Reni Laine
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Reni Laine


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"One-Woman Wonder"

Never heard of Reni Laine? Unless you're into NYC's downtown club scene, or one of her many MySpace fans, you're forgiven. Despite the 18-year-old's considerable musical and songwriting talents, she's still relatively unknown. But remember the name, because this girl is going places! I was lucky enough to be invited to Reni's one-woman show at New York's popular East Village hangout, Mo Pitkins. Looking more like a poised veteran on MTV's "Unplugged" than an up-and-coming songstress, Reni's voice was as beautiful as Sarah McLachlin's, and soulful like Fiona Apple's. Read on for more 411 on Reni -- and remember that College Club found her first!

So you never had any kind of formal training?
Well, when I was younger, I took two years at a piano studio to teach me how to read music. That helped me out a lot. After that, I didn't have any teaching besides when I was 11, and took a masters music course at the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia. It was scary and intimidating, but it was the most productive learning experience of my life as far as music is concerned.

You're very mature for your age. Where do you get the inspiration to write such heartfelt songs?
So many things inspire me. I was raised mostly as an only child, even though I had a sister, because she is autistic. My parents were always in therapy with her. So I basically did a lot of thinking on my own, and became very attentive to things around me. I had a lot of silence in my mind, I guess you could say. And when I'm in my own world, just thinking about something that happened& that's when I become inspired.

Is there an overarching theme to your songs?
I'd like to think my songs are about people striving for something more than just the usual. I think it's important for people to question things. A lot of my songs are about questioning what we're told, trying to be an individual, and thinking beyond what we're told -- thinking about your choices and how they're going to affect you. I'm just trying to write more than what a lot of pop music is about. My songs are about love, and going beyond.

But if you could choose one popular artist or group
I do love popular artists! I have nothing against them. My favorite right now is probably Coldplay and Keane. A lot of people come to me and say, "I think you have a pop sound." But what really matters beyond whatever your sound is, is the songwriting. A good sound combined with good songwriting is what makes a good song.

When you're not in the studio working on music, what kind of things do you like to do in your spare time?
I'm a total food junkie. I love food. I like going out with friends, and scoping out new restaurants. I'm not the best cook, but I like to cook, too. I have limited sources as far as cooking, but I want to have a nice kitchen eventually, so that I can try out new foods and share them with my friends.

So you're living in NYC right now?
Yeah, I moved out of my parents' house a month after I turned 18, and I've been in the city for about 4 or 5 months now. I just got a full-time job -- in order to pay my rent -- and am of course, doing my music. I came to NYC with not a lot of money. If my parents knew how little money I came here with, they would've never let me leave home! But you have to do what you have to do.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
My dream is to write amazing music, and make a record where every song is good -- instead of making a record where you have a couple of good songs that are manufactured hits. Hopefully people will like it! That's my dream -- that people will like my record, and connect with it. I still remember The Strokes' first CD. I love that CD -- every single track.

Being in the music scene at such a young age, you've probably learned a lot. What do you think is the most important thing you've learned so far?
You really have to have a positive attitude. If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will.

Wanna chat with Reni, and download her songs? Visit her MySpace profile at - College

"Reni Laine Profile"

My girl Alana (1) has been obsessed with Reni Laine who she always sees at parties. Mike Nouveau finally introduced me to her.

"I'm definitely going to be a household name, if not in a year, then like... six months. Why not? I'm really determined and focused on what I want. Even though I'm at a party right now and having fun, I know my goal, and I know what I have to do to get there... and I'm going to do it! Being blonde is fun, but you do have to work past all the stigmas. You have to prove yourself by honing your craft and knowing what the hell you're doing. Everyday I'm reading new poetry and studying new musicians. Right now I'm studying Elliot Smith, the New Moon record that came out a while ago. It's a lot of posthumous works that were never published before. I also like PJ Harvey (2). She's like a total grunge rock and roll chick who's very spirited and knows what she's doing and it's hot. My music is rock and roll, but I first learned piano so that brings a dreaminess to the rock, but when I get on stage it's pretty gritty. Sometimes it's tough because it's New York and you have to work 10 jobs to get there, but I love working a hard day then dancing it off at night and having fun."

1. Alana is Dimitry's girlfriend. Dimitry thows a party called High Voltage. My feminist friends tell me I should never reference a girl by her boyfriend.

2. PJ Harvey's 4 track demos record is the rawest shit I've ever heard. There's so much hiss. I guess that helps make it more art-y. -

"Reni Laine steals the show!"

At dB's studio, David Pattillo, Reni Laine and Utrect local Erny Green continue their tour of the Netherlands after two of the three (David and Reni) performed earlier this week in Amsterdam's Melkweg. When they are in the country, singer Reni Laine and producer / singer-songwriter David Pattillo regularly stay in the home of their Utrecht friend and colleague.

Upon arrival, the night's good spirit was contagious. A very pleasant atmosphere already had descended the hall of dB's. While the audience normally retreats to the bar of dB's during breaks, almost everyone in the hall stayed put for the duration of all three performances.


Last on is the 19-year-old American singer Reni Laine. During this show Pattillo also pops up again, this time as a guitarist of her band. Like Lily Allen and Tokyo Hotel, Reni Laine has become extremely popular by her music on MySpace. And that's not hard to understand; Laine has a voice that is just as beautiful as she is, and the melancholic songs are put together well.

Musically, as a singer-songwriter, Reni easily competes in the same category as the other two acts. But Laine steals the show primarily due to the performance. Where Patillo and Green - a little static - remain standing or sitting, Laine dances on the stage. Reni presents herself with infectious enthusiasm. And that gives her acting just something extra.

Reni Laine, David Patillo and Erny Green Given: Thursday, July 19, 2007, dB'sho brought her producer D.P. from the USA. - 3 voor 12

"Live in Your Livingroom Review"

....And then there was the angel Reni Laine who brought her producer D.P. from the USA. During warming up in the soundcheck, the 19 year old showed us who she was brought up with - Neil Young! He's so deeply rooted in music tradition, that two generations later his songs are played by Reni. As the last of three acts, after the blasting performance of Erny, she had to hit it hard, but there was no such tension. She was even so relaxed. And then her falcetto! While Alanis Morrisette's gets annoying after two songs, Reni moved me with hers. The ease in how she used it and the nice backing vocals of D.P. worked out great. Impressive that some one so young got this far already. She can’t even have alcohol in the USA, she jokingly complained. David responded to the point with: “but as a nineteen year old you can go to war”. But we forgave her booze jests after she sang about the over estimated American Babes on High school.

The encore was a succesful parody on rock’n roll. Blew everyone out of their minds! - 3 voor 12

"Singer Aspires to Stardom"

A typical afternoon in the life of Reni Laine starts out normally. The Lafayette High senior gets home from school around 3 and does homework for a few hours. Then she babysits until 10 to fund her favorite hobby.

But instead of heading home afterward, she drives to the music practice rooms at William & Mary and locks herself up with a piano deep into the night. The next morning she’s up by 6:30 to repeat the cycle.

Reni Laine ranks fourth in her class with a 4.2 GPA. She has a busy schedule of extracurriculars that includes the high school newspaper, Model UN and involvement in three honor societies.

However, her true passion is singing, songwriting, and performing. She’s received national awards and played at large venues like the Norva, and she travels to New York City once a month to record original music with her producer David Pattillo, who has worked with the Beastie Boys and Moby.

“In a way I feel like New York is my home even though I live here,” she said in an interview. “When I’m there, I feel free because I’m doing something I love.”

Reni Laine is graduating a semester early next month so she can focus on her music before heading to college next fall. Her top choice is New York University, but she has her fingers crossed that she’ll be heading to the Big Apple before then to sign a record deal. She’s currently negotiating a contract with manager Kevin Conners, a New York music expert who rubs elbows with starts like Lenny Kravitz, Puff Daddy, and Prince.

Reni Laine describes her music as alternatice, experimental rock that sounds like a cross between Aimee Mann, Coldplay and U2. Save for a composition class at William & Mary and a few piano lessons in her youth, the talented teen is largely self-taught. Her rich voice and thoughtful lyrics create a unique, mature sound that commands audiences at local coffee shops as well as at high-profile New York venues like the Living Room, where artists like Vanessa Carlton and Norah Jones got their start.

The singer’s parents have instilled a drive for self-sufficiency and a realistic view of the recording industry.

“My family is emotionally supportice, but they also raised me to be very independent,” said Reni. “I got a job before I could drive, and most of the money I spend on recording comes from my own pocket, although they help me out with paying for trips.”

She plans to major in English and is very interested in writing. Her lyrics often include observations about friends and family, or even world issues. In the cong “Choices,” she grapples with the sometimes overwhelming decisions confronting people in the modern world. “Easy Way In” is about a friend who tried to escape his problems through drugs and alcohol.

“Who I Am” is a playful anthem expressing her individuality. “I’m not Madonna, Britney Spears, or Marilyn Manson,” she quoted. “I’m not a freak / I’m just unique.”

How does Reni Laine balance her time-consuming talent with tough classes, extracurriculars and a social life?

“I basically don’t sleep much,” she laughed. “I have sacrificed some things, but I love what I do. For a goal like this, I can sacrifice a couple of other hobbies.”

The long days are tiring and stressful, but she’s determined to stay focused and improce her music. That means non of the drugs or unhealthy lifestyles that sometimes plague talented artistis.

Before performances she relaxes and imagines that she’s playing the music perfectly and hitting every note. “Then I go on and it’s like a blur. I hardly remember any of it. I only remember how great it feels.”
- Virginia Gazette

"Nylon GUYS Artist Feature"

Eighteen-year-old Reni Laine may be a far cry from the average frail young singer-songwriter, but she's no rocker, either. Her songs, composed and played on the piano, are tightly-woven melodies with lyrics that express youthful longing, but never lose their tough edge. Sappy sentimentality is certainly not her thing. No surprise then, that although she wasn't technically discovered on MySpace (her manager stumbled upon her music through the recommendation of a friend of a friend), her page is booming as the buzz around her builds.

Laine grew up in Pregon, a self-confessed "tomboy" with Vivaldi and Mozart-hermother's often-played favorties-as her musical backdrop. At the age of seven, she began writing her own songs during her piano lessons, Just after she graduated from high school this year (six months early, and with a 4.2 GPA), she moved to Manhattan to work with the guys she calls her "musical dads": David Poe and David Pattillo, her manager and producer, who are also fellow musicians in her side project, the Rabbit.
Since arricing int he East Village, Laine has adapted well to her new surroundings. She considers herself part of the same anti-folk scene that fostered Regina Spektor, and in November she released her debut self-titled album on idie label Flow NY. Never one to rest on her laurels, she also just started classes at Columbia University, where she plans to major in English. That is, if she doesn't become too famous to finish. One thing is for sure, though: Laine has no plans to sell out. As young as she is, she already recognizes the dangers of the music business, and knows that staying true to herself if key. "All I know," she says, grinning, "is stick to what you want. Because people will wank to take what they see out of you, and I decided a long time ago, if something's not me, then I don't want to do it." - Hellin Kay


American Baby - Flow NY (2007)
Reni Laine - Demo - Self Released (2005)



Performing in the Virgin Mobile/MTV First Ladies ad campaign on MTV, Reni Laine has already realized a dream at the age of 20. In 2007, she has been featured in Nylon Magazine, blogged on Gawker and Last Night’s Party, and toured in Europe - all while attending Columbia University.

"Looking more like a poised veteran on MTV’s ‘Unplugged’ than an up-and-coming songstress," gushes CollegeClub, "Reni’s voice was as beautiful as Sarah McLachlan’s and soulful like Fiona Apple’s." She has played large-scale venues like Amsterdam’s The Melkweg, Norfolk's The Norva as well as NYC haunts like Pianos, The Cutting Room, and The Knitting Factory.

While helping raise her sister of autism and struggling through her parents’ divorce at the age of 13, Reni found solace in her piano. Initially inspired by the romance of Debussy and Chopin, she fell in love with the rock of U2, Tori Amos, and Radiohead. Nylon writes, “Some people seem to exist just to make the rest of us look like slackers. Reni Laine is one of them. Her songs, composed and played on the piano, are tightly woven melodies with lyrics that express youthful longing, but never lose their tough edge. Sappy sentimentality is certainly not her thing.”

Her debut CD American Baby is available on her website and through the iTunes music store worldwide. In 2008, American Baby will see a release in Europe, as well as collaboration in the funky East Village hybrid The Rabbit with partner/producer David Pattillo and singer-songwriter whiz David Poe.