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Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Rainbow, I’m 29 and I am a vocalist, producer, visual artist and a teacher. I mentor in music production and song-writing.
How would you describe your style?
I like retro ‘90s Cantonese pop idols. I like boxy shapes like shoulder pads. A bit of masculine, feminine at the same time - I have kind of like a girly energy, but I like wearing boyish clothes as well.
How did you get into your industry?
When I first started out doing music, there was a lot less diversity, not only in terms of gender but also cultural diversity. I became really passionate in helping cultivate emerging artists in making sure they feel like they have a platform and the tools to do so. I felt like becoming a teacher and mentor was a really nice way to give back.
How do you feel the industry has changed over time?
I think generally society has changed, there is a lot more dialogue and conversations about equality and dismantling power and structures. I think it is a combination of general change but also people in the industry pushing for it, especially women. Social media and other online platforms have been really helpful in helping groups come together and be heard. It has its problems as well but overall it has definitely pushed things forward.
So would you primarily consider social media as one of those drivers for positive change?
I think it’s one of the more visible ones, but to be honest, it’s got to also be structural, for example a post won’t change the world. With social media, I think we’re more educated because we can share and access more information, but at the same time we feel like we need to be performing our best selves all the time. Social media isn’t the solution, you still have to do real things. You can post a picture and look happy, but if you’re not actually making a real effect on your community, it’s just a picture.
Do you feel like each new generation are getting lazier?
If anything I think the younger generations today are what gives us hope. The fact that we have climate strikes now and the younger people actually care about the environment is so positive. Collective action is very important which is why younger people are quicker to do stuff because they are more connected now.
Do you feel like you vibe off being around people who are equally as passionate as you are?
At times that I felt disappointed in standards that have been around for a while and then seeing a sort of shift in perspectives and younger voices being a lot more progressive and optimistic about things gave me a renewed sense of hope and energy that we are at an exciting time of change. I feel like in my last album I wrote, I was a lot more comfortable to write in Mandarin, Cantonese and English which is what I grew up speaking and was always a bit shy in regards to this, because it was different.
Do you feel like there are still things in your music you would like to conquer?
Definitely, I feel like I am learning all the time. I write from such a personal point of view that I am always going to be evolving. Music for me is like trying to make sense of the world around me. I feel like every project I do, I’m always trying to conquer a new question to understand a new issue or complexity that I can’t express in other ways.
Where do you think your curiosity and confidence has come from?
Rainbow is my real name and that has always been something to start a conversation with. I feel like when I first introduce myself to someone I always have to follow it up with something, so from a very young age I had trained myself to always justify and explain why my name is Rainbow. And say it with confidence.
What advice would you give to someone who is on the journey of finding themselves?
Take your time. It isn’t easy to be patient, but you just have to take your time. Real life is a process and journeys aren’t always like that. Take your time and don’t be hard on yourself.