found I edit myself less. When I was younger I would write one line and instantly critique it. Now I write what I feel as it comes and change things later rather than stifling myself while I'm in the process.
What can we look forward to next from you?
My new EP I Knew I Had A Heart (Because I Felt It Breaking) is coming out on February 24th. It's the prequel to my sophomore album so it's the beginning of a larger project. I'm so excited to share this with everyone!
What are your favorite go-to spots in London that not everyone may know about?
I love this restaurant in Chinatown called Misato. It's got a rundown look about it, but the foods amazing. It's always got a queue out the door, but also no one knows about it. It's weird! But it's popular with the people who know about it.
Who’s your main MISSBISH -- the one that’s stuck with you through and through?
My sister Denise is my ride or die. She just gets me and has always supported my dreams, even when they seem out of reach.
Fill in the blank…
If there’s a fire, I’m probably going to grab... my iPhone before I run out the door.
I am myself most when... I'm at home in my dressing gown near a radiator listening to music with my friends.
If I could create my own music fest, my dream lineup would include these performers: N.E.R.D, Sade, and Rae Sremmurd.
Photographer: Sonjay Williams