#SupportLocalArtists: Meet Rayana Speede


  1. At what age did you start to write? (whether its poems are songs)

I started writing poems at 10 years old and although I’ve always freestyled songs I only started writing music 2 years ago.

  1. Since you write both, poems and songs, when you start writing how do you know if  you are writing a song or a poem? Do you know what you are writing in advance or you know later on?

There is no telling. I just start writing and some of the poems become songs. Overtime I started created floems where hooks I made,but did not want to form a song from I’ll write poem verses. An  example of my writing process is my song “Love’s Aftertaste” it was a freestyle that worked on the first go however the bridge was originally a poem while the musicians were playing the chords I flipped through my writing and started to sing each until I found a fit.

  1. What makes you want to share your art with the world?

Art changes culture and in a society where hope seems to be dwindling my poems and music could be a place of solace, clarity, refuge and hope. And it is hope that I aim to share with many people. I grew up in a musical family, where everyone can sing, rap and recalling memories of family gatherings where we would all just freestyle made me want to recreate that feeling of freedom and joy with more people.

  1. Did someone in particular inspire you to write?

I regularly give thanks to Maya Angelou, but mainly because through her I seen that as a black woman there is space and likely acceptance for me if I were to share my work. However my fear of confrontation made me write it has been something that allows me to use my voice and speak up for others.

  1. Would you say that being a black woman influences your art?

I would say the experiences that come with being a human influence my work and circumstances relevant to my culture and how i’m perceived in a western society has added to how I express myself and view the world. For poetry I have pieces that are pro-black, pro-women and talk about my culture. But universal experiences such as love and connection influence my work as well.

  1. What would you say is your biggest accomplishment so far regarding your music?

My accomplishments are measured by the connection I’m able to make with the crowd and how they connect with each other so for me my biggest accomplishment for music has been seeing people dance while I perform, getting to witness them genuinely having a good time. The best are moments after shows where people come to me with thanks, sometimes tears of joy and feeling understood. And shoutout to Lou Piensa and Butta Beats from Nomadic Massive who I got to do an art residency with at UpNext studio for the the W.O.R.D. project. They were the ones behind my debut EP  ‘Love’s Aftertaste’.

  1. If you had one advice to give to the black girls/women of Montreal (and of the whole province) what would it be?

Sometimes as children of parents that migrated here we feel art isn’t a good enough profession to thank them for their sacrifice, but I assure you your happiness and success means the world to them and it should also mean the world to you as well. Don’t let anything get in the way of your vision “where there is a will there is a way” this journey definitely shows you what you are made of and how bad you want it. Keep shining the world needs you.

Rayana youtube channel

Soundcloud: Ray of Sunshine

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