unsigned hype

New Zealand Hype: Meet Rella

LSD, Codeine, Notorious BIG’s single “Juicy” and the rear seat of a ’67 Pontiac were the only ingredients required to create New Zealand rapper, Rella. Much more than a ‘typical hip hop’ artist, he’s known for blending modern beats with old school lyricism and new school flow; he carries with him the style and distinctiveness held only by the most unique artists in the game.

He recently took some time to talk to AAHH about his music, his influences, and more. Check out the interview—and his music—below.


Tell me about your music — describe your sound.

It’s pretty chill; I like to feel the beats and not to try and dominate them—or fight them. I like to think I create music for people to vibe with and enjoy. I’m not a ‘gangbanger’ or a ‘thug,’ so it’s not rap in that vein. I just try to present to people things they can relate to and illustrate to them what I see around me. But, that being said, it’s varied. I wouldn’t call it alternative, but at the same time, it’s not really what everyone else puts out.

How did you get involved in music?

I’ve always loved music, but rap began when I was like fifteen or sixteen. I got my first car and would just blast it non-stop. I bought 50 Cent’s The Massacre, and that spun in my headphones every day of the week. But then when I moved into a flat and got bored, I started writing music to beats from the artists that influenced me. I’d show people, and they seemed to dig it, so that gave rise to actually wanting to record and become an artist myself instead of just being a consumer of it.

Who/what were some of your influences?

Ah man, too many to list. The major influences would be the likes of Grandmaster Flash, Jay-Z, Kanye, Big Pun, KRS-ONE, Big L, Proof, and of course Big and Pac. The biggest influence, though, would be Nas. I just love how humble he is and how he carries himself. He’s got every reason in the world to gloat and be arrogant but just sits back and does his own thing; so, he’s a big role model for sure. Oh, and probably Kurt Cobain, as well.

What have you released?

Well, I began recording late this year and [so far] have put out seven tracks—with one making it to Spotify. Recently, I released “Livin’ Life Dozy” which got some blog features and good plays. I also just dropped “Cicero” a week ago or so too.

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I’ve been working on releasing tracks with my producer, StashBeatz, which has been great. Also, beginning work on a debut mixtape called Life, which I plan to drop early next year.

What have been some of your biggest achievements thus far?

My biggest achievements would be networking with local producers and overseas artists. Also, being asked to do features on tracks and being included as a guest for an upcoming NZ tour by Latin American rapper AltaEgo. As well, getting in contact with labels who seem to like what I’ve got—and hearing back from artist promotion companies. Just the love from everybody listening, liking and sharing is an achievement to me.

What are your goals in the industry?

Definitely to perform overseas with accomplished artists and create a name for myself. Pretty much been a lifelong goal of mine to do a song with Nas at some point, so that’s something I plan to work towards; but, just seeing new places and meeting new people. For me the money comes second, I would much rather be rich in memories than wealthy with money. Also, a big goal to get songs charting and have my mixtape critically acclaimed.

What’s next for you, professionally?

Next? Just keeping busy, staying steady and releasing great music. Also, not losing sight of what I’m doing it for and what I’m working towards. Then to just perform, maybe tour the country but mainly to just enjoy life and keep making music. Big shout out to my producer StashBeatz for the help and believing in my ability.


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