Triple threat artist Rilan recently dropped his new single MoneyTalk that gives the right amount of shade to the folks who lead superficial lifestyles. The singer, dancer, and actor who you might remember from Glee, has been hard at work developing a strong team of professionals which include Lady Gaga’s choreographer Richy Jackson and co-manager Joe Simpson (Yup, Jessica and Ashlee’s daddy!)
Needless to say, Rilan’s breakout pop career has amassed over 10 million views and almost a million Spotify streams.
With MoneyTalk, Rilan–who is an ally of the LGBTQ community–gets real about what it means to be chasing the artificial—which we in Southern California know so much about! With his team of backup dancers, Rilan serves Hollywood robotic plastic seeking fish. The whole video is like a musical interpretation of the show Botched where everyone is hungry for approval and looking to attain it by any means necessary.
Instinct got in touch with Rilan, who shared some of what his journey in the music industry has been like:
Who are some of your musical inspirations?
I've always been drawn to performers. Growing up I idolized Bowie and Prince and Madonna: artists that went past the records and brought their music to life. They weren't afraid to be different because different was who they were, and you could feel that in their music and their performances. But I also grew up in 2000s pop. Britney, P!nk, N*SYNC, "Dirrty" era Xtina, and Janet were my bread and butter. They knew how to put on a show. They entertained. They weren't too cool to go balls to the wall. My taste ranges though. I'm a huge fan of Nine Inch Nails, She Wants Revenge, and Marilyn Mason. Certainly not pop, but I've found that the common thread between all of my inspirations is performance. Nowadays everything is chill. Everything is a vibe. I don't live in a world of vibes, and neither do any of the artists I look up to. While everyone else is too busy vibing, I plan on going full out and reminding people what pop used to be.
Who is the ‘Rilan’ listener?
I don't think there's a certain look for someone who listens to my music. I think we look like misfits. We're the loners. We're the ones who'd rather stand outside of the inner circle being ourselves than inside of it pretending to fit in. I want to be able to look out in the audience and see it filled with outsiders. I want the goths, the gays, the nerds, the emos, the freaks, the uncool kids because that's what I am. I've never been cool, and that's some of my biggest inspiration behind my music. I want to put on a show for the uncool kids like me where being uncool is cool.
What’s the message behind your single ‘MoneyTalk’?
LA is like a real life Instagram account. Everyone's pretty and famous and rich even if they really aren't. People here paint a picture of perfection like they do on social media, but beneath it all is the ugly truth. Under the filters and the fillers and the Facetune is what you really look like. I'm so tired of Instagram models with unattainable body proportions, blown up lips and cheekbones, and zero pores on their faces. That's not what you really look like. That's not what anyone can look like without having the money to pay for it, but that's never said. The fact that these people have millions of followers just tells little girls and boys that to be pretty is to look like that. Being pretty is now unattainable without procedures, and I think that's bullshit. By all means, do what you want with your face and your body to make yourself happy, but don't lie about it. It pisses me off that these are now the cool kids of the world, and I think it's time someone talked about it.
What can we expect next from you?
I have a lot of new music I've been working on and performing locally that I'm super excited to share with everyone. More songs and videos are coming. Really what's next is bringing back pop music to the scene. It's been dry out there for a while now. I'm ready for chill vibes to die and excitement to come back to music, and if I have to kill chill vibes myself for that to happen, then I will.
Check out the sad sad city in the official music video for MoneyTalk: