Red-haired singer Rina Sawayama‘s music is a lovely-sounding social commentary. On this year’s Where U Are, she observed the disconnect between the real and digital lives of the community of young artists she found herself in. Now, as she works with Nao collaborator A.K. Paul on her debut album, Rina has channelled her sparkle into a Christmas tune of sorts. “In the digital age, things are so transient that tracks and even full length albums get forgotten in an instant,” she explains. “Christmas songs on the other hand have a timeless quality, and I wanted to explore that by writing a piece that fused elements of my music with the festive ballads so heavily ingrained in us when growing up.
It’s a season when things almost seem to stand still, an excuse to be different, so I wanted to use this time before my record comes out.” Considering that we’ve had this beautiful song dancing around our heads since Rina sent it in our direction last week, we’d say she’s probably succeeded in tapping into that holiday magic. With the title This Time Last Year, the salute-produced song touches on what a difference a year makes, both personally and socially; as we sit in our cosy little echo chambers, the big bad world keeps on turning. Take an exclusive listen to the loveliest thing you’ll hear today and read Rina’s reflections on 2016…
Rina Sawayama: This Time Last Year
Written by: Rina Sawayama. Production: Felix Nyajo, Rina Sawayama. Additional Production, String Arrangement, Mix and Master by: Darius Edlinger. Artwork: Lusha Alic.
Ri says: “‘This Time Last Year’ was originally written about how widely things can change in love, but now seems so apt in a year that took everything we knew, and turned it upside down. Outside of our newsfeed, an ugly truth became evident. And the truth bloody well hurt. After this year, we need to be ready to ask questions, to confront and even empathise, and try to make
sense of it all. We thought we knew everything, but we didn’t.”
Rina Sawayama: This Time Last Year Lyrics: