EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Caroline Renezeder

Featured Photo Credit: MK Sadler

R&B/Pop artist Caroline Renezeder recently released her latest single “Common Theme.” The track is a soulful look into Renezeder’s tendency to be too trusting in relationships, released under Illuminate Creative Group; her own indie record/production label. 

ECHO chatted with Renezeder about “Common Theme,” being an entrepreneur, learning guitar during quarantine, and what fans can look forward to next. 

Where did the inspiration come from for your new single “Common Theme”?

My new single “Common Theme” is essentially about me being a hopeless romantic. I tend to be a bit too trusting when it comes to love and 9 times out of 10, it has gotten me in trouble. Avoiding red flags and giving the wrong boys the benefit of the doubt has been a recurring theme in my life. In order to hammer the concept into my brain that I shouldn’t be doing that, I thought perhaps I’d write a song about it. So alas, here is my vibey, alternative message to myself that If I truly want to attain the sort of love I so desire, I need to break the common theme of my love life and stop going for guys that are all wrong for me.

What did the writing process look like for “Common Theme”?

“Common Theme” was a collaboration between myself and my good friend Reef. We have a really seamless way of working together. We typically discuss the sort of vibe we’re looking for, listen through samples or create chord progressions on guitar, piano, a midi keyboard, etc. Then we both get to work. Pretty simultaneously, Reef starts building the track and I start writing lyrics and melodies. It all comes together really fast. “Common Theme” was a little different because I actually played it for my little brother, Augie and he immediately had some really great ideas. Not only with lyrical directors but the beat. He has a fantastic ear, that’s actually him you hear beatboxing on the track. 

You created the song with Reef Boii, Andrew Schwartz, and your brother Augie. What is it like to collaborate with your sibling? 

Ah it was so sweet. I’ve always known my brother is extremely gifted when it comes to identifying good songs, hearing parts, etc. I mean the boy has perfect pitch. But he’s only 18 and has been incredibly busy with school and playing a very high level of waterpolo. So actually having the chance to work on something together and merge our talents was amazing. Hopefully we can do it a lot more. 

The song begins with birds chirping. Why did you decide to start the song off that way? 

Hmmm. To be completely honest with you I’m not really sure. I think I had the idea when Reef sent me a track he made that utilized some nature sound samples. The next time we worked together I was like “I want to start the song like that.” And eventually we just started adding more and more. I remember being in the studio with Andrew and being like, “let’s youtube butterfly wing flapping sounds!” lol, he thought I was insane. But anyway, I’ve always been super connected to nature. Growing up in California, I’ve spent loads of time at the beach, in the mountains and just outdoors. So when creating and wanting to be inspired, I typically go outside. I wrote some of the lyrics while sitting out by the beach and could hear waves crashing and birds chirping so I thought- might as well put that into the song.

If you could set fans up in the perfect environment to listen to “Common Theme,” what do you imagine it looking like? 

Anywhere outside where you feel calm. Whether that be outside on a walk, laying on a beach, hiking in the woods, wherever. Especially right now, taking time to get out of your head can be so healing and I believe being in nature can help that process along. I just hope that my song can be a part of that rejuvenating and calming process. 

You are the founder of Illuminate Creative Group an indie record label and production company. What was it like to launch that and what projects can people look forward to? 

Having my own business has always been a dream of mine. As much as I identify as a musical artist, I think there is a creative arc to the business as well that I love. You can expect to hear a lot more projects of my own, perhaps some of other artists being pushed out through the label, and hopefully some presence in the live event and music scene post lockdown. The opportunities are endless and that’s why having this company to operate under excites me so much. 

You have picked up guitar over Quarantine. What has it been like to learn how to play and have you tried writing with the guitar yet?

OMG soooo fun. I learned how to play the piano at a very young age, so naturally playing guitar and not having it come as second nature would really frustrate me. Quarantine, however, gave me that extra time and patience I needed. To be honest, I think I’ve picked it up pretty quickly. It’s given me an entirely new medium to write songs and has opened up my writing in ways I didn’t know it could. 

It is clear from your instagram that you love traveling. What is your favorite place that you have been to? 

That’s a tough question and to be honest I couldn’t choose. I just love travel and exploration in general. Everywhere I’ve traveled has such unique and incredible parts to it.  From living in Paris and to spending a good amount of time in Fiji, Peru and Australia, I’ve seen how learning and emerging myself in different cultures has truly shaped my identity and belief systems.  

What can fans look forward to next? 

Definitely more music. However, I don’t put a leash on my creativity or business. I can see it growing a lot into the space of live events, touring, etc. 

What is one quote that you have heard or that you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world? 

Glennon Doyle is my favorite author of all time. I don’t know what it is but somehow she can summarize and articulate so many of the thoughts constantly running through my mind. She recently said something regarding being a sensitive and empathetic person that resonated with me so deeply. Instead of looking at sensitivity as something weak, it should be celebrated. Here is her quote about reframing empathetic behavior as a superpower, “Someone once asked me why I cry all the time and I told them it’s the same reason why I laugh all the time, it’s because I’m paying attention.” 

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