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Eritrean-born and Amsterdam-raised RIMON is set to release new music, following a relocation to London and a few lockdowns in between. Debuting in 2018 to critical acclaim with “Grace,” the RnB artist known for her creative visuals, has created a conceptual album exploring our relationship with technology. “My previous songs have been about love, but I got to a point where I wanted to share the conversations I’m having with friends in my living room”, she explains, on a telephone call to discuss ‘Digital Tears’, the project in question.

Six songs with six distinctively relatable themes ranging from feeling misplaced to fake news — the tracklist includes titles such as ‘Feed Me’, ‘iClout’ and ‘20/20’— a love letter to earth. In ‘Mountain Views’, a song about the “constant pressure of being relevant”, RIMON touches on the ever-complex subject of ‘cancel culture’. An exquisite and exciting talent, we asked RIMON one question relating to each song.

Meet the editorial team:

PhotographerAnnie Reid
Fashion Editor: Rhys Marcus Jay
Fashion Assistant: Jake Marcelo
Makeup Artist: India Rawlings
InterviewSonia Akther

The opening track to your album is entitled, “Been Around the Globe”— where do you feel most at home?

Holland really grew on me over the past year, it grew on me during the pandemic. I’ve always been a wanderer and never felt attached to one place or city I could call my home. I would say ‘home’ is family and friends and wherever they are. But recently, I have found myself connecting with Amsterdam as a place that I really call home—which is mad how it just happened last year. But also, in Ethiopia and Eritrea, when I walk the streets there, that’s when I feel on a spiritual level that I am home. I have many homes. In Amsterdam, you can get around in 10 minutes. I love the down to earth energy and vibe the people from Holland have, I really connect with that vibe. Here in London, it’s very cool and different, and the energy in New York is even higher.

Your second song is called “FEED ME.” What does your daily feed/ Instagram Explore Page look like?

Let me go to my Instagram. Ok, a lot of it is photography and jewellery pieces…or nails. The things I save are for future reference, so whenever I feel inspired by a picture or a fashion piece, anything that sparks something in me, I’ll save it—so my algorithm is fully based on aesthetics. There is a lot of furniture as well, and sick photography.

 What is “iCLout” about?

The way I intentioned ‘iClout’ is the way I maybe see it in my sister, where your screen time is 8-10 hours a day and you are constantly feeding yourself with the information you see on your phone—and a lot of it is fabricated—the images are fabricated, bodies have been fabricated. There are unrealistic body types, unrealistic lifestyles, just lots of unrealistic stuff, and I feel like it has so much influence on a younger generation. My sisters are 12 and 14 and the oldest sometimes has an unrealistic view of what life is supposed to be because she gets fed these images and Tik-Toks.

What I’ve noticed is that people are trying to keep up with a lifestyle they think they should be living or be promoting on social media. I feel like it has an insane influence on us, and that’s very sad. I’ve never thought of myself as someone caught up in it, but in the pandemic, when I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands, I clocked myself thinking in that way too and had to say to myself, “Oh, no, no, no, no!”

In the song when I say, “When you wonder why the rhythms ain’t right”, what I mean is the algorithms. A lot of people, especially creatives, are really struggling with the Instagram algorithm, trying to get their followers to see their work, and I thought, ‘wow, we really are so dependent on this app for help.’

“Digitial Tears” talks about miscommunication on social media and its effect on a relationship. With so many ways for us to communicate, what is your most favoured

I am a very bad texter. I have never been good at texting for some reason, but I always tell people to FaceTime me, I will always pick up as long I am not in a meeting or something. I feel it’s way more personal. Whereas with a text, I don’t see your face, I don’t know how you meant to say something —I just love Facetiming. All my friends, we never, ever call, we Facetime. Especially now that I am in London, it’s the best way to stay connected with them.

The description of your song “Mountain Views” touches on ‘cancel culture’ – what do these words mean to you, or make you feel?

I’ve had so many conversations about this recently, so I have so many thoughts going around in my head on this topic right now. What I think of ‘cancel culture’ is that I am all with accountability, I would rather go to a place of ‘accountability culture’, holding people accountable for what they say and what they do.

With regards to the remarks made by DaBaby recently, that was completely wrong, just to keep that event separate as an idea. You need to be aware and educate yourself.

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But I do believe in redemption, I believe in learning. I am a completely different person now, mentally, than I was when I was 16, I am growing every day and I make mistakes every day. I think some of that is the purpose of life. I have Twitter and I see a lot of things on there, and when I wrote this song, it felt to me that people sometimes say things just for the sake of it, just for the sake of jumping on a bandwagon, to cancel someone without any substantial information, or just because their friends have retweeted it. I think everyone must do research for themselves because there is a lot of misinformation out there. The internet is like the wild west.

What inspired you to write a love letter to earth in “20/20”?

I wanted to write a love letter to earth because I feel like earth is the most selfless thing, she is the most selfless, and that’s crazy. I was having this conversation about being selfless, I consider myself to be selfless, but the one thing that continues to give and give and give, is earth, and we take it for granted every single day. The whole process of analysing social media behaviours, and phone calls, the ending point of that entire rollercoaster of ideas was me coming back to earth, and realising that bliss, happiness and beauty is literally all around us, when we take a moment to look and feel. Basically, I just had full-on research of my own emotions with this EP and I ended up at ‘20/20’, seeing things clearly and seeing things for that they are without being distracted by a phone.

Hat: Stylists’ Own Dress: Le Merj. Boots: BB Smith Bag: WED Studio

How would you describe your concept album “Digital Tears”?

This is not a protest, I am not saying “F*** the internet,” or “Don’t spend time on your phone,” because I love the internet, I meet people through the internet, I share my music through the internet, and I have gained many of my fans through the internet. If it wasn’t for the internet, I probably wouldn’t be doing what I am doing right now, so I do love it. I want us to come to a place as a society where we are more aware and have these conversations. The school system is so outdated that they don’t have a way to teach children to navigate on the internet: things like ethics and the dangers, like a full-on class, just like learning French or Mathematics. And the internet has been around for how long? We need to start teaching ourselves and each other how to navigate and be more sensitive on there.

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