Interview: Etta Bond & Raf Riley
Following their vibrant performance at Reading Festival, The Wrap Up’s Maz Khan and Shireen Fenner met up with music's Oddest Children, Etta Bond and Raf Riley. We spoke to the duo about their latest EP ‘Meds’, receiving free trainers and weird tweets, and being commitment-free and single…
The Wrap Up: You’ve released two EPs together, ‘Emergency Room’ and ‘Meds’. Both are very different – what inspired the sound on ‘Meds’?
Raf Riley: We wanted to switch it up, add a bit of dance and take it back a little bit. It’s a bit retro.
Etta Bond: It just sort of happened that way.
TWU: You’re part of Labrinth’s ‘Odd Child’ label – how much personal involvement does Lab have in your music?
Etta: None whatsoever! We only see him in the form of a hologram. [We laugh] That’s true. It’s true!
Raf: He sends us vibes. And we get free trainers and s**t. That inspires us as well.
Etta: Yeah, it’s cool, you get free things! Thanks Lab! [Laughs]
Raf: Thanks everyone!
TWU: How does being in the music industry and working so closely together as a duo affect your personal lives?
Etta: It doesn’t, it means I require less from a lover, so I don’t really need one. Love’s not on the cards. That’s a song with Devlin that you can buy now, if you wanted to know that. I’m just being an idiot, anyway go on!
Raf: It’s easier [laughs]. I don’t have a girlfriend.
TWU: Will you release a debut LP together or will you do separate albums?
Raf: See, talking of commitment, I don’t want to commit!
Etta: I don’t know. It would be nice. It would be a nice idea, wouldn’t it? Either way we’ll have involvement in each other’s work. Forever. Until we’re old and grey.
TWU: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
Etta: I usually don’t answer this question but I just thought of the answer the other day, so I’ll give it to you – Eminem.
Raf: Is it?
Etta: Yeah, I think he’s a legend and the song would be sick.
Raf: For me, it would be Donald Fagen, from Steely Dan. Before he pops his clogs.
TWU: What’s the weirdest tweet you’ve ever seen in your mentions?
Etta: When Etta James died, rest in peace, somebody was like ‘aww, I really liked Etta Bond’ and I was like ‘no, I’m still here! Still alive and very much breathing!’
TWU: Anything else?
Etta: People asking me to follow them all the time. It’s cool because I just ignore them, but I feel sorry for them. I just wish they knew that I don’t do that sort of thing; it’s annoying. You should never ask anyone – it’s like asking someone to like you. It’s like a little kid at school paying someone to be their friend.
TWU: Your fans love you though!
Etta: Of course, and I get it. I love them - they know that! I’ve got a good connection with my fans. A better connection than I have with most people that I see face to face. Just don’t ask me to follow you. [Laughs]
TWU: What inspires your dress sense and ever-changing hair colour, Etta?
Etta: I’ve been working with my hairdresser Sean Nolan for years, and this time he wanted to make me look like a Fruit Salad sweet. We did that and then the artwork for the EP [‘Meds’] ended up a similar colour! But I like to change it up, I get bored.
TWU: Are you enjoying the festival?
Etta: Well, the weather is great! [It’s pouring with rain at this time.]
Raf: The rider was sick. We got a big bottle of Jager, a bottle of vodka, bare beers, worcestershire sauce, crisps.
TWU: So are you a bit waved right now guys?
Etta: I’m good now! If I had an interview before I went on stage… I don’t know how it would work. I don’t drink or anything before I go on stage, just afterwards. But as soon as I come off stage I’m on a natural high anyway, so I can relax a bit more. It’s good vibes right now.
Words: Maz Khan (@MazHalima)