It was a year ago. She was one of the headliners of Les Femmes S’en Mêlent festival that closed Women’s month, and we were scheduled to meet with her after her performance. We settled in the hall of the Moulin Rouge, and the Californian rapper shared a bit of her history and a few pearls of wisdom with us. After having made her dreams a reality, Reverie is now on the pursuit of Satori, to enjoy living in the moment more, in her own way.
First off, how are you?
Good, I’m excited.
On stage, you talked a bit about your past with depression. How are you with that today?
It’s a daily struggle but the more conscious effort I put toward it, the more I can control it. Obviously just like everything in life, we focus on certain things at certain times. It’s really the same thing with my mental state, I think that’s the case for most people. Like I said on stage, we’re so focused on our diet and our job and our bills, but we forget to take care of ourselves and when you’re not functioning properly, you can’t do anything else properly either! So I just try to keep that in mind.
Is this where your name comes from?
It’s not. I mean it wasn’t initially. The reason I chose that name is because I daydream a lot. Now that I’ve gotten older and I’ve studied psychology, I’m starting to realize that, that’s actually probably a defense mechanism that I created as a child. So I guess when I made the name, I didn’t think it was that. Now as an adult, I realize that’s probably why I daydream so much, especially as a child. I think there’s a correlation there for sure.
You said you studied psychology?
I never went to school, but just for myself. I’m just so interested in human functionality and the more I study psychology, the more I can understand people. We all like to think that we’re not like everybody else, but actually we’re all very similar. So the more I educate myself on how human minds work, the more I can understand myself. I really love studying people, people fascinate me.
Then it’s a good thing your job pushes you to meet people.
And I study everything everywhere I go! It’s really cool to be able to study on a different continent. It gives me a whole different perspective and understanding. I’m listening to all these lectures on Youtube from universities, so I know that they are very educated in their field. I also know the knowledge that I have accumulated by traveling so much. So I just put my own spin on what they are talking about.
Speaking of traveling, you get a lot of love from France and western Europe in general. Did you think you could have such an impact on this part of the world?
No way, no! The first time I recorded a song, I was a mess! I was a teenager, it was right before I got kicked out of school, I was on all kinds of drugs, getting drunk everyday. I just had a lot of problems at home, my brothers were in and out of juvenile homes when they were children… The first time I made a song it was because I wanted to try it. I just had this urge to make a song. Now everybody makes music, it’s so easy. Ten years ago, when I started to make music, it was not like that. I had to beg somebody to let me into the studio. I actually would drive one hour away, I wouldn’t drive because I didn’t have a car, but my friend would drive me because he rapped too. We would drive one hour away to record one song! So that’s why I only have maybe ten-fifteen songs from when I was really young. Because I just didn’t have access. So going from driving an hour away and recording in a closet to being in Paris, it’s like my fifth or sixth time here, I would have never imagined this! Obviously, it was something that, you know when you’re a kid, you say “Oh I want to be famous, oh I want to do this” but you don’t really think it’s gonna happen. So for this to be my reality, it’s very trippy.
You were dedicated from the beginning, to drive an hour away from where you live for one song. That’s impressive!
Yeah, exactly! It’s something I always had a lot of passion for. I think it’s what have driven me so far, the passion.
Now you’re touring the world, but you also have a web series!
It’s called Independent. It was with myself, Trinidad James, Sean Brown and Futuristic and it was backed by WarnerBrothers. Basically, they just hit me up and they were like “Yo! We love your story. We’ve been following you and your fans, and we want to document your movement”. I was like “yeah fuck it, why not”! We actually filmed all that like a year and a half ago. The thing is that when everything is on a corporate level like that, that shit takes forever to come out. So it came out a year later but it was a really cool experience. It gave me a really different perspective on reality shows. I know reality shows are not real real, but the fact that I had fucking ten people following me around filming me, it was a lot harder than I thought! Like, it was crazy! I don’t like reality TV, but I know the work that’s put into it so I respect it a little more. I do! I respect the Kardashians a little more because it’s hard work you know. Whether I like it or not, they work hard.
What would you say to someone who is in the situation that you were in and wants to be in the position that you are now?
My advice would be to pick one thing that you want to do. Whether it’s music, or cutting hair, designing or doing a blog… Whatever it is, you have to pick one thing and focus on that one thing, until that one thing finally becomes something. Then it’s gonna let you do more, then it expends. I think the most important thing is to stay focused and to not give up. Especially now with social media, everyone wants everything now. The thing is that almost nothing that comes instantly is great. So you need to be in it for the long run. Just stay consistent, stay strong. Don’t listen when they tell you it can’t be done because, those people that tell you that, they never tried to do what they wanted to do. And if they did, it was only very temporary. I was rapping for so long, now I have a clothing line, now I’m gonna start doing vlogs, now I’m fucking touring! I had to put in all this work before I could do anything and all these doors opened. But that wouldn’t come to me had I not stayed on this road for years! Like I said, it took me ten years to get here. A lot of people are just finding out about me and they’re like “Oh Reverie I like her, she’s new”. I’m 27 years old, I’ve been doing this thing for ten years! What?
Do you think you would have made it faster if you had social media back in the day?
I don’t think so because I think everything comes at the right time. I did have social media back then, I was on Myspace, and even back then in the Myspace days, I had a buzz. I had thousands of people on my page already and thousand of plays. It’s something that I’ve been using a lot, but back then, I didn’t know how to engage my audience. Now ten years later, like I said I study people, I study every single thing that I do. When I do a post, I’m very strategic. Back then, I didn’t really see it like that because I didn’t take it seriously! I was recording in a closet. It wasn’t my time yet. Now it’s my time.
What’s your definition of success?
I think everybody has a definition of success and mine changes all the time. For me, and I’m not saying for everybody, this is just what I am in it for right now, I’m trying to get fucking rich as fuck. It’s so important to find your core support system. I’m so blessed and comfortable with my core that, now, I feel like I can start to really gain money, monetary pay. That’s really what I’m focused on right now. So to me every time I make money or inspire someone, or travel somewhere, I’m succeeding. That’s it. I’m happy for myself and I’m proud of me and my team.
Would you say you are proof that you can succeed without being Nicki or Iggy?
Yeah, I think everybody can succeed. Nicki and Iggy, they are dope too! Those women have worked so hard to get where they are today. They don’t make the same type of music that I do but regardless, as a woman in the industry, I really admire them. When I first started making music, ten years ago, I didn’t like them. Iggy wasn’t out then, but I didn’t like Nicki. I thought she was really pop and I thought the wigs were cheesy. Then Iggy came out… I was always like Iggy actually, she’s cool, but Nicki I didn’t really like her. Now I love her. When I first started, it was easy for me to talk shit about her. I never even got paid yet to rap! Now I get paid to rap and I see how hard it is to do this shit! This shit is not easy! The money goes up and down and up and down, it’s not a consistent job.
That’s what I meant. A lot of people think they have to sign to a label to succeed but you didn’t.
Yeah but it’s very different. There are levels of fame and money. Basically the rule is: the more money that’s involved, the more people that’s involved, the more stress that’s involved. So Nicky, she’s been on for like ten years, that’s already an iconic woman in history, you know, that’s where I want be. I don’t want to make the same music that she does or dress how she does, but career longevity wise, I wanna be a fucking icon. I am already in my own way, but like, to the masses.
Satori! Where did the name come from?
I actually discovered it when I was reading a book called The Power Of Now. I haven’t even finished it but it’s still one of my favorite books. I have a super ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) so I’m all over the place and I never finish books. I read half of them, or like almost to the end, and then I start another book! But reading that book was having such a positive impact on my life. That’s when I really started to understand what it meant to be in the moment. It just gave me such a different perspective on “living in the moment”. The word satori means “sudden enlightenment”, it’s from the Buddhist teachings. I discovered that, and I was so impacted by it that I wanted to share that word. I have had a clothing line for almost eight years and I’ve been trying to think of a brand name. I’ve gone through all these names that didn’t work for various reasons. Because of copyright, they were already taken, it didn’t look good on a shirt, whatever… So for fucking seven years, I’ve been looking and when I saw that, I felt it. So I looked it up like “satori clothing”, “satori brand” to see if somebody had it. Somebody did have Satori Clothing already and I was like “how am I gonna make this shit sound cool” so I tried Satori Mob. The reason that I chose something so impactful is because everything I do has a strong message. When I wear my clothes, it’s a message. I have hundreds of thousands of people around the world watching me, so I knew that I wanted it to be something really strong. Satori means the whole point of life is to reach peace, to reach enlightenment. A sudden enlightenment is just an experience of being in the moment. It’s impossible to be at peace all the time but satori is a “sudden” enlightenment. It’s just a quick few seconds where you’re actually here and now, and you can hear everything going on and you can feel the wind on your face, you can taste your saliva, feel the blood going through, you know what I mean! When you’re actually experiencing all your senses and you’re there, that is a satori. And it’s gonna go soon, but that feeling is what I’m aiming towards and what I want people to experience.
You look like you’re an emocore metal kind of girl on the inside even if you have a rap career, and it shows in the way you dress.
It does, definitely!
Do you have any interest in this kind of music?
I actually don’t. I don’t like rock too much to be honest with you. I did listen to sub-rock, tough. I wasn’t super hard core. I really liked No Doubt, it was my world! I played the Tragic Kingdom Seat, my fucking cassette, until I couldn’t play it anymore. I also liked Red Hot Chili Pepper, Sum-41, I was a little into Korn, I liked Avril Lavigne. I didn’t really grew up listing to a lot of rock. I really listened to a lot of hip hop but I’m just so into fashion. When I dress with all my rocker shit, I just love how it looks. It’s funny that you brought it up because when I was in high school, I didn’t dress this fashionable. I was still a little bit fashionable, like people would be “Oh I love your outfit”. I would dress like a rocker sometimes, but everyone knew I was a chola but I didn’t give a fuck you know! People would even be like “Why do you dress like you’re a rocker when you’re a chola?”. Because it looks good! I’m just so over being afraid about what people are going to think of me if I’m doing something that’s not me. Now I don’t give a fuck. I wear rocker shit, I wear fucking Japanese shit, I wear fucking name brand shit, I wear thrift shit, everything! I just love fashion.
What’s next for you?
Next we go to Lyon, Metz and we’re filming two music videos. Tomorrow, we film “Bitches In Paris” with Blimes, Encrypt and Dj Lala. We started filming a little bit in Nantes for a song of mine. I’m not even sure what it’s called yet, because it’s not out yet. When I get home, I’m just working on a lot of music. I’ve haven’t released many music videos in the last couple years, because I’ve been touring so much and it’s impossible to do both. Ask any artist who tours as much as I do, they will tell you that’s why they don’t make a lot of music too. This year, I’ve already turned down a couple tours, which is so hard because I love to travel, but I’m sacrificing my travel to make more documentation of my life. The last couple years of my life weren’t really documented visually and that makes me sad because my music is like my diary. I want to be able to watch it when I’m older.
So you really are going to start vlogging!
Yeah, it’s serious. Very soon! I’m going to start dropping a lot of content. I’m going to be releasing two songs every month, because I have a lot. I’ve been stacking it up for the past couple years and now I’m ready to release it, I’m really excited. Very nervous but I’m very excited.
More details about her brand at satorimob.com.