An Interview With The Newcomer Pop Singer-Songwriter, Courtney Rau on Her New Single, “Looks 2 Good 2B Bad” and Much More!
Posted On 21 Jan 2015
Tag: After The Storm, All Access, All Access Music, Annie, Artist Interview, Barbie, Billboard, Bob Boilen, Bollywood, Carrie Underwood, Click, Come and Get IT, Courtney Rau, Grace, Hindi, Indicator Top 40 Chart, Jamie O'Neal, Joe, Joe Diffie, Joe Vulpis, Kirsti Manna, Lady Gaga, Looks 2 Good 2B Bad, Mayzie La Bird, Mediabase, Megan Conner, Michael Jackson, Miley Cyrus, MTV Mumbai, Nashville, Pop Singer-Songwriter, Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town, Selena Gomez, Seussical, Summer Country Jam, The Bitter End, Whatever It Is, Willy Wonka, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Exciting newcomer Courtney Rau is taking the music scene by storm with her single “Looks 2 Good 2B Bad,” which is currently on Billboard’s Indicator Top 40 Chart and on Mediabase’s Top 40 Chart.
With the help of noted producer, Joe Vulpis (Lady Gaga), her debut album is due out later this year. However, Courtney has already seen great success as the young age of 16. Through their collaboration, Vulpis has helped Courtney hone her style, combining country pop with street edge.
Learn more about this promising young star in the following interview:
Can you remember the first moment that you wanted to be a performer?
Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to be a performer. From the time I was 2 years old I was singing karaoke on my Barbie karaoke machine, and from the time I was 7 years old, I was performing in school musicals. I played Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Grace in Annie, and Mayzie La Bird in Seussical the Musical. I also always used to perform in talent shows and other school-wide performance events whenever I got the opportunity to.
What do you think sets you apart from other singers out there today?
Well, there are so many fabulous singers out there today that I absolutely adore, so I never mind being compared to any of them!
Let’s talk about your single, “Looks 2 Good 2B Bad,” which is currently at #37 on Billboard’s Indicator Top 40 Chart and #74 on Mediabase’s Top 40 Chart. What does all that feel like? What was the inspiration for the song?
Having my song on Billboard’s Indicator Top 40 Chart and on Mediabase’s Top 40 Chart feels so amazing. It honestly feels like a dream. Joe and I wrote this song with a friend of ours, Kirsti Manna, in Nashville a few months ago. We actually sat in a room for about 4 hours and finished within that time, it was super fun.
“Looks 2 Good 2B Bad” will be on your debut album. When can fans expect that to be out? And how will the songs be different or similar to the single?
My album, Whatever It Is, has a wide range of songs on it from “Looks 2 Good 2B Bad” to “Click.” Most of the songs are more pop country, but there are a couple of dance remixes, like “Looks 2 Good 2B Bad,” and a couple of ballads as well.
Tell me how your experience living in India and the United Kingdom has influenced your music?
Well, I grew up listening to a wide range of music. Anywhere from Hindi music from Bollywood or MTV Mumbai when I lived in India, to British pop, to the Beatles whilst living in London. Also growing up, my Dad listened to Country and my mom was the queen of the 80’s pop scene, so I would have to say that all of that has generally influenced my musical style. I remember when Selena Gomez song “Come and Get It” came out, I absolutely loved the Hindi vibe it had!!
Can you take us on a brief journey of your musical career so far? What has gotten you to this point in life? What would you say is your biggest accomplishment and what do you have your eyes set on next?
I started out in Nashville a few years ago where I first started working and writing with some great people, Jamie O’ Neal and Megan Conner, just to name a few. I met my current producer Joe Vulpis there in Nashville, and we now spend most of our time between New York, LA, and Nashville writing, recording, and performing. I recently opened for Joe Diffie right outside of Chicago in Roschelle, IL for their Summer Country Jam, which was a fantastic experience! Currently, I have my 3rd single on Billboard Hot 100, Top 40, which I’m super excited about and want to thank everyone for helping me with that!! Coming up, I have a show in NYC at The Bitter End where so many amazing people have played, from Bob Dylan to Lady Gaga. I’m so pumped for that later this month!
What are your favorite songs to perform live?
I absolutely love performing Carrie Underwood’s song “Blown Away” live because she is such an inspiration to me. She is so interesting to watch live as well because she has a way of captivating her audience. That song also actually influenced my song “After the Storm,” which is another one that is fun to perform.
Can you think of a funny or interesting thing that happened at one of your shows or in the studio?
Well one time we were in Pennsylvania at a show and my sister and I were all dressed up in our performance outfits and these old guys kept hitting on us! I don’t think they realized that I was 15 at the time and Kylie was 13! Times like that are always funny!!
Living or dead, who would you love to work with and why?
I would love to work with either Miley Cyrus or Michael Jackson. I would love to work with Michael Jackson because he was such an extraordinary dancer, musician, and performer. He took his talents to the max and not only performed, but he connected with each and every member in his audience. His songs were composed so brilliantly and the words were either catchy or inspirational because they usually had a really great meaning. I would also like to work with Miley Cyrus because despite her controversial decisions in her social life, I think she is a really passionate musician and that shows in her song lyrics. I love how carefree she is and even though the media criticizes her every move, she doesn’t let it break or affect her as an artist or as a person.
Has there been anything that surprised you about the music industry since you’ve been in it?
Yes, definitely! The industry surprises me on a daily basis. My producer Joe Vulpis always told me it can be a tough place sometimes, but that you’ve got to persevere through and he was definitely right! Even though it can be tough, I have enjoyed every moment of the journey so far.
Is there anything in particular that you’d like people to take away from listening to your music?
I want my music to be relatable to not only kids my age, but to adults and younger generations as well. I write my songs about personal experiences but try to convey them in a way that everyone can understand and hopefully relate to. Whenever an incident occurs in my life that makes an impact, whether good or bad, it usually ends up in one of my songs.
And lastly, is there anything else that you’d like new fans to know about you or your music?
I am just super excited for everyone to hear the new stuff we have been working on! My Christmas single, “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” is now on the radio as well as on iTunes so everyone should definitely check that out, and we are planning a bunch of shows around the D.C and New York area.
Details for that will be up on my website www.courtneyrau.com, my Facebook page www.facebook.com/courtneyrauofficial, and on Twitter https://twitter.com/CourtneyyRau.