Q: What made you decided to change your musical course when it came time for you to start writing and recording for your new self-titled album?
Ratinoff – I just wanted to try something different. I had been working with a lot of different musical fusions before this album, a lot of EDM/Latin/Dancehall type songs, and suddenly I felt the urge to do something different and remove the safety net, and jump, and it has been a great rebirth. There is even a song I wrote called ‘’I’ll love you forever’’ that I wrote when I was 16 years old. I recorded the voice when I was about 30, and it felt like I had written it the day before. Almost like opening a pandora box of feelings I had in the past that had not come out yet. It has opened a whole new door for me creatively. I am much more experimental now.
Q: Your songs have a retro 80s inspired feel to them, what inspired that?
Ratinoff – In a funny way I always tried to have my songs sound more ‘’modern’’ per say. And shying away from the 80s type, so I do not feel like I am trying to emulate something that has already been done. But with this album, I have realized that the more I try to deviate, the more it connects me to it. Even though, I grew up in the 90s era, I was always very connected to the whole 80s feel of songs. Mainly because of movies from that era. Songs that inspired me I think in a more subconscious way, were songs like ‘’The Promise’’ from When in Rome, ‘’Under the Milky Way tonight’’ by the Church. ‘’Butterfly on a wheel’’ by the Mission UK.
Q: For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words?
Ratinoff – Fun, simple, joyful, nostalgic, worldly.
Q: Do you have a life motto and if so, what is it?
Ratinoff – I don’t really have any life mottos per say, but I do try to live my life with an open mind. I love how life can surprise you if you let it. I am always down for trying new things. Especially when it comes to music. I always have a vision of what my songs are going to sound like and ten out of ten times, when I am working in the studio, my songs always sound completely different than what I expected. My music aspiration at the end of the day, are to bring some sort of joy to the world.
Q: What is your favorite song from your new album to sing in the car?
Ratinoff – That is a great Question… I don’t think I am ever jamming to any of my songs in the car but I think my favorite song from the album is ‘’Faith’’ because of what it represents…I wrote it in one of the worst and darkest moments of my life. In a way I feel like the song saved my life. It was written and recorded in the same day at one of my producer’s Aldo Muñoz studio, Wes Sharon did the final production on it, when I heard the final mix, it was like all that negativity that I felt was shattered. Thanks Wes!
Q: At what age did you start singing and performing. Can you share your backstory?
Ratinoff – I was around 5 years old. I came up with a song called ‘’Banana Shake,’’ to this day, my whole family still remembers it. Since a young age, I was always drawn to coming up with melodies. The first song I wrote when I was learning to play guitar was called “Poor Boy.” I joined the church choir the following year and was in two musicals as a teenager, “Fiddler on the Roof’’ and ‘’Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’’.
Q: If you could perform with anyone, dead or alive, who would it have to be?
Ratinoff – If I could perform with anyone alive, it would have to be with my Hero Peter Hook (Peter Hook and the Light, Joy Division, New Order) I have seen him live about 5 times, and he is always phenomenal. I cannot even begin to express how much of a fan I am of his music.
Q: If you had a soundtrack to your life what song/songs would have to be on it?
Ratinoff – ‘’Gonna Fly Now’’ from Rocky: Original Motion Picture Score by Bill Conti
Q: What are your fondest musical memories? In your house?
Ratinoff – My fondest musical memories in the house is my mother playing guitar and singing my sister and I to sleep. Songs like ‘’Green Fields’’, and ‘’Llorona’’. My mother taught me my first guitar chords, and she bought me my first guitar as well. I would have never picked up a guitar if it were not for her.