Diving into old-Hollywood ambience, Filipino-Canadian artist Rein is about to release his latest EP, Encounters, on Sept. 30.
Like many artists who set aside their hobbies and passions for everyday “priorities,” Rein decided to spend some time off from video production as a Creative Communications student and went back to making music during the COVID-19 pandemic. He was eager to come up with songs that are in sync with his former high school vocal jazz sing-alongs, in the hopes of bringing chill vibes and refurnishing the classic genre.
“The main difference is that this (EP) has a whole genre of music that people never heard me do before, other than my high-school friends,” Rein says. “Looking back at it now, I had never incorporated jazz or a classic sound to any of my songs, so I wanted to incorporate more of that in it.”
Notably, the inspiration behind the acoustic-led tracks were classic films. Rein’s “all-time favourites” include The Wizard of Oz, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Disney films like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.
“The sound that they have is not something that you really hear in most songs today, so I thought it would be cool if (this sound) could be brought back within our generation,” he says.
Aside from the classic-sounding tunes, Encounters is driven by the theme of love in its different shapes and forms. Whether it’s a relationship destined to be doomed at first glance or a genuine friendship bond, the songs reflect the importance of connection during troubling times.
“Love is what got me through tough times, whether that is romantically or with my friends. With the pandemic and everything going on right now, people need to find a sense of love to carry on with their life,” Rein says.
Regarding the writing process, Rein unveiled a couple of the stories behind tracks such as “Red String” and “Blue Skies.” The first verse of “Red String,” for example, was built on a card that his significant other gave him.
“‘Blue Skies’ was just a reflection of me and my friend. I wrote it in the perspective that she leaves on a flight tomorrow, and I’m like ‘blue skies show up, I want to be with this person before they leave,’” he says.
After the EP’s anticipated release, the singer-songwriter is working on a new project for the end of the year. This time, he’s covering traditional holiday tunes and creating his own Christmas song that could potentially feature a full choir to ignite the festivities.
Encounters features four new tracks and an arrangement of “So This is Love” from the ’50s animation of Cinderella. Links to all of Rein’s work can be found at beacons.ai/reinqc.
Published in Volume 76, Number 3 of The Uniter (September 23, 2021)