In a world of cookie-cutter pop stars and soundalike singers, SIMPLY RAYNE is a rare talent carving out her own lane. The self-described “Afrotina” from San Antonio, Texas blends the polish of contemporary pop and the maturity of classic R&B into a unique and youthful style that is truly her own.
From an early age, the artist born Reiana Fernandez knew she wanted to be an entertainer. Initially she wanted to become an actress and a model, but after becoming enamored with Beyoncé, she convinced her mother to sign her up for vocal lessons too.
A brush with Queen Bey herself, on the iconic singer’s Mrs. Carter World Tour, marked her transition from Reiana to Simply Rayne.
“I was waiting in line outside of The Toyota Center in Houston and these girls started singing. I joined them and a videographer filming for Beyoncé nearby captured themoment,” Rayne recalls.
“Those quick video clips of us singing were featured in the trailer video for the tour and just the idea that Beyoncé may have seen and approved the footage was all the motivation I needed.”
For Simply Rayne, music and community have always gone hand in hand. As a youth ambassador for the City Of San Antonio, she also became active in DreamSA, a youth empowerment program that raises awareness about bullying and teen pregnancy. She was also recruited to join Teen Nation, a national school assembly tour “We’d travel to cities like North Carolina, Atlanta and Austin and perform at two middle schools a day,” Rayne says. “We’d perform and speak about anti-bullying, chasing your dreams and making good decisions. Performing with Teen Nation is how I started adding more followers on social media.” When not on tour, she performed at festivals and cultural events around San Antonio as part of Take Note, a local band.
As she was building her name as a live performer, Rayne was also stretching her vocal cords in the studio. In 2013, she recorded her debut single “Circles” with the help of an early mentor. The song was released digitally, and that same friend helped her coin the name Simply Rayne after having a dream of her singing outside in the rain.
“The rain is an element that can be as soft as a light mist or as powerful as a hurricane,” states Rayne. The analogy resonated with her cool, accessible, yet fiery personality. She added “Simply” in front to distinguish herself.
Essential to her identity as an artist is her mixed Latin and African-American heritage.
After rapper Baby Bash dubbed her an “Afrotina” on their 2018 collaboration “Don’t Stop,” she trademarked the term and enlisted her sister, an emerging designer, to develop a clothing line called Afrotina which she hopes one day to expand into beauty products. “Being an Afrotina is a cultural mix that I’m proud of,” she enthuses! “With the conversation about Afro-Latinas growing, Afrotina can be that first visual expression of our heritage and apparel expressed in fashion.”
As she develops her own sound, she’s inspired by the hip hop/R&B fusion of today and the medley of classics that were staples in her parents’ record collection -— classic icons like Prince, Bill Withers, Diana Ross — and, of course, her muse Beyoncé. “My music is fun, and you can bounce to it! It’s not bubblegum pop, but a mixture of R&B, hip-hop and pop.”
Rayne is currently recording her debut EP, Rayne Day, with an all-star team that includes noted songwriter Makeba Riddick-Woods (Beyoncé, Mariah Carey), producers Tha Aristocrats, and choreographer/creative director Luther Brown (Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys). She is represented by veteran music exec Joseph “Screwface” Charles of Starstruck Management team. With Rayne Day’s first single, the radio ready “Say Less” setting the tone and the entire EP produced by HaPpie X Chaz of Tha Aristocrats, Simply Rayne is in the forecast for 2020!
PHOTOS - BIO - MUSIC
2020 Say Less