One of the breakout success stories of this year has to be London’s Rationale. With a molasses-thick voice that’s getting increasingly harder to think of superlatives for, the man has slowly conquered countless blog pages while maintaining a degree of mystery… until now, that is. We like to spoil everything here at PressPLAY, so we had a quick exchange to find out more about the man, the plan, and Rationale.
Where did the name (and sound) of Rationale come from? Did you have a musical background?
I like to think of ‘Rationale’ as the voice of my alter ego. For the past couple of years, I’ve felt as though every time I’ve written a song, all my problems, misgivings or regrets are laid to rest for a some while and I’m left with a feeling of purpose and order. Each song I finish and share feels like a piece of that belief, & every reaction be it positive or negative is the basis or Rationale for me to make more. The sound? That’s difficult to pin down – one of my heroes Pharrell Williams always talks about how music should make people feel first. I guess I always start from there and the rest is almost easy.
We’re slowly starting to see more of you in videos. Did the success of your tracks give you the confidence to step out some more?
I’m really stoked and still amazed by how well my songs have been received thus far, but I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s increased my confidence to step out in front of the camera more. When I started the Rationale project, I always wanted it to be about the music first. There are countless acts that flawlessly engineer their physical appearance and style into their artistry & more power to them. I would personally rather people spent time listening to my lyrics or gave some thought to how I’ve created a sound or melody as opposed how I look or what I’m wearing. That’s what I geek out about when it come to music. Those are things that really matter and stand the test of time.
Let’s talk about these tracks. List them in order of your favourites.
Ha ha! That’s a tough call. Its kinda like asking a parent to name their favourite of four children. I’m rehearsing like a madman at the moment so my favourites have changed since producing them. But.. One, RE.UP is really is really fun to play live. It has such a cool groove and generally makes me feel happy everytime I hear it. Two, Fast Lane will probably always be one of my favourites. I guess it’s autobiographical lyrics remind me of where I was at that time and where I am now. The idea for it came along very quickly and I remember singing the entire lead melody for the song in one take. Every song’s creative process is different but it felt like that one was destined to be born without a struggle.
Number 3: Fuel to the Fire – is a strong track message wise and lyrically speaking, its possibly one of my proudest moments thus far. The Mire is a moody nostalgic nod to one of my favourite musical eras. The subject matter is very personal and I’ve really enjoyed reading peoples feedback commenting on how they related to to the lyrics.
We’re big fans of Re.Up here. The use of female vocal is killer – what made you add that?
Thank you! I had the idea sitting around for long time. I remember speaking to one of my friends about it in describing how I wanted to feel sexy. I tend to sing in a very lower register, but I wanted this particular track to have a nice contrast. So, I invited her to try and demo a female vocal with someone else in mind. The minute she started singing I knew it had to be her. We had great time making it and I think that shows in the overall feel of the song.
The Mire is tagged on Soundcloud as “music to wallow in”. Is that what you want people to do, or is that the sort of place it came from?
It’s strange, the tags started off as a bit of an in joke between my team and but they’ve carried on as a common theme when I upload music. The Mire has a very muggy nostalgic feel to it. I don’t want people to wallow in it, better yet remember a time they’ve felt that similarly and ultimately relate to the lyrics.
After all these hits, is Rationale feeling life in the (achem) Fast Lane?
Haha! Nicely done. I think it’s fair to say that things have become a lot busier for me of late but this is a good ‘lane’ to be in.
Your voice is quite unique and we’ve run out of ways to describe it. Help us out.
I’m rubbish at describing the sound of my voice. Someone once said to me that I sound like Tracy Chapman and Morrissey’s lovechild. I’ll take that!