Rina Sawayama talks living in a materialistic world in latest track ‘XS’

On the heels of her video for ‘Comme Des Garçons (Like The Boys)’, Rina Sawayama is sharing a new song from her upcoming debut album SAWAYAMA due April 17th.

‘XS’ written by Rina, Nate Company and Chris Lyons premiered as ‘Hottest Record in The World’ on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show and further cements her status as one of pop’s brightest stars.


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Produced by Kyle Shearer, Rina and her long-time friend and collaborator Clarence Clarity the song’s infectious early 2000’s soundscapes beam against gritty car revs, fuzzy guitar riffs, and Rina’s smooth vocals.

‘XS’ confronts a darker issue about a materialistic world facing the horrors of global warming.

Speaking on the inspiration behind the song, Rina says: “‘XS’ is a song that mocks capitalism in a sinking world.

“Given that we all know global climate change is accelerating and human extinction is a very real possibility within our lifetime it seemed hilarious to me that brands were still coming out with new makeup palettes every month and public figures were doing a gigantic house tour of their gated property in Calabasas in the same week as doing a ‘sad about Australian wild fires’ Instagram post.

“I mean I’m guilty of turning a blind eye too, because otherwise it makes me depressed. We’re all hypocrites because we are all capitalists, and it’s a trap that I don’t see us getting out of.

“I wanted to reflect the chaos of this post-truth climate change denying world in the metal guitar stabs that flare up like an underlying zit between the 2000s R&B beat that reminds you of a time when everything was alright.”

Rina’s debut album SAWAYAMA is an intimate look into Rina’s world. The album encompasses her most personal music yet sharing, “The album ultimately is about family and identity.

“It’s about understanding yourself in the context of two opposing cultures (for me British and Japanese), what ‘belonging’ means when home is an evolving concept, figuring out where you sit comfortably within and awkwardly outside of stereotypes, and ultimately trying to be ok with just being you, warts and all.”

Born in Japan, Rina and her family emigrated to the UK when she was five years old.

During her teenage years, she discovered her love of music and academics, the latter leading to a place at Cambridge University where she also began to notice the cultural differences and ostracization amongst different races.

These experiences allowed Rina to carve out her own identity, entwining her culture with her western life, evolving into an artist who defines her own unique style of pop.

Rina will be touring the US and UK this April/May in support of her debut album. Tour dates and tickets available here.

Written by QWEERIST editor

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