The hip-hop daydreams of Reverie are quickly becoming a reality. The 23-year-old underground rapper born and raised in Highland Park has been making moves, pushing her music out to wider audiences. Most recently, she returned from her first overseas tour in Europe with stops in Germany, Switzerland, France, and Portugal all along the way. The svelte rhymer displays a notable ability to spit lyrics with a sense of youthful defiance while turning around on the very next track with pensive self-reflection. Reverie's hip-hop skill set is expanding on every mixtape released with The Transition being her most recent effort. (And as the rapper says, don't steal her music, download it for free!) Whether it's onstage at Paid Dues, rhyming bars on episodes of the Cypher Effect, or rocking a local show, hip-hop heads are definitely taking notice of her music.
The Weekly caught up with Reverie ahead of her next scheduled performance Saturday at House of Blues Anaheim where she'll be opening up for Murs.
OC Weekly (Gabriel San Román): How did growing up in Highland Park help mold you as a rapper?
Reverie: Everyone listens to hip-hop in Highland Park. All my friends that I grew up with listen to it. My dad listens to it. LA has always been a center for hip-hop so not listening to it at all growing up was kind of impossible. When I first started doing shows, I was so scared. I'd be so nervous. I was just awful at it. Now I feel confident when I'm on stage.
More often than not, you're rhyming over beats produced by Louden. How has that collaborative relationship shaped your music?
It's dope. I've been working with Louden for four years now. He's actually my little brother. He's my real brother, not pretend! We started making music when we moved to Seattle. We were born and raised here in LA, but we moved to Seattle when we were in our late teens. Me and my brother were getting into a lot of trouble. We just didn't have any friends up in Seattle. There was nothing to do. My dad bought us an Mbox, which is like a little machine used to record music. We started fucking around, recording songs because we didn't have anything to do. That's how we started. It's cool working with my brother. The energy is really good, we share the same story but he's also really talented. He literally shaped a lot of my music, the way it sounds and the way people feel it.
What type of message were you looking to put out with your last mixtape? What does “The Transition” mean musically?
When I make my projects, I really don't have a theme that I want to get across. I usually just gather up a bunch of dope songs that I've been working on. I tie them in together and arrange them to make them flow. Whatever the songs really make me feel as a whole, that's how I decide the theme. The past projects I released, I named the albums after how I felt at the moment. Sitting Upside Down was an album I did when I was just thinking from a different perspective. I released Half Full after that. It was just a really happy time in my life. I'm always depressed, so I wanted to name the album after that time so I can remember how I felt. Now with The Transition, I feel like I'm transitioning into the next stage of the audience that I'm reaching. The music was really evolving. Everything about me and my music is changing.
What was the whole experience like touring overseas in Europe for the first time?
It's was dope! It was amazing! There's a booking agent that I'm working with. Basically I got in contact with her and I sent her my music. I felt I had a lot of people from Europe requesting that I go over there and do shows. I had people hitting me up asking, “When are you coming to Poland, Ireland, Italy,” you know? She looked into my music a little bit more. She told me she was already was eying it before I hit her up. We were sending emails and texts for six months and we finally did it. The time finally came. It went really well. The promoters were expecting 50-60 people at each show, but we had 100 plus people at every single show. We sold out a couple shows. The turnout was amazing and the audiences were all so dope. It was just really cool. It was a great experience.
As you're opening for Murs this weekend, how has the veteran underground rapper been an influence on you?
I've always been a fan of Murs. He was the first underground rapper I've ever heard in my life. When I was in junior high, that's when I discovered underground hip-hop. I saw Murs on this LA channel that used to be on TV. It hit me like, “oh damn, I never thought about the fact that people that are not on the radio rap too!” It never crossed my mind. After that, I wanted to try rapping. I started writing raps around that age. It's so dope to be working with Murs. I met him at a show and we've just been really cool for a few years now. I'm under his new label. Me and Louden are going to release an album for it at Paid Dues this upcoming year. It's going to be all original sounds. Louden's not going to use any samples. We're going to have some dope features like Murs, Eligh, and Self Provoked. I'm really excited about that. It's going to be dope!
Reverie performs with Kosha Dillz and Murs at House of Blues Anaheim, 1530 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim. (714) 778-2583; www.houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/anaheim. Sat., 8 p.m. $20-22.50. All Ages.
Gabriel San Román is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and the tallest Mexican in OC. He also once stood falsely accused of writing articles on Turkish politics in exchange for free food from DönerG’s!