Raina Sokolov-Gonzalez is a singer/composer based in Brooklyn, New York. Born into a family of musicians, music was Raina’s first language and it runs deep within her veins. Rooted in Jazz and R&B, the songwriter invites us into her unique sonic world with harmonic nuance and lyrical poetry.
Raina’s cross-genre style is built from the bottom up. With improvisation as a starting point for her songs, Raina draws on her emotionality and leans into her perception of the world around, uncovering hidden depths within daily life and articulating personal truth with vulnerability and bravery. Songwriting is her way of processing and understanding life in all its complexity.
Off of her latest album, If They’re Mine, is the slow-burning single “40 Days” – a subtly complex story about a struggle to let go. It’s hard to let go and it’s especially hard to let go of people who have hurt you, as backwards as that may seem. At the core of “40 Days” is the desire to let go, to be soft, to live in expansive harmony, and the accompanying choir embodies that desire. Community, shared truth and recognition help set us free.
The music video reflects the feeling and themes of the song’s narrative – interiority, repetition, longing. The artist shares, “Quickly this idea of inside/outside came into focus and I started to imagine the perfect space to contain this vision. I reached out to my friends at the Suminski Innski in Tivoli, New York. The Inn is so beautiful and unique, it has real character.” Directed by Sofia Geld, the video beautifully articulates these themes in both a visceral and poetic way. Raina continues, “Along with DP Alice Plati, Movement Director Lisa Fagan, and Creative Consultant Sylver Wallace, we started to imagine how to move from tightness to space, from darkness to light, from inside to out.”
The song strives to let go, the video calls us out into the light and the air and the trees. With interiority – mind, home – as both container and confines, this video explores the push/pull of the internal struggle to let go, to find space, and to break out of holding patterns. Playing with repetitions of hands and touch, the video brings us into an intimate sensorial place. As the video develops, some of that introspection moves outward as we finally see the three bodies together. We are reminded that though we can feel so alone in our personal experiences of loss, that these are shared struggles, as private as they may be. Raina shares, “Dancers Jen Payan and Holly Sass brought so much passion to the video. Watching them work on set was so moving – it allowed me to hear the song as if for the first time as I watched their interpretations. Lisa Fagan’s curiosity and playfulness as a choreographer allowed us to see conventional spaces in a new way, opening up possibilities.”
With over 600k streams on Spotify and a budding global audience, RSG has packed rooms at prestigious venues such as Brooklyn Bowl, SOB’s, Mercury Lounge, and many others. With her first Europe tour set for February 2022, this soulful singer has great things on the horizon.