Rejjie Snow is a rapper who drew public attention to some of his tracks which he uploaded to YouTube during school and he created a buzz with Rejovich, a project that was released in 2013 which achieved a higher iTunes ranking than Kanye West and J. Cole before performing as an opening act for Madonna. In Dear Annie, a much-anticipated debut album released in 2018, he created twenty tracks with a movie-like story by portraying a character who changed and developed throughout his life. The album was greatly received across the globe. For fans who had been following him before 2018, this release gave them a feeling that a debut album finally arrived after long wait. But he made a shocking announcement in a magazine interview, not even a month after the album’s release; he stated that the debut album was to be his last project as Rejjie Snow. Two years have now passed, so what are his thoughts? What is he doing now? Silver interviewed him about his current work and lifestyle.
Rejjie has lived in different countries around the world. He was born and grew up in Dublin, Ireland, he studied football in Florida at the age of ten before studying film at Georgia University on a scholarship. He started uploading music to YouTube when he was in Florida. As he became more and more attracted to music production, he decided to pursue a musical career only after having enrolled at university. After just one semester, he left university and returned to his hometown of Dublin. “Dublin is a special place for me. It is where I became a man and everything is connected there”. After moving back to Ireland, he continued to be absolutely riveted to making music. In 2013, Rejovich became a big hit, and meanwhile, he proceeded to create a debut album, Dear Annie, through some collaboration with various artists by changing between locations such as Ireland, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, and London. Upon being asked about the long production process, he said “It was a stretch. It was a lot of fun to produce Dear Annie because I got to spend time with different people. My collaboration with Lewis OfMan was one of the most memorable experiences for me. During the day, we wrote lyrics in his apartment in Paris, and at night we drew graffiti. It was perfect!” This album was created through collaborations with brilliant and up-and-coming artists across the globe, which included Kaytranada (Montreal), Anna Of The North (Norway), Lewis OfMan, Milena LeBlanc (Paris), and Aminé (Portland), to name just a few. For sure, their different perspectives on the world must have influenced Rejjie Snow.
The debut album created a buzz all over the world but he hasn’t released any new music for the past two years. “To be honest, I don’t like being in a studio. I do recordings just once or twice a year, and even if I go to the studio, I only go to make small adjustments”. Although he chose to be a musician when he was a teenager, for a guy who believes ‘it’s all about visuals’, it is art rather than music that he finds he is devoted to more passionately. When I visited him in London, he was cleaning up his studio. The studio located in his apartment is better described as a painter’s atelier than a musician’s studio. It is a simple space, where paints and coloured pens are arranged in orderly manner by a large canvas with characters drawn on it. “I try to keep the environment and space as simple and minimalistic as possible so that my imagination can fill up this empty space. I only have simple things here, mainly art supplies and a computer. Not forgetting what is most important, I have put up a picture of my family”. Focusing on what he really needs and not over-decorating the space, so that the workspace can inspire his imagination.
He became interested in art when he was a teenager. As he was stunned and fascinated by the impact of anonymous art on walls which consisted of political comments, he started painting graffiti on the side of trains or walls in Dublin. With such a background, he still writes messages in his notebook using a marker in various fonts. In addition to this, he picks up a brush instead of a spray can to transfer the world he imagines in his head onto a canvas. A unique pop touch is his signature style. “I draw what I see in my dreams. It doesn’t mean anything but it’s fun to draw”. The art which is drawn under no pressure from fans or a record company can be said to be his purest creation. A painter’s suit is indispensable when he is drawing such art. This workwear, which he has been wearing over the past year, has stains and paint all over it, which shows his enthusiasm for art and the intensity of his work. These patterns, made by layers of stains and paints are traces of his work that embodies his colourful dreams.