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Artist Spotlight: Rags and Riches talk upcoming releases, positivity and the blessing of music

Kentucky group Rags and Riches are just starting their upward climb to be the next pop sensation in your ears. The pop rock brothers (and their band) recently released their latest single, with plans for more music and touring in 2020. Atlas spoke with vocalist Tanner Whitt between current tour stops about influences, 2020 plans and their latest music video concept.

How did you get started in music? What made you want to be a musician?

We had both started at a young age and our parents were youth pastors at a church so we were already playing music at a really young age. In 2017, we decided to do Rags and Riches and from there we pretty much started all the writing process and doing the website and all that kind of stuff like that, behind the scenes work. And then we played our first show in 2019 and from there, it’s been kind of continuously going since then.

What inspires you when you’re writing music? Can you describe your creative process?

It’s a little mixture of all kinds of different things really. I may have like a lyric or a melody, or Peyton has something already in his head that once we get in the studio he can roll off of [or] play off of that when he starts on the production side of things. As far as the overall ideas and stuff, they just come from whatever- it may be from a movie or something I see or read or it may just come out of nowhere.

What names come to mind when you’re thinking of your influences?

I think when we were getting started, the main influences [were] twenty one pilots, Imagine Dragons and 30 Seconds to Mars and things like that, but we also like Post Malone, Kanye West [and] even some of Billie Eilish’s influence. It was a little bit all over the place, even some older stuff like Queen was influenced into the music as well.   

You recently released your new single, “Edge of Time”. How did you come up with the concept for the video?

So we had done a bunch of different– the storyline for the other videos, the previous three videos– and with this song we wanted something to kind of branch away from the normal storyline we’ve stuck with. And we really felt like the dance really put the emotion that we couldn’t put into words- it helped bring out that in the video.

What do you have coming up in terms of new music?

We’re working on some stuff now. It’s been a little difficult because we’ve been on the road for 30-plus days so when we get back we have some stuff we’re kind of deciding on right now- what route we want to go. But we have quite a bit of songs in the catalog ready to be released- just a matter of picking the right direction with it. 

Right now we’re still pushing for more singles, but we have some ideas for the future as far as like more EPs and a full length album.

Do you have plans to get back on the road after this tour or later this year?

We do. We’re working on things now on future tour dates and things like that for the rest of the year. We have some things in the works but nothing confirmed as of now.

What would be your dream tour lineup?

That’s a hard one. We would obviously love to do some shows with twenty one pilots, Imagine Dragons, The Score. Even- I know it’d be a mix- some of those influences [like] Post Malone, Billie Eilish would be really cool as well. There’s quite a bit of people if I went down the list, not just mainstream artists that we would love to do stuff with.

What are you hoping your fans take away from your music?

A lot of what we push is like positivity and just like inspirational messages in a lot of the songs we have written up to this date. It’s just, you know, being positive with things because there’s so much negativity in the world as it is and so just being like a little bit of bright side of your day is kind of our big main focus.  

Do you ever think about a master plan for Rags and Riches?

Since day one when we even started planning everything, we were ahead four or five years from day one- of the direction we wanted to go, from just the music videos with the storylines to the songs and even going along with all the albums beyond the singles we released. We kind of have an overall…like this huge plan which obviously at any moment could change, but we at least are prepared and have put all that time and work into things.

Is there anything else you’d want your fans to know or anything you’d want to talk about that you may not get asked?

I think the biggest thing for us would be that getting to do this is like a blessing to us, but also we just hope to always be a blessing to other people and fans that hear our music- that they be inspired to do whatever they were born to do in this life. I think that’s something we’ve always had in our hearts [and] for other people as well. 

Check out Rags and Riches on tour now!

Story by Olivia Khiel
Photos courtesy of Rags and Riches