• Sophie Smith

Cilla Raie releases addictive new R&B track ‘Longtime’


Cilla Raie releases Long Time
Image via Cilla Raie

Rising start Cilla Raie is blessing us with her newest track "Longtime', having been in the music industry since the age of 14 you can expect to be blown away. Not only a talented musician, she also has a degree and masters in PR and music business management, showing us girls really can have it all.


You began recording music at 14, what was it that initially drew you to music?


I was so young when I professionally started in the music industry. What drew me to music was the fact that I genuinely enjoyed writing, singing and recording music. I was so determined to make it that I would literally take part in anything that I could from talent shows, live shows, acting, vocal classes you name it. Just to get my foot in the door but also to develop my craft.



Cilla Raie releases new single Long Time
Image via Cilla Raie

You’ve been very lucky at the start of your career working with names who have worked with the likes of Stormzy, Mabel, Craig David, Skepta. How did this come about? What did you learn from those experiences?


I was very fortunate enough to know the right people, and I was surrounded by family members and friends, who were actively pursuing music at the time and who also knew others. Most importantly I took the initiative to build my own relationships in the industry, and being discovered online also led me to producers who I worked with I.e DaVinche. All the producers/writers I worked with back then have gone on to have amazing careers and have worked with some super established acts. So I’m just proud to say I worked with them too. Overall I just learnt that you have to stay consistent because back then not many people knew who they were but they went on to succeed because they never gave up! So never give up and stay consistent is key.



Your main genre is R&B but with this track has a hint of drill. Was this intentional or a happy accident? Can we expect some more drill inspired tracks in the future?


This was actually an accident, I tend not to start projects being too specific because the end result might not be what I initially had set out for it to be. Instead I just like to hear the music from the producers and just flow with it. Funnily enough most of the songs on the up and coming project actually follows that same style with a sprinkle of drill/grime influences on it. It just all divinely flowed together.



Your newest track Longtime is so silky, what was the inspiration behind it?


I first heard the beat for Longtime late 2020 when my producer XVR Blck was playing it in the studio with the guitarist who is on the production called Jemil Major. But they just had the guitar loop on, I was literally taken back because it reminded me so much of the early 2000 R&B days when you would hear a lot of guitar riffs on songs. Those Aaliyah, Brandy and Tamia type songs but with a twist of modern day drill patterns, I just knew I had to get on it. I also wanted to capture that nostalgic feel of the song through the writing, it’s all about reminiscing and missing someone that you’ve been thinking about. And ironically that's how I feel about the song itself and the state of R&B in general LOL!




Cilla Raie releases new single Long Time. Cilla is pictured on a swing.
Image via Cilla Raie

You have a masters in Music Business Management, how has that helped to form your music career?



Oh yes this has helped me tremendously, including the fact that I have a PR BA Hons degree. I’m an independent artist with no major label involvement, so wearing different hats and understanding the business from this point of view is super crucial for me. I was able to take what I learnt and apply it to my own career, knowing what to look out for and create solid plans for my releases.





What would you say is your greatest strength as an artist?


My greatest strength as an artist is my ability to formulate a plan and execute it the way I see best for my career. The fact that I have so much knowledge about the industry, allows me to create opportunities for myself that most people are always curious about how I got them in the first place. It’s about being business savvy but also differentiating that from your creative side, and not letting yourself burn out. I just feel like I have an advantage because of my knowledge.


How was your recording experience?


My recording experience is always great! I tend to keep things simple so I can freely be as creative as I want. I tend to songwrite at night when my son’s asleep and then go in to record and bounce off my producer's ideas in the studio. I usually carve out large amounts of time to stay creative like I will spend a couple of months ONLY recording and nothing else so I can 1000% focus on that only.


What keeps you in the music industry?


What keeps me in the industry is the support I get, when you build a real fan base with supporters who genuinely support you as an artist but are rooting for you as a human being! That right there is amazing. Honestly the people who support my music, keep me going when it gets hard.




Cilla Raie releases Long Time
Image via Cilla Raie

How would you like to see the music industry change for women and gender minorities?


I would like to see more spaces specifically for women. I know that we have The F List which I am the ambassador for. Girls I Rate for the younger generation, Cactus City of course, Mama’s in Music. We even have podcasts dedicated to mothers who are balancing careers such as Badass Mums, which is a great listen for those who are mothers and who want inspiration and hear stories from other mums who are really doing their thing. I just want more recognition for these platforms that are doing amazing work and more inclusion for women in spaces that are often male dominated.


What female artists/ bands are you digging at the moment?


I have so many favorites Victoria Monet who I have been STANING for the longest. Shenseea, H.E.R, Mary J Blige I have been listening to a lot with her new album and because she’s on Power. UK girls I have been loving. Tamera, Mira Mayy. So many artists.


What was the first album you ever bought?


The first album I ever bought was one of Aaliyah’s early albums. She is still to this day one of my inspirations, her legacy will forever live on.


Who do you want to work with next?


These days I have my eyes set on producers who I would want to work with. I pray and manifest that I can work with Babyface, Darkchild and Timbaland one day. it’s a stretch but I would feel so complete career wise. Artists wise, Shenseea, I can relate so much with her being an artist and a single mum, making it out of poverty and building a name for herself. I would love to work with her.


You’re all about self love, confidence and reassurance. What advice would you give to women entering the music industry?


I would advise to always make sure you keep a schedule and have some days, simply just to live your life. It’s so easy to do this 24/7 and put your all into it, but if there’s anything I learned is that you have to live your own life too so you don’t burn out, and you can feel refreshed and have things to talk about. Lastly stay consistent, it’s easy putting out a record and having a hit or a song that does well, but the hardest part is honestly staying consistent and following up each time! So stay consistent but give yourself time to live and experience.


Cilla Raie releases Long Time
Cilla Raie Long Time

Stream Longtime here: