Nov 15th, 2023, 02:00 PM

Why You Should be Listening to Reneé Rapp

By Paloma Kluger
Reneé Rapp performing in New York City
Reneé Rapp performing in New York City. Image Credit: Paloma Kluger
Her music is relatable, soothing, catchy, and tells you like it is.

Reneé Rapp rose to fame as the winner of the Jimmy Awards (a.k.a. The National High School Musical Theatre Awards), which landed her the role of Regina George in Mean Girls on Broadway. Shortly thereafter, Rapp's original music took over TikTok which greatly expanded her audience pool. Today, she plays Leighton Murray on Max's The Sex Lives of College Girls and is currently on tour for her debut album, Snow Angel. While her music is popular, it is also relatable. She discusses the ever-disappointing birthday, the pressure to please her parents and even her inability to stop talking when she really should (and let’s face it, don’t we all?). Here’s why you should be listening to the 23 year-old artist.

Listen to Everything to Everyone by Reneé Rapp:

Everything to Everyone, Rapp’s first EP, gave the world a taste of her sound. If you’ve done any TikTok surfing in the past year, you have surely come across the trending sound from her song, “In The Kitchen.” The artist repeats, “strangers, to lovers, to enemies,” a phrase almost anyone can relate to and which can apply to most relationships. Whether it is a friend, a romantic partner or even a family member, the development of going from loving someone to becoming their enemy is something everyone can apply to their own life. In addition, this single not only tells a relatable story but also allows the listener to acknowledge their own pain rather than focus on the person they have lost. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Rapp explains, "I wanted that to be the focus — it’s not the longing for the person, it’s the grief that comes with being hurt."

Another song off of Rapp’s EP, “Don’t Tell My Mom,” tells an equally relatable story. The artist sings about the pressure she feels to hide her struggles from her mother, considering the other worries she is already occupied with. Lines such as “don't worry about me, just worry about you” and “what you don't know won't hurt you, Mama, I'll lie, just for you” reveal how Rapp lies to protect her mother’s well-being. Whether or not this exact scenario applies to you, you are bound to have, at least once, told a little white lie or kept a secret from a loved one in order to prevent them from worrying about you. In an interview with People, the artist shares that upon the release of the song, "my mom's friends were hitting my mom up being like, 'Is Renée okay?'" She thus dubs her mom "a real one for letting me do it." If that wasn't convincing enough, Rapp also sings about crying in the shower. What’s more relatable than that?

Listen to Snow Angel by Reneé Rapp:

Snow Angel, Rapp’s debut album which was released last August, speaks on equally evocative and relatable topics. “Talk Too Much,” a featured single, discusses the artist’s internal turmoil and overthinking, which is something pretty much everyone understands. She reveals: “I actually have no idea what I'm sayin'” and “I'm takin' everything I see as a sign.” Rapp even goes as far as to ask the ever-anxiety-inducing question: “Are you mad at me?”. Everyone has been in this situation where overthinking takes over. In short, we all talk too much.

The last song off Rapp’s debut album perfectly encompasses the worst expectation-to-outcome-ratio day: your birthday. “23” recounts the night before the artist’s birthday when she contemplates such a strange societal norm as celebrating one’s aging. While the night before your birthday is said to be an exciting time, most people find themselves alone, realizing they might not be as far along as they wanted to be in their respective journeys. Similar to feelings surrounding the new year, Rapp explains that she still struggles with the same issues she thought she would be passed by now. She sings, “But tomorrow I turn twenty-three, And it feels like everyone hates me, So how old do you have to be, To live so young and careless, My wish is that I cared less, At twenty-three.” In one year, a lot can change, but a lot can stay the same. The 23-year-old thus ponders this odd passage of time in juxtaposition with a stagnant moment in her life. In addition, in an interview with Zane Lowe, Rapp adds that "it's weird just because I feel uncomfortable with the like praise that comes around birthdays." Speaking about spending time with her loved ones, she explains, "I feel like [they] have to be with me because [they] know it's my birthday and I feel like this is a requirement." Who else has felt odd celebrating their existence?

Reneé Rapp will be performing at L'Olympia on 13 February 2024 as part of her Snow Hard Feelings Tour. Start listening and get your tickets!