Raleigh Ritchie Confronts Difficult Questions in 'Me, Myself and I': Premiere


Raleigh Ritchie has all the time been enamored by exploration. Born Jacob Anderson, he wished to be an astronaut as a child. As an grownup and artist, the 28-year-old is exploring his inner panorama fairly than outer house.

Premiering  Billboard in the present day (Nov. eight) is the most recent instance, “Me, Myself And I” -- the second single off of Ritchie’s upcoming sophomore album anticipated early 2019. The beat, produced by frequent Kendrick Lamar collaborator and Grammy Award winner Sounwave, envelops you inside Ritchie’s thoughts. The tempo of the track is considerably manic, however the lyricism is measured. Ritchie is as a lot weak poet as the rest.

“Mole hills into larger hills, larger and larger nonetheless/ Can’t preserve swallowing bitter drugs/ Me and myself, my, me, myself and I/ Conditioned in my thoughts, couldn’t cease it if I attempted,” he sings within the first verse into the refrain. Ritchie has been writing issues like this down, in a technique or one other, since he was that child obsessive about far-off locations. He wrote day by day in what might be described as a diary as a result of he didn’t really feel he had anyone in his life to speak about his demons with.

“I actually hope my music might be comforting to folks which might be struggling. Initially, I make it as a result of it’s comforting to me," he tells Billboard.

Listen to “Me, Myself And I” for the primary time under, and take a look at his full dialog with Billboard after the leap.

“Me, Myself And I” is the second single off your upcoming sophomore album. Lead single “Time In a Tree” talks about looking for peace, and this track feels just like the antagonist to that, the place it appears as for those who’re admitting to the chaos inside your mind and virtually coming to phrases with it without end being there. If that's the case, did you try this on objective?

There’s part of me that’s, like, I’m trolling myself a bit bit. I believe it’s virtually an acknowledgment how generally...self-obsessed feels just like the flawed phrase. It’s identical to, you may get actually misplaced in your self to the purpose the place you’re now not connecting otherwise you’re now not in contact with folks that you just care about. The track is type of about that, actually -- about being so misplaced in how complicated and confounding life might be generally that you just type of simply obsess over these items, and also you lose contact with the place different individuals are at in your life.

I generally discover that I can really feel like I’m not totally linked to how different folks -- the burden that my woes and struggles with myself provides to different folks, I suppose. And so this track, for me, is an acknowledgment. There’s a line within the track that’s like, “You let me bask in myself, and that’s the factor that I like about you,” which is type of oxymoronic. Like, the truth that you let me vent is one thing that I like about you, nevertheless it’s about me. You know? This track is an expression of indulging in these emotions -- difficulties that I've inside myself and the way that takes a toll on different folks.

The complete track, and your blunt lyricism on the subject of feelings everywhere in the spectrum, resonates. One line specifically on this track is, “I don’t know why you even attempt preserving me round.” Does that come from a spot of -- I don’t know if it’s self-indulgent, such as you simply stated, or self-resentment? I do know, for me, after I get feeling like that, it’s like, I want I didn’t have to hang around with myself on a regular basis -- I want I might get away from myself -- so why would anyone else willingly be round me?

Yeah, that. One hundred %. It’s like generally it actually confounds me. I don’t understand how I've any associates. I dunno how I've a relationship. The method that I behave generally. The method that I really feel about myself. I don’t know why anyone would need to spend any time with me. It’s like a self-loathing voice that comes into your head.

Is all of this why you selected an astronaut as each the quilt artwork for each of those singles, your tour promotion, and presumably the metaphor for this new cycle?

Yeah. For me, the astronaut factor is like -- for one, after I was a child I actually wished to be an astronaut, however I couldn’t. I liked the thought of exploration. I liked the thought of going to locations I’ve by no means dreamed that I might see and studying one thing from that. I really feel like in a few of my grownup years, I’ve began to do this. In a really completely different method, in a method I might have by no means guessed after I was a child. I’m beginning to form of actually have to take a look at myself otherwise and actually discover why I really feel the best way I really feel generally. It’s not simple, and quite a lot of time I do type of really feel like I’m in house and simply floating in house. Not linked to the bottom, simply form of floating round. That type of simply felt like a very applicable picture to me -- this astronaut floating in unknown house, unknown territory, looking for their method residence.

You name your self egocentric within the refrain of this track. In what methods are you perhaps positively egocentric, to attempt to address no matter you’re going via, or assist your self?

I believe really my ideas on this variation relying on the place my head’s at. There are instances the place I really feel like, “Oh, nicely, I’m being egocentric,” in an unhealthy [sense of the word]. Like, you might be discovering issues tough ultimately and also you form of like put that every one on any person you already know you possibly can reliably discuss to. But really, I’m beginning to notice that when any person actually loves you otherwise you actually love any person else, and actually care about the place they’re at of their head and the way they really feel, essentially the most egocentric factor is to not allow them to in. You permit them to fret about you -- permitting any person that cares about you to be involved with out letting them in, with out letting them know, is egocentric.

I believe quite a lot of psychological sickness is inherently egocentric. That would possibly come throughout as saying the particular person is egocentric, however that’s not what I’m speaking about. I’m speaking about these emotions you possibly can’t assist -- it’s not the particular person being egocentric; it’s sickness taking up. You get caught in your head, and also you don’t have house for something however that.

The sickness and the feelings and every little thing that comes with it pollute your thoughts and make you egocentric, nevertheless it’s not you. It’s the sickness polluting you.

Yeah. And this track could be very particularly about my relationship. My girlfriend has put up with a lot, and he or she wouldn’t consider it as “placing up with” in the identical method that I haven’t felt since I met her that I’ve needed to ever put up with something. But when you find yourself so near any person, you share house and also you share your days collectively -- I assume it could actually type of relate to household and friendships, too -- you possibly can generally take without any consideration their power that they put into you. It’s bizarre as a result of I’ve considered stuff for the reason that track. This track is winking at it.

I’m not saying every little thing I say on this track is definitely a very wholesome strategy to suppose, however I've been serious about it. Since releasing the track, my ideas have modified on some issues. I believe it’s actually vital to speak to folks. Talk to individuals who love you for those who can -- it’s not egocentric. It doesn’t cease you from feeling that method generally, which I can utterly perceive. I’ve closed off and been actually quiet and ended up going into myself.

You’re very front-facing on the subject of psychological well being. This time final yr, we spoke about your biking throughout the Sahara Desert for Campaign Against Living Miserably. Is making music your method of contributing to psychological well being consciousness and, greater than that, remedy for your self?

I hope so. For me, it positively does. For me, it positively serves that objective. It’s essentially the most comforting factor on the earth. That is my outlet. That’s how I'm able to discuss the place my head goes generally is in writing music. It has been since I used to be a child. I actually hope it could actually try this for different folks. I really feel like with the album and positively in the intervening time, I do really feel like there’s this accountability that musicians have to speak responsibly and healthily about these items. I hope that “Me, Myself And I” doesn’t encourage any person pondering it’s not OK to really feel egocentric generally.

It’s not OK to take a seat in these emotions generally. It’s actually tough, and it’s one thing that quite a lot of the time -- I do know from private expertise -- is absolutely advanced. You’re feeling all of these items. They’re actual in your thoughts, they usually’re type of involuntary. I definitely really feel like after I’m in a very dangerous place, it’s not as a result of I’ve chosen to be in a foul place. I don’t know if that basically solutions your query, nevertheless it’s actually vital to me.

What attribute of yours do you suppose could be buried beneath all of these involuntary emotions and issues that you just battle with, if not for being an artist like you might be?

Where would I put that power? That’s a very good query. It’s a tough query to reply as a result of after I was a child, I used to simply write in my train books. I used to put in writing in notebooks and stuff. They weren’t songs. I actually simply wrote as a result of I didn’t really feel after I was rising up that I had anyone to speak to about these items.

I used to be simply writing them down for myself, after which after I felt higher I might look again at them and be like, “Oh, I really feel higher in the present day than I did final week!” Really only a diary. I’m undecided how precisely that may present itself in one other profession path. I’m certain there are many careers. I believe, and I'd say for anyone else, it’s simply discovering someplace, discovering one thing, the place you possibly can categorical your self truthfully -- doesn’t need to be a job, could possibly be a passion, no matter. You need to categorical in essentially the most trustworthy method that you may with out disgrace. That’s the perform music has for me. So, I hope that no matter job I used to be doing if I wasn’t doing the roles I do I'd not less than make house to have that outlet. Whether it’s a passion or one thing I receives a commission for.

You’re a self-proclaimed “unhappy boi,” however you’re additionally a multidimensional human being. I used to be watching This Is Us the opposite evening, and one character stated to a different, “The pleasure in you is as a lot part of you because the unhappiness.” Feels applicable right here. What would you say is your pleasure?

[Laughs] I dunno for those who’re asking me that on the proper time! I’m making an attempt to determine that out for myself. I like spending time with my girlfriend. Spending time along with her brings me pleasure. My canine. My canine is simply the best little wonderful creature that I simply discover fascinating. The loopy factor about canines is as a result of they’re not human it’s like all they're is emotion and response. [Larry, his schnauzer] doesn’t have that block on him. Even although he can’t communicate, he doesn’t have that human block the place you second-guess your self, query your self, and in a bizarre method I discover that inspiring. It’s wonderful to simply reply in the best way that is available in your head. It’s all so easy.

I might ask you 10 extra questions, however that is my final query. When it involves touring, being somebody who's so emotionally clever and feels issues wholly and admittedly lives inside your individual head, what's your expertise performing these bits of your soul reside for folks?

It actually varies as a result of, such as you say, I’m not likely good at pretending in quite a lot of methods. I simply write what I really feel. When I do reside reveals, the one method for me to sing these songs is to form of work out what that track means to me on that day, in that hour, on stage. It’s virtually like it's important to relive it, however generally these songs tackle a brand new which means for me, weirdly. Sometimes I sing “Stronger Than Ever,” and it might imply one thing utterly completely different in Bristol than what it means in New York. It’s a very bizarre factor that I discover tough to explain. I re-experience these songs on stage, after which it permits me to not get caught up in efficiency. It’s identical to what’s the vibe within the room [and] what’s the day been like.

Raleigh Ritchie U.S. & Canada Dates

Dec. four -- San Francisco @ The Independent

Dec. 5 -- Los Angeles @ El Rey Theatre

Dec. 7 -- Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room

Dec. 9 -- Toronto @ Mod Clu

Dec. 11 -- Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg