Rimon’s masterclass in Grace

The rising singer talks all things music and pleasure.

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Jacket Ninamounah, earrings Ninamounah x Zoë Nina

Swirling, glittery and channelling Soul Train, Rimon is a ray of sunshine bursting from the Amsterdam music scene. Having fled Eritrea with her mother as a toddler, the young artist has a depth of both character and music that belies her tender years. Following her recently released debut single and accompanying video, Rimon emphasizes the continuing importance of grace in the modern world: a form of “feminine energy” that effervesces from every line and should be grasped with both hands.

But it’s not all swirling flowers and glitter. Believing that it’s truly down to the individual to create their own reality, Rimon has forged her own success, dropping out of school at 17 to travel and create music in collaboration with producer Samuel Kareem. It’s a partnership that continues to thrive, giving Rimon the “space and time to create without any pressure […] without any boundaries”.  Emphasizing how important it is for young black girls to have “strong ladies to look up to”—think: Nina Simone and Erykah Badu—Rimon is steadily becoming a positive representation of outspoken, strong and creative women herself.

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You always ensure there is an encouraging message to your songs. Is this balance of pleasure with undertones of struggle an important part of your music?

In most of my songs it is, actually. It’s not even pleasure to be honest. It’s me writing down my issues and stuff I’m dealing with, convincing myself in the lyrics that I’ll be fine. Sometimes my songs are just a dialogue with myself, like a therapy session telling myself that I’m going to heal and grow from any situation I’m facing.

And how would you define pleasure?

Pleasure in my eyes consists of things you really enjoy and that give you this happy, tingling feeling inside. Whether it’s walking in nature with the sun out and some good music, or having an orgasm… I can’t really describe pleasure to be honest, it’s something you just feel.

Grace was a stunning first single and accompanying video. What is your take on grace and how important is it to retain in the modern world?

Grace is a form of elegance and femininity. In this current modern world, masculine energy is dominating. Everything in our current society is primarily based on logic and organization. I associate ‘grace’ with female energy. I think it’s important to be aware of our feminine energy and approach certain situations in this world with a more gentle and emotion-driven perspective. I, myself, have issues with this matter. I grew up using my logic instead of my emotions but I’m slowly learning to get in touch with my ”graceful” and ”feminine” side.

As a young artist emerging in Amsterdam, how is the support network for a singer-songwriter such as yourself?

I have mixed feelings about this. I feel like I am really lucky to have surrounded myself with real and genuine people. They believed in me from the beginning and really pushed me to this point. Now that I have released my debut, I’ve been getting tons of support, even from people that didn’t really fuck with me like that. You have to be careful and don’t fall for the people who ”support” you but aren’t genuine, you know. But I don’t think that’s an ”Amsterdam thing”, it’s something that is happening all over the world.

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What advice would you give to a fellow young female artist trying to break through?

You create your own reality. So if you keep convincing yourself and visualising your breakthrough, it will happen as long as you keep working hard. It might take a while or it might happen overnight, but never stop believing in yourself and vision. Be yourself, and be certain of your art. Take pride in it and don’t be naive in the industry. Don’t sign a deal just like that, and surround yourself with people that have the best interest for you.

How fundamental are your roots and beginning to the signature sound and content of your songs?

It hasn’t been that influential at this very moment. My trip to my fatherland, Ethiopia, has been influential since I wrote some songs there inspired by the environment. But it didn’t really influence my sound. I do want to add some typical Eritrean/Ethiopian aspects into certain songs in the future, to pay homage to where I’m from.

What first inspired you to drop out of school and propel your music career into the force it is today?

I was smart, but the subject matters just didn’t interest me at all. I had other things on my mind. I wanted to travel, meet my father and get to know myself better. So I dropped out of school in 2015, travelled, and later that year I started making music. Just for fun. Slowly I was realising how much I enjoyed the whole process. In this period I also read this book that convinced me to pursue music. I never stopped since then.

To what extent did your collaboration with Samuel Kareem shape you as a musician and performer?

Samuel is really diverse. He could flip this really groovy soul beat and then make this crazy trap beat within just a few hours. That kinda influenced me to make all sorts of music; if I’d dig a beat, I would just jump on it. But other than that, he always gave me the space and time to just create without any pressure. It was always just fun with tons of good vibes. He’d always just let me do my thing without any boundaries. I really appreciate that.

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You have spoken about your admiration of the confidence and depth of Nina Simone, Maya Angelou and Erykah Badu, to name a few. How important is it for a young female artist to have such strong idols to look up to and follow?

I don’t think you have to necessarily follow them, but I do think it’s important—especially for young black girls—to have these strong ladies to look up to. These women have spoken about a lot of issues regarding to race, feminism and other important matters. They are a positive representation of outspoken, strong and creative (black) females. Something that you don’t always see in day-to-day media. So it is important, especially for me, to look up to these women because they inspired me and my goals in life in their own way.

If you were to have one song play every time you walk into a room what would it be and why?

Roy Ayers, Everybody Loves The Sunshine. It’s one of my favourite songs; it really just sets this certain tone, I feel like everybody’s mood gets affected in a positive way when listening to this song.

Follow Rimon on Instagram and Spotify

 

Words by Louise Goodger

Photography by Michelle Helena Janssen & Ade Udoma

 

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