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Q + A With Raymondouu

Upcoming songwriter Raymondouu has today announced his brand new single Ultimate Frisbee, produced by WA-based artist Charles Heinrich. Sprawling and dark, yet vibrant and tender, Ultimate Frisbee is perched on the edge of a relationship that’s just about to end. The exciting new voice in Australian songwriting has also announced a run of shows supporting triple j faves Telenova in Perth on May 12, 13 and 14. We caught up with Raymondouu for a quick Q + A

Give us your artist elevator pitch.

The songs that come from Raymondouu are just a way for me to say things and have conversations that I would be simply too scared to have with people in real life. I just love being weirdly honest in my lyrics (which sometimes can be hard to do IRL). Writing and singing about normal everyday things in a really melancholic and dramatic way for some reason feels very comforting to me, and I want people to revel in their everyday sadness and be okay about it.

If you could collaborate with any artist alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Phoebe Bridgers. She is so important to me and her music has changed my life. There’s not another artist in the world that resonates with me as much as Phoebe does, and a goal of mine has always been wanting someone to resonate with my music as much as I resonate with hers. Her songs just strike the perfect balance between humour and sadness, comfort and apocalypse, and right and wrong.

Besides music, how do you like to spend your time?

Studying at WAAPA for music means my life is VERY dominated by music — but here are some obscure things that I appreciate:

TV shows are a really good way to escape into other worlds .
Chess! I love playing chess with my housemates (I get destroyed)
Having a cigarette after a long day of not having a cigarette.

Any live shows coming up?

The band and I are supporting Sleepy Soph for her band launch at four5nine Rosemount Hotel! Gonna be super super cool. Here is the link for tickets.

What inspired Ultimate Frisbee?

I guess the main inspiration for this track came from a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere and the realisation that I was staying in the relationship just so I didn’t have to end it. I also really resonated with the idea of singing about my favourite sport, which is ultimate frisbee, a game of cyclical and repetitive defence and offence, sort of like how I felt in the relationship.

What album did you last listen to in full — and what did you think of it?

The Record – Boygenius: This album released at the perfect time for me; it was literally released on the day I broke up with my ex-girlfriend and I’ve lowkey been blasting it ever since. I feel like there’s something in this album for me anytime and anywhere I listen to it – it has the perfect balance of incredibly emotional and melancholic ballads such as Emily I’m Sorry, Revolution 0 and We’re In Love, and empowering upbeat rock anthems in Not Strong Enough, Satanist and Anti-Curse that make me feel on top of the world. Definitely an album that inspires me to create more music and express myself in new ways.

Best song you’ve heard in the last week and why?

Andromeda – Ryan Beatty: The album that this song belongs in was recommended by my good friend Charlie, who did the production and guitar playing in Ultimate Frisbee. Ethan Gruska’s wonderfully unique production was a pleasure to listen to throughout the album, but Andromeda was a standout track for me through Beatty’s lyricism. In the song he analogises a relationship with astronomy, which is a metaphor I find quite beautiful. The juxtaposition of the chorus lyric “What stops me from spending it all? Spinning out, Andromeda, watching Jupiter come back around again” and the verse 2 lyric immediately afterwards: “If the family is happy Let ’em laugh, let ’em have their fun” is one that grounds me into the notion of “wow we really just some people in a floating rock right now… ”

Favourite Australian artist/s and why?

Three Local-ish Fremantle artists come to mind!

Jack Davies and The Bush Chooks
Stella Donnelly
And Hector Morlet

These artists are all wonderful in their own regards but something I really appreciate from each of them is that they are funny. Even when they’re singing about something sad, I know just from listening to their music and lyrics that “this person sounds like someone that I’d love to hang out with” And it’s not just the lyrics either. Having seen all three of these acts live, I can tell they really do enjoy what they are doing on stage and it is so inspiring and empowering for a smaller artist like me.

Ultimate Frisbee feels evocative of Omar Apollo, or the washy devastation of Billie Eilish’s Guitar Songs — it’s a little more introverted than listeners will be used to from Raymondouu, but the vulnerability on show here is inviting and deeply organic. Acoustic guitar and gentle, delicate synths provide a warm, perfect nest for Raymondouu’s soft vocal. All elements of this track have been arranged so intricately they feel melted together; the result is a hazy glow of a track. 

Speaking on the inspiration behind Ultimate Frisbee, Raymondouu says, The inspiration for this song came from a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere, and the realisation that I was staying in the relationship just so I didn’t have to end it. I really resonated with the idea of singing about ultimate frisbee, my favourite sport. It’s a game of cyclical and repetitive defence and offence — sort of like how I felt in the relationship.

After being named a finalist in triple j’s prestigious Unearthed High competition in 2020 with his gorgeous track taxi driver, Raymondouu has been completely dedicated to his craft. He is now studying at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), one of Australia’s best performing arts schools. 

Last year, Raymondouu released the stand-alone single Outer Space, an effortlessly cool lo-fi track inspired by an irresistible crush. As for what fans can expect from Raymondouu for the rest of 2023, he’s got a lot up his sleeve: “There will be more songs this year, and we’ve finally started playing gigs around Perth — we’re supporting Telenova on May 12, 13 and 14 for the WA leg of their tour!” 

Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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