Artist of the Month is an accolade bestowed upon an up-and-coming musician or group who is poised for the big time. For August 2022, we interview singer and songwriter Raffaella about her brand new mini album, LIVE, RAFF, LOVE (Act I).
Upon entering Raffaella’s childhood home in New York City last weekend, a few things stand out to me: The walls are covered nearly inch-to-inch with both art and musical instruments, signed photographs and records decorate the hallways, and the busied look of the apartment feels quintessentially New York. Today, however, Raffaella is merely a visitor in her old abode — and she’s brought an exciting and radiant new collection of songs home with her.
This Friday (August 12th), Raffaella — who is Consequence‘s August Artist of the Month — will release her eclectic new mini album, LIVE, RAFF, LOVE (Act I). Among many illuminating lines and choruses, Raffaella primarily uses the effort as a way of channeling her twenty-something angst and confusion, constructing a theatrical narrative that demonstrates her unique skills as a singer and songwriter.
There’s a big emphasis there on “theatrical”: LIVE, RAFF, LOVE will be divided into two parts, with Raffaella explaining that the first part (Act 1) is intended to be “very bright, very pop-y, very pink, and shiny,” and the second part (Act 2) “a lot darker and a lot more introspective.”
Though we’ll have to wait a bit longer for the darker second half of LIVE, RAFF, LOVE, the album’s first act isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The opener “come to nyc, pls” begins almost solemnly, and closer “LIPSTICK” adds a discernible sense of doubt to Raffaella’s effervescent anthems. But in between are songs that feel seriously unserious with some playful, wacky choices alongside powerful realizations about growing up, love, and maintaining relationships. There are moments of pop punk bombast; some folk-leaning melodies; images of grocery stores, Malibu, and “sunshine lobotomies”; and cathartic, shout-along choruses.
But a title like LIVE, RAFF, LOVE — a play on the common decorative phrase “Live, Laugh, Love” — implies a cheeky attitude towards the so-called “artist statement.” “I thought it was funny, but I also thought that it’s very indicative of how I write music, which is just taking the joke seriously,” says Raffaella.
According to the singer-songwriter, she intended for the album to follow the arc of a stage play: “It sort of follows the narrative of a child of divorce learning how to love for the first time,” she tells Consequence, before clarifying, “at least do it in the right way.”