Ike Rhein on Latest Release "Not For Me" and Indie Hip-Pop Brand
At only 19, Florida-based recording artist Ike Rhein is just getting started innovating the new age of pop music from the ground up. Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Rhein is no stranger to songwriting, a process that began in his own home as a child playing several instruments and singing. Less than a decade later, he’s released several major projects, including single “Break It Down,” whose remix features artist YN Jay. His latest release, “Not For Me,” features a soulful voice over a nostalgic acoustic guitar and smooth, bass-driven hip-hop beat. Rhein collaborated with producers Kontrabandz and multi-platinum, Grammy nominated Vinny DeLeon on the track, innovating his own new indie hip-pop brand.
Ike Rhein’s single, “Not For Me,” is out now on all streaming platforms. Find him on Instagram @ikerhein, Twitter @ikerhein23, and on the Ogma Magazine - Featured Artists playlist.
How did you get started making music? What first inspired you to start creating?
I actually started writing my own songs when I was 11. Throughout high school, I did a lot of vocal lessons with my then vocal coach, Lisa Spangler. After graduating high school, I wrote some songs with my producer, Ryan Emond, and from there, I just developed the love for making my own music and delivering to my fans.
Who are your musical influences? What do you listen to when you’re not writing your own music?
When I'm not listening to my own music, I'm usually listening to Justin Bieber. He is one of my big musical influences!
“Not for Me” is a bit of a departure from some of your previous work, with more of an acoustic aesthetic than “Break It Down.” What inspired that differentiation? Was the writing process any different for this track?
What inspired the more acoustic sound is that in my previous song I didn't get to show off my voice. I've got a huge vocal range and the acoustic sound is a much easier way to expose that. The writing process was very different for this song. This song was more of an emotional time writing opposed to "Break It Down" which was a happy party song.
This track is incredibly vulnerable lyrically, but the track still has an infectious groove and energy. How did you strike such a delicate balance?
In this track, we started slow to really show the deep emotion and pain, drawing the listener to think about the words. From there, we just brought the energy and beat in with the catchy chorus.
How has COVID impacted your creative process?
Though COVID hurt a lot of people, COVID really helped my creative process. It helped me have time to be able to just meditate and get in touch with my emotions. From there, my thoughts and emotions were made into song lyrics.
What advice would you give yourself ten years ago, or when you just started making music?
Don’t trust everyone in the industry. There are a lot of people in the industry that do not care about you and only care about making a buck. I’ve been burnt by some people already in my career, and I think it’s very important to know.
What can your listeners expect to see next from you?
I’ve got some awesome stuff in the works! Songs that are half 70s/80s based and half 2021 pop. Very excited to show the world all my different styles!