Here on ThisIsHowYouMusic, I wanted to start a new series to highlight the music acts from my local area and this week I was been able to speak with Elizabeth Raps, the woman behind the act Raps Moran.
I guess I should start with the most obvious question; who is Raps Moran?
Raps Moran is a two fold project. Raps is the character that I am, the Moran is each and every person that becomes a part. It’s like I’m doing it for myself, but at the same time it’s like it’s a completely person.
When did you know you wanted to pursue music?
When I saw My Morning Jacket. I was 14, and up until that point, I had always liked music but it wasn’t something I saw as a career, at that time. I was an ambitious kid, I actually wanted to be a professor. I had just been accepted into the magnet school for math and science school at Kennesaw Mountain. Then December 11th, 2011, I saw My Morning Jacket in Orlando, the night before a biology exam, Jim James pointed at me and I felt totally transcended.
So you would consider My Morning Jacket and influence on your music?
Most definitely. [My Morning Jacket] is one of the few modern bands that I became obsessed with, them and Foster the People. The vocal ranges of both bands were so unique and I stated covering their song on guitars. After a while though, I decided to start writing my own songs.
I know you also like Amy Winehouse, would you list her with some of your musical influences?
Definitely influential, and I would even say inspirational. She changed everything that I thought about music and I still haven’t heard anything like her. Not just her musicianship, but her personality and her ambiance. I like to consider her somewhat of a role model, which, I know people will question, she’s amazing. With everything she had went through, and still being able to create such great art is amazing to me.
What would you say are some things that influence your writing?
For me I feel it’s a bit different. I never sit down, and think this person just broke my heart, let me write down what I’m thinking. When I sit there, I can tell that’s something heavy on my chest and that’s what I find inspiring. Often times I’ll write and it’ll take me weeks to realize how heavy hitting it is.
I know you previously went by Betty Raps, what’s the story behind that?
Betty Raps was the stage name for when I was a solo act. It lasted for almost a year, my sister was manager, and the experience helped me learned the business side of it something that I need to know to make this career happen. The name stems from my grandmother, with whom I share a namesake with. I grew up thinking everyone called her Elizabeth, but then I learned she was often called Betty, and to me the name just fit.
An element of it was me stepping into character, but at the same time the character didn’t fit. I just wasn’t a “Betty” – it was hard to introduce myself as that. Plus around that time everyone I knew and worked with had started calling me Raps, which I took too well.
Now I know your latest single is Rabbit, could you expand a little more on what that song is and what it was like writing it.
Rabbit is an interesting song, it’s the first song that I wrote like the way I did. Most songs I had written had been on the acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and sometimes keyboard. However, with Rabbit, I needed a single, but we didn’t have anyway to record as a band, so I though maybe I can figure out a way to do it by myself. I ended up writing it on a keyboard synthesizer, layered my voice over it ,and I ended up really liking it. It was like song was alive before the words were.
Thank you so much to Raps Moran for being our first Local Love feature and you can find her at the following social media links below:
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