Who What Wear Podcast: Rina Sawayama

How was that transition for you? You began releasing your own music in 2013, but you didn’t sign with Dirty Hit until 2019. What was that transitional period like for you?
It was fun. It was rogue. It was very DIY, but it was so worth it. Being independent for that long and having to finance everything is an actual nightmare.

It’s minimum 10,000 pounds to make a music video. To save that in the real world is just insane. I got by with grants. I had some amazing grants—PRS gave me a grant, which was so helpful.

So much day to day was not about making music. It was about how to survive and it was about how to fund the next thing.

I’d get booked for modeling gigs in between and I’d fly back to London to do that. It was a hustle and I wasn’t focusing on music—I couldn’t. It was really nice when I signed with Dirty [Hit] that I could be like,”I don’t have to think about that anymore.”

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