Leeside sensation Stephanie Rainey has just released her latest single in the build up to her long awaited EP next year. Photo: Miki Barlok

Love, Rainey O’r Me!

Have you ever wondered what your 13 year old self might think about who you’ve become?

If not, then you’re most likely in the minority, however, after reading the opening line to this article, you’re probably seriously considering trying it.

Cork star Stephanie Rainey is asking that very question in her latest single ‘13’, but the song and its true meaning go far deeper than that.

For anyone who is familiar with Stephanie’s music, which is a lot of people these days, her break out song was called 'Please Don't Go' which she wrote about losing her nephew a couple of years ago. The track is deeply intertwined with that loss and was sparked by a chance encounter in Cork Airport.

“I was going through Cork Airport one morning, I think it was 6am. I was on my way to London and it was the morning of what would have been his 13th birthday and randomly, in the airport, I met somebody who was super connected to him. It was just me and them in the queue. That's it. It was just so completely random and I thought, 'that is crazy'. So, when I got to London I said I want to write a song called ‘13’,” recalls Stephanie.

From that spark, the song grew into an exploration of the innocence and carefree nature of youth versus the reality of adulthood. Stephanie says the accompanying video, shot in various spots around Cork city, speaks to that idea of learning from your 13 year old self.

“I'm sure for most of us, our 13 year old selves would probably give us a kick up the arse and kind of go, ‘hey, why did you do X, Y, Z, and why did you stop doing all of these other things?’ laughs Stephanie.

The determined artists was eight months and three weeks pregnant when she shot the video to her new single which stars Shane Casey from the Young Offenders and is directed by XXX.

“I was super pregnant, waddling around Cork trying to get the video made. The baby came four days after we finished the shoot, so I was lucky I didn't go into labour in the middle of Cork city to be fair.”

Stephanie’s transition from emerging popstar to established artist has seen her music be embraced by a whole new generation of fans, but she says her reasons for creating art never change.

“The motivation doesn't change. You always want to get into a room and write a good song. I think sometimes your motivation can be changed in the context of what you're writing, so there might be a time when I decide I want to write a super sad song and I'll commit to that completely, knowing that, if I write it, it's probably not a song that I'm not going to send to radio.

“There are songs where you have that in mind where you kind of think, okay, I think I need a single for the next EP or I need a single to go to radio,” explains Stephanie.

She continues: “Even saying that, I'll still write about what is honest. I try not to chase the bang of the song. I try not to say, ‘okay, let's try to write a banger today’. That's a phrase that I hate, and you hear it so much in the industry. If you're trying to write a banger, you're already not writing from a good place. It's like painting by numbers to get a certain result.”

Stephanie’s new single, which dropped on Monday, is from her highly anticipated upcoming EP which will be released sometime next year, something Stephanie is absolutely buzzing for.

“I feel like these are the most authentically me songs that I've got. The songs on the EP are very personal and really honest and some of them will live on the radio, some of them won't, but I'm really excited for both sides of that coin.

“I feel like it's the first EP from me as the artists that I have become and that I am now. Oh, I'm so excited about it man, it feels like a real body of work!”

As everyone knows, every good album needs a good tour to go with it and that’s exactly what Stephanie is planning to do after two years of almost no live performances.

“I can't wait! It's the best part of the job, nothing gives you the feeling, you get everything from it. I was lucky enough in August to play a few shows. I did INDIE, but I was obviously super pregnant. I hadn't announced it at the time so I just came out with a massive bump and had to explain to the audience that this isn't just Covid, it's a baby. I was like an egg at that point.”

One of Ireland’s most-played female artists on radio, Stephanie has a combined 30 million streams and views across all music on social platforms and has shared spotlights with the likes of Imelda May, Kodaline, The Waterboys, Tom Walker, and Tom Odell.

Her upcoming tour, which she hinted might have a few extra dates added in due time (you heard it here first!), will see her play shows in Galway, Dublin and Limerick before the grand finale at St Luke's in Cork where she will play shows on 29 and 30 April.