By Trevor Morelli
CALGARY – Anyone who made it out to the Calgary Folk Music Festival last summer probably noticed Toronto, Ontario neo-soul outfit Rhye, who mesmerized the audience with their seductive R&B grooves and sensual vocals. As the brainchild of electronic musician Milosh, Rhye had previously been somewhat of an enigma since the release of their Polaris-prize nominated debut LP Woman (2013, Last Gang) but that’s no longer the case.
“My intention off the top wasn’t to be mysterious, I just didn’t really want people to judge the project based on like who I was or what I look like,” Milosh explains.
“I think I was really interested in the way I used to discover music, which was I hear the music first, I didn’t know anything about the band, there wasn’t the internet, you know, with the stuff that I was interested in as a child.”
Rhye’s set provided the perfect soundtrack for the warm twilight glow, contrasting sexy mid-tempo jams against the setting sun on what turned out to be a lovely July evening.
“The Calgary Folk Fest was interesting. What I loved about it was it didn’t have a super, super party vibe, where you go to Coachella and it’s like super, super party. The temperature of the music that was being played around us was kind of in line with what we were doing as well.”
As for official releases, Rhye’s latest venture is Blood Remixed, a fresh batch of remixed tracks from the group’s sophomore record Blood, which came out to critical acclaim back in February.
“I think the purpose, definitely from a music strategy standpoint on remixes, is that you’re broadening your audience by having artists that you think are really cool within their genre that want to work on your music work on something that kind of puts you in a new place that, I don’t know, maybe you wouldn’t occupy normally.”
Blood Remixed features new versions of several Blood tracks by established artists such as RY X, Little Dragon, Washed Out, and more. Milosh says his favorite cut on the record is the new version of “Sinful” remixed by local producer Illangelo.
“His music and what he does is so different in a lot of ways but he understands vocalists in a really special way. I was pretty excited so see where he’d go with it, you know? Just to see his take on a song of mine that could ultimately be put into a totally different world.”
Bringing the record to the masses can be a bit of a challenge, considering Milosh says he doesn’t want to tour the remixes as he considers them to be other artists’ music. Instead, he’s again letting the songs speak for themselves.
“The whole idea of marketing has changed dramatically in the last like 3 years, or 2 years even. For us I think it’s just about okay, instead of coming up with like a strategy per se, it’s just more like let’s just put it out and then let the audiences that exist in the specific genres that every song is in hopefully hear it.”
He continues: “I just want to make sure that everything that we do put out kind of fits into the world that we’re creating, the sonic universe, but also like the esthetic universe”
Part of continuing that esthetic universe for Rhye is always evolving and creating new music. 2019 will be a busy year for Milosh, and aside from a few Down Under shows, he’s putting touring on hold until next summer to focus on finishing the new stuff.
“What I’m trying to do is have enough time to write the EP and work on the long form record that I’m going to release that I’m trying to hold up touring a little bit until next summer, because the last couple years has been very heavy touring.”
Expect more big things from Rhye in early 2019, as Milosh is hoping to drop a new EP in January or February. Until then, check out Blood Remixed, available now on Last Gang Records.Blood, Rhye