You know when you meet certain people and they're so eye-wateringly talented that you just conclude that they have to be like, really socially awkward or a total nutter or something and then they usually are. Well, our next girl, Rina Sawayama; singer, anti-agency model, Cambridge graduate and Tumblr princess is about to burst your big fat cynic-bubble. Why? Because Riri is just about the most charming individual you'll ever meet. BFF to photographer Petra Collins' muse and and babe du-jour Arvida Byström, Rina's world is a baby pink infusion of faux fur; screen-shots of Whatsapp convos, glittery cat-eye sunglasses and sandy boobs.
The Cambridge politics graduate (we know, we know) was born in Niigata, Japan and lived there until the age of five. She's now a member of South London (hold tight) and when she's not busy walking for Nasir Mazhar or filling up the glossy ol' pages of i-D and Pop magazine, the babe is mostly squirrelling away in the studio making the shimmeriest of shimmery noughties pop music. Rina's love affair with music, like all great genii of our time, sprang from a love affair with Arvil Lavigne. After seeing Avril on TV, aged 12, Rina begged her dad for a guitar. Needless to say, he caved (can you imagine how cute she was…) and she began teaching herself chords. It was then that a teenage Rina began actually sourcing music herself and spending all of her pocket money on CDs and at age sixteen, sneaking into random gigs. Attending a Japanese school in London meant Rina was still tapped into the J-pop music scene, which she credits for her formulaic song writing and kawaii sound, but she was imbibing other sounds too. She was so passionately attached to Justin Timberlake by that age, that she'd bunk off school and camp out outside holes he was staying in. Later, she tunnelled that energy into attending a performing arts school where, thankfully, that kind of behaviour was encouraged.
When the video for her sleepy single, Tunnel Vision, that's all about not being able to put your iPhone down, dropped early this year it was quite clear that Rina had arrived. Her SoundCloud has over 480,000 plays and Zane Lowe wants in. Her next single, Where U Are, is being released in first week of December with a badass video directed with Ali Kurr to boot, and it's all about that Catch 22 we all find ourselves in every Friday night- sit at home on your iPhone and lament how shit your life is, or, leave the house IRL and go show 'em what you're made of (we're typing this from bed, FYI). She's also releasing a concept EP early next year called Alone Together, which hangs on similar themes lamenting our strange and wonderful 21st century life online. Go follow our girl, now.