Rainy Milo is the essence of authentic cool. Born in South-East London, to a Guyanese mother and an English father, Milo is a singer-songwriter who describes herself as “a physical collection of influences”. The sounds of the great Ella Fitzgerald and reggae were two of many musical influences, played in and around Milo’s home whilst growing up, that have undoubtedly contributed to her sound.
In early years, Rainy Milo began performing in collectives, penning songs that spoke to teenage tribulations whilst attending BRIT School. It was at sixteen years old, when Milo unleashed ‘Bout You, that the world began to taking note of the rising star. With record deal offers on the table, Milo opted to continue cultivating her own sound instead, self-releasing an EP entitled Limey which referenced her heritage. Milo eventually signed with Virgin EMI and subsequently, after many transatlantic flights, came Black & Blonde and her début full-length album, This Thing of Ours.
In the midst all of this musical gold-mining, Rainy Milo has amassed a cult-following on social media for her sense of style too. With a voice that can make the most sinister of sentences sound like summer breeze and a lethally-impeccable style sense, inherited from her mother, Rainy Milo is definitely one to watch. With hotly-anticipated new music brewing, the songstress reflects on her journey so far and teases what’s to come.
For those who have yet to hear your music, how would you describe it?
My music sounds like RnB, Jazz, Hip Hop and Soul put in a pot on low heat with the lid on left to simmer.
Where did your initial love for music sprout from and who are your musical inspirations?
I have always loved music since as far back as I can remember. It has always been a huge part of me and my family’s daily life. My grandad was a Reggae DJ, so he would play music all day long and would make his own speakers in my grandmas living room. My mum would play music at the crack of dawn all the way into the evening on weekends. I couldn’t imagine going a day without music now. I have always been inspired by N.E.R.D and Corinne Bailey Rae, I consider them to be true artists in the musical and lyrical sense. They made me want to be like them; different and raw.
I loved mixing the old film photo with the bright lime green colour to match the title Limey which is a nickname for English people. I feel like it summed me up perfectly; English and Caribbean, old school and new school.
In 2012, you released your début mixtape Limey, introducing a distinctively individual sound. How did you find your sound and voice within the many genres of music?
I feel that my sound was something that came organically to me. I was inspired by how N.E.R.D played around with different genres in their music and I wanted to do the same. When making Limey, I listened to lots of my favourite records. I decided what exactly it was about them that made me love them, then mixed those aspects together to create my own mix of my favourite vibes. I have always said it is impossible to be original as everything has been done. However, you can mix things in your own original way, which I feel happened when making Limey.
What is the story behind the album art for Limey and why you chose it?
The album artwork for Limey was in fact a photograph of my Mum and Uncle back home in Guyana. They were going to church which is why they were dressed so smartly. I loved mixing the old film photo with the bright lime green colour to match the title Limey which is a nickname for English people. I feel like it summed me up perfectly; English and Caribbean, old school and new school.
How would you say your heritage and growing up in South East London have influenced your music?
My heritage has made me who I am entirely. I think I’m so open to blending musical styles because I myself am a blend of different cultures. My mum introduced me to RnB and Jazz while my dad would play me Indie Rock. It opened my ears up to different styles. South London also spawned my love for Hip Hop as it was all me and my school friends would listen to. South London was where I met and befriended a lot of rappers who inspired me to create and put my own music out there.
She always told me, even though we were broke, I had to dress like the person I wanted to become. So I always saw my outfits as a way of saying who I am without speaking.
Using Tumblr and now Instagram, you have established yourself as a style influencer too. How would you describe your style and where did your appreciation of fashion come from?
My style is very much inspired by mum. She loves to mix old-fashioned items with new current pieces. My mum has always been very very into Fashion. She always told me, even though we were broke, I had to dress like the person I wanted to become. So I always saw my outfits as a way of saying who I am without speaking.
Mum always had a very quirky sense of style— I used to feel so anxious everyday wondering what outfit she would wear to pick me up from school and what the other kids would think. However, now that I’m older I love how she is unapologetically herself and it has inspired me to do the same.
What is the most cherished item in your wardrobe?
A leather and fur coat I bought on Union Street in San Francisco. It’s like if I were a coat, I would be that coat.
What’s the plan for the rest of 2016?
I’m dying for everyone to hear what I’ve been working on for so long already. So to release this new music, then play shows so I can see people’s reactions to these songs.
Where can we expect to see you live next?
Can’t wait to play my hometown London again!