Introducing: Raina Henderson, Rebel Without A Pause

Raina Henderson

At just 17 years old Raina Henderson exudes a confidence of someone twice her age. As an instrumentalist that produces, writes and performs her own music her main goal is simple, to capture a new sound and genre that has never been discovered before. Her musical inspirations are Miles Davis and Kanye West, but Raina is also a human rights activists striving to use her music to dispel social issues and minimize the male domination within the music Industry.

The New York native currently attends Horace Mann High School and can be found cooking things up at the famed Quad Studios. She has already co-directed her first video,”For The Moment” and is preparing to release her self-produced EP later this year, but you can get familiar now.

WatchLOUD: What is it about Miles Davis that inspires you?
Raina:I’ve always been inspired by Miles Davis’ yearn to be innovative and actively pursue new sounds and concepts through music. He strove to find a way in which he could imitate vocalization through musical instruments.
What are your thoughts on the #BlackLivesMatter movement and activism on social media?

While I think that activism on social media is extremely important as it helps to globalize and shed more light on issues that may otherwise go unheard, too many people believe that a simple status means that they are making a change. Activism is a lifestyle. It should be present on and off line. Social media is a constant broadcast of what is happening currently. This is a problem when it comes to activism because this means that as soon as another important, or even not so important story breaks the previous important case is easily forgotten by far too many and their social media voices become silent on important topics. Too many people show support online solely to “go with the times” and follow others who are actively speaking on social issues online.

How is this reflected in your music, if at all?

I believe that drill music is oppression. I am not an artist who will ever allow an oppressive force to capitalize off of my exploitation, which consists of my portraying myself in a negative light by conforming to the negative stereotypes of a young black american through my music (being overly sexually charged, selling drugs, killing one another). The majority of my album consists of politically charged content. As a black female american, these issues have definitely shaped the way in which I see the world in general. With this being said, it is very easy to hear the way in which I’ve been influenced through my music.

What are your ultimate goals for your music?

My ultimate goal in music is to create a new innovative genre and sound that has never been heard before. I also hope to use my music as a platform for political and social reform.

What is your favorite thing to do besides music?
Besides music my favorite thing to do is stay updated on the world around me. It is important to take it upon yourself to inform yourself on the world. Unfortunately you will never truly be informed if you rely on other sources and don’t do your research. I am very passionate about Black rights as well as feminism and LGBTQIAP+ rights. Besides music my favorite thing to do is think of ways in which I can use my activism to help these oppressed communities.
Follow Raina on Twitter @TheRapHeadOTM
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