The L.A. Songstress Rehya Stevens Weaves Threads of Love, Acceptance, and Festivity into her new single, “Love Party.”
Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Rehya Stevens’ new single is inspired by the kaleidoscopic diversity of city life. Her new single “Love Party,” captures the free spirit of the city while appealing to listeners all around the world.
Born into a musical family, her father, pianist/arranger Peter Martin, played with such legends as Diana Ross and the Supremes, Bobby Caldwell, and Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers.
In the late ’70s, he was the arranger and composer for the successful Disney TV series “The New Mickey Mouse Club.” It seems inevitable that Stevens would carve out a unique path in the music industry with her natural talent as a songwriter.
Stevens’ recent partnership with “South Park” composer Jamie Dunlap, winner of two Emmy Awards, is especially noteworthy. Their latest collaboration birthed her new single honouring Pride Month and Juneteenth.
“Love Party” is her first release outside of the holiday season in over five years. With driving, gritty energy that may surprise listeners – the underlying theme of equality and celebration is consistent with Stevens’ message throughout her career.
With an ever-expanding collection of original Christmas music, Stevens’ catalogue has garnered over 40 sync licenses in TV/Film/Ads, a #2 single on the Billboard holiday charts, and an HMMA award for ‘Best in Holiday.’
Rehya Stevens is a shining example of unconditional love and acceptance from the heart of a gifted storyteller. Her work is also a testament to music’s transformational power, whether advocating acceptance in “Love Party” or warming hearts with her holiday compositions.
Congratulations on the release of your high-energy Dance/EDM single, “Love Party”!
Could you tell us about the creative process behind the song?
Sure!! First off, I must digress that “Love Party” was Jamie Dunlap’s baby from the get-go. He has a really busy career as the composer for “South Park.” Around the time we wrote this, we were recording a song of his called “All in your head” for the South Park video game “The Stick of Truth.”
During the process, we shared deep conversations about social inequality and the racial and economic divide in Los Angeles in particular. So many people are just barely hanging on. After that recording session, Jamie sent the track for “Love Party” to me with a “Hey! Wanna take a crack at this? I know you love dance music…” to which I responded, “Absolutely! Let’s make this a song about inclusivity.”
I wrote the lyric and melody from our conversational mustard seed – hoping it would empower somebody who feels undervalued, unheard, and unseen.
“Love Party” exudes an infectious energy that gets people moving on the dance floor. How did you go about capturing that high-energy vibe in the production and arrangement of the song?
I can’t take any credit for Jamie’s work on the track – that was all him. Creatively, I was so inspired by the grittiness of the track and all the BIG energy!! For the verses, my perspective is – we are all stardust. Stars are meant to shine! I’m reminding the listener of who they are with the lyric:
You’re a star/and you know it/You’re a star/Gotta glow it.
Writing the rap section was a great way to shed frustration – quite cathartic. These lyrics flowed like water from a faucet:
So forget the pain, the struggles, the bills/all the dreams you haven’t fulfilled…
I did NOT grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth, and struggled just to barely squeak by for many years – so that mantra was completely inspired by personal experience. The chorus wrote itself – that lift that Jamie built-in paved the way for:
Celebrate/Join the Party/Love Party
That lyric sums up my worldview. We are all here to shine, to love, and to be loved. Life is something to celebrate. It’s a miracle that we made it here to this planet.
As an award-winning independent artist, you’ve undoubtedly developed a unique sound and style. How does “Love Party” fit into your musical journey, and how does it showcase your growth and artistic evolution?
I’ve always loved dance music, and I’ve made a lot of it over the years. I released an album in 2013 called “Vintage Love” that features a bunch of dance tracks that I’m still crazy about today.
I’ll be releasing more dance music in 2024, following the release of a new Christmas album later this year. What I love about making seasonal and dance music is that both genres are about “WE.” At Christmas time, we’re celebrating together. On the dance floor, we’re celebrating together.
I enjoy making music that is universally celebratory and uplifting. I think everyone needs that. I know I need that – so part of me is making this music to fill a space that’s vital in my life as well as for the listener. As far as “Love Party” is now nestled in my musical journey, I think it’s an important part of the overall landscape of my work.
It’s a piece of music born of the intent to spotlight a place of honour for every person on this dance floor called “life.” No matter your race, sexual orientation, economic standing, religious beliefs, or lack thereof, you are a human being worthy of love – sent to thrive and shine. I’m so glad Jamie sent me the track because the song turned out to be such a meaningful statement.
In addition to the release of “Love Party,” do you have any exciting plans or projects in the pipeline? Can you give us a glimpse into what the future holds for your music?
I have a brand new Christmas album coming out later this year that I’m thrilled about!! It’s a deluxe edition that will include 10 new original Christmas songs, plus 11 updated masters of my previous Christmas album, “‘Tis the Season”
In 2024, I’ll be releasing a large satchel of non-seasonal music. Genre-wise, it includes pop dance, sexy soulful pop, singer-songwriter stuff, some dark pop empowerment songs, and a few jazzy vibes — it’s all so rich and yummy! I can’t wait to share it — it’s some of my personal best.
As a female pop artist, you bring a unique perspective to the music industry. How do you navigate the challenges and opportunities that come with being an independent artist in today’s competitive landscape?
Interesting question! Well, I’m only in competition with myself as an artist, and I think that helps my morale. I stay true to who I am artistically, and do my best to evolve musically every year.
The business side can be pretty overwhelming at various stages as an independent artist. I wear a lot of hats – that’s for sure! If I can offer a few practical bullet points on navigating the industry while wearing so many hats, they are:
Trust your God-given set of fine-tuned instincts. They will rarely let you down. If you feel that something is off, it usually is. If something feels positive and expansive, it usually is.
In collaboration ships, where there is competition, there will rarely be nurturing. I believe nurturing bodes far better for making great music than the competition does. Good things bloom in nurturing soil. Not much blooms in the weeds.
Find opportunities to fully engage your creativity in every aspect of your work – not just in your music. For example, with marketing – I try to make it as fun, playful, and festive as possible. With lyric videos (I produce mine nowadays), I try to make them as engaging and special as I can – which can be a fun creative challenge.
When pitching music, I do plenty of research before reaching out. When you do your homework, the creative part of relationship building is so much flowier, and it informs the music you send. You don’t want to deliver a steak dinner to a vegetarian. Musically, be as prolific as you can! Keep yourself on your toes by trying new, interesting things.
Mix things up – play with different styles and perspectives. Sometimes I’ll write from personal experience, sometimes I’m creating a fantasy for the listener. Sometimes I’m empowering the underdog. Sometimes I’m shedding old skin – healing and growing in a dynamic way through music.
Sometimes I’m just celebrating being alive and throwing a party! Whatever it is you’re doing, do it authentically, in a way that is uniquely YOU. I’m not trying to be anyone but myself. There are better singers, better writers, better performers than me — but I’m not trying to compete with them.
I’m just enjoying making music and being the artist I am at the moment. I think if you ground yourself in your artistry that way, you’ll be so much stronger. Chasing what someone else is doing is only going to drain your creative energy and dilute your authenticity.
“Love Party” incorporates elements of Dance and EDM genres. Are there any other musical genres or styles that you are interested in exploring in your future releases?
Yes!! I would love to explore more stripped-down singer-songwriter production, because that’s the way I write most of my songs – at the piano, with a pot of coffee on. I’d love to make an 80’s inspired EP or album with a modern update that might revive the fun, colourful vibe of that era without being overly nostalgic.
I have such an affinity for Pop/RnB chill — it would be so fun to go there. I’d love to do a jazz tribute album – covering classics that were composed by women. I’d love to write with and for great country artists. I’ll be making music ‘til I drop.
As my late friend Freddie Gruber used to tell me, “You don’t have music, kid. Music has YOU! By the balls!”