By Frank Bell
U.S. Songwriter Reyn Hartley has been quietly building a reputation for his fearsome, dark-pop sensibilities and it’s never been more evident than on the new single Bow. Created in a sonic world that’s entirely unique, it’s a dark fusion of electronic, pop and rap that’s completely individual.
Finding fame after a viral hit with his first track Snitch, the buzzing artist returns with a track that chronicles a toxic relationship with the daughter of one of the most notorious drug dealers in the U.S, an experience Reyn has first hand knowledge of.
We caught up with Reyn for some Quickfire Questions.
What would you say is the most common theme to all of your songs?
In the first four songs…Snitch, Italy, Energy, and now Bow…they act as a prequel of sorts into this album. There’s an aggressive theme of vengeance because of what i’m going through and have gone through personally, and then there’s a wider theme of empowerment because the songs kind of send it into your blood to stand up for yourself. I’ve learned that a lot of my fans seem to come from similar backgrounds as me. I think the music pulls you into a space of being like damn, I’m more than my circumstances, I’m more than what’s happened in my life, so I’m going to fight for myself and change those circumstances.
What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
There are 2 that come to mind quickly. The first is when I wrote Bow. I was just sitting in my room thinking I don’t know what type of music this is but I’m obsessed with it. I texted my producer Dan and was like “I have the next one for the album. I don’t know what to call this in terms of genre. But I have it.” That’s the best high you can get as an artist and writer. I’m really competitive with myself so I’m always wanting to just connect even harder on my record and I knew I’d done that.
The second moment is becoming a successful musician during a pandemic. It’s the strangest experience and, while not always ideal, it’s just highlighted the power of technology for me. It’s given me more awareness of where we are. Most of my memorable moments have been seen and felt through a screen. In terms of a “moment,” I think about when my little cousin texted me that Snitch was all over TikTok. I was asleep and she texted me the link to Addison Rae’s tiktok and while I thought it was really cool, I didn’t think it would lead to now. It’s just kept going viral for almost a year straight on different platforms.
What dreams or ambitions do you want to achieve at some point?
I want to tour the world and spend a year straight just playing shows.
And finally, where do you see yourself in five years time?
I hope I’m happy. I hope I’m reaching my best as an artist. I hope the world is recovering from the damage that’s being done right now. I hope I’m touring and getting to actually meet all of the people that listen to my records.
Photo by Matt Young