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

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

Premiering  Billboard immediately (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 music is considerably manic, however the lyricism is measured. Ritchie is as a lot susceptible poet as the rest.

“Mole hills into greater hills, greater and greater nonetheless/ Can’t maintain swallowing bitter tablets/ 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 daily in what could 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 could be comforting to individuals 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 beneath, 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 searching for peace, and this music feels just like the antagonist to that, the place it appears as if you happen to’re admitting to the chaos inside your mind and virtually coming to phrases with it eternally 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 slightly bit. I believe it’s virtually an acknowledgment how generally...self-obsessed feels just like the incorrect phrase. It’s identical to, you may get actually misplaced in your self to the purpose the place you’re not connecting otherwise you’re not in contact with individuals that you simply care about. The music is form of about that, actually -- about being so misplaced in how complicated and confounding life could be generally that you simply form 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 fully linked to how different individuals -- the burden that my woes and struggles with myself provides to different individuals, I suppose. And so this music, for me, is an acknowledgment. There’s a line within the music that’s like, “You let me bask in myself, and that’s the factor that I like about you,” which is form of oxymoronic. Like, the truth that you let me vent is one thing that I like about you, but it surely’s about me. You know? This music is an expression of indulging in these emotions -- difficulties that I've inside myself and the way that takes a toll on different individuals.

The entire music, and your blunt lyricism relating to feelings all around the spectrum, resonates. One line specifically on this music is, “I don’t know why you even attempt retaining me round.” Does that come from a spot of -- I don’t know if it’s self-indulgent, such as you simply mentioned, or self-resentment? I do know, for me, once 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 p.c. It’s like generally it actually confounds me. I don’t understand how I've any buddies. I dunno how I've a relationship. The manner that I behave generally. The manner that I really feel about myself. I don’t know why anyone would wish 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, once I was a child I actually needed to be an astronaut, however I couldn’t. I cherished the thought of exploration. I cherished 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 manner, in a manner I might have by no means guessed once I was a child. I’m beginning to form of actually have to have a look at myself in another way and actually discover why I really feel the best way I really feel generally. It’s not simple, and loads of time I do form of really feel like I’m in house and simply floating in house. Not linked to the bottom, simply form of floating round. That form of simply felt like a extremely applicable picture to me -- this astronaut floating in unknown house, unknown territory, looking for their manner house.

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

I believe truly my ideas on this transformation relying on the place my head’s at. There are occasions the place I really feel like, “Oh, effectively, I’m being egocentric,” in an unhealthy sense of the phrase]. Like, you're discovering issues troublesome in a roundabout way and also you form of like put that every one on any person you'll be able to reliably speak to. But truly, I’m beginning to understand 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 enable 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 loads 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'll be able to’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, but it surely’s not you. It’s the sickness polluting you.

Yeah. And this music could be very particularly about my relationship. My girlfriend has put up with a lot, and she or he wouldn’t consider it as “placing up with” in the identical manner that I haven’t felt since I met her that I’ve needed to ever put up with something. But if you find yourself so near any person, you share house and also you share your days collectively -- I suppose it could form of relate to household and friendships, too -- you'll be able to generally take as a right their vitality that they put into you. It’s bizarre as a result of I’ve considered stuff because the music. This music is winking at it.

I’m not saying every little thing I say on this music is definitely a very wholesome approach to assume, however I've been fascinated about it. Since releasing the music, my ideas have modified on some issues. I believe it’s actually vital to speak to individuals. Talk to individuals who love you if you happen to can -- it’s not egocentric. It doesn’t cease you from feeling that manner generally, which I can fully perceive. I’ve closed off and been actually quiet and ended up going into myself.

You’re very front-facing relating to psychological well being. This time final 12 months, we spoke about your biking throughout the Sahara Desert for Campaign Against Living Miserably. Is making music your manner of contributing to psychological well being consciousness and, greater than that, remedy for your self?

I hope so. For me, it undoubtedly does. For me, it undoubtedly serves that objective. It’s essentially the most comforting factor on the planet. 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 try this for different individuals. I really feel like with the album and definitely in the mean time, I do really feel like there’s this duty 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 troublesome, and it’s one thing that loads of the time -- I do know from private expertise -- is admittedly complicated. You’re feeling all of these items. They’re actual in your thoughts, they usually’re form of involuntary. I actually really feel like once I’m in a extremely dangerous place, it’s not as a result of I’ve chosen to be in a foul place. I don’t know if that actually solutions your query, but it surely’s actually vital to me.

What attribute of yours do you assume can be buried beneath all of these involuntary emotions and issues that you simply wrestle with, if not for being an artist like you're?

Where would I put that vitality? That’s a extremely good query. It’s a troublesome query to reply as a result of once 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 once 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 once I felt higher I might look again at them and be like, “Oh, I really feel higher immediately than I did final week!” Really only a diary. I’m unsure how precisely that will 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'll be able to categorical your self actually -- doesn’t need to be a job, could possibly be a pastime, no matter. You wish to categorical in essentially the most sincere manner which you can with out disgrace. That’s the operate 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 at the very least make house to have that outlet. Whether it’s a pastime 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 mentioned 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 if you happen to’re asking me that on the proper time! I’m attempting 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 canine 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 converse, he doesn’t have that human block the place you second-guess your self, query your self, and in a bizarre manner 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 stay for individuals?

It actually varies as a result of, such as you say, I’m probably not good at pretending in loads of methods. I simply write what I really feel. When I do stay reveals, the one manner for me to sing these songs is to form of work out what that music means to me on that day, in that hour, on stage. It’s virtually like it's a must to relive it, however generally these songs tackle a brand new that means for me, weirdly. Sometimes I sing “Stronger Than Ever,” and it might imply one thing fully completely different in Bristol than what it means in New York. It’s a extremely bizarre factor that I discover troublesome 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