WORDS BY JOSEPH FURNESS
Like most Gen Zs, Bengaluru-born, London-based musician Renao is self-aware. Seemingly, at least. Confident in his style (both musically and sartorially speaking) and skin, the young emerging talent emanates the impression that he's invariably true to himself, no matter the opinion of others. Consequently, he possesses a wise-beyond-his-years demeanor — a superpower that’s already helped him open many doors, and is sure to serve him well as he continues to navigate the formidable realms of music and fashion.
We recently linked up with Renao to discuss his tastes in music and fashion, and how the two are inherently entwined. Discover everything he had to say below.
How would you describe your personal style?
I think my style is bold, colorful and effeminate.
Which fashion labels are you currently obsessed with?
Jacquemus, Kenzo and Reese Cooper are my favorites at the moment.
What are your favorite garments in your current wardrobe?
I’d say 80% of my wardrobe is thrifted! Having said that, I’ve been wearing these baggy black trousers from an upmarket high street store pretty much every day for the past few months, and I also get the majority of my summer shirts from an India-based store that’s shoppable online.
What kicks are in your current shoe rotation?
I have way too many! Right now my go-tos are my Crocs x Carrots, Dr Martens loafers and Birkenstocks.
What accessory do you rarely leave the house without?
How would you describe your approach to music?
I usually allow my mind to guide me; I don’t like forcing things. Once I form a song in my head, I get on with making it.
What is your biggest achievement thus far in terms of your music career?
Many musicians aspire to live off of the money they earn from music. I think my biggest achievement so far is that I’m able to do just that.
What are your biggest goals in terms of your music career?
When I was growing up in India, there really wasn’t anyone like me making music in Western societies – hence, I never thought my goals were attainable. Today, my biggest goal is to show kids in India that we are seen and we are going to be heard.
Who are your favorite music artists of all time?
John Mayer, Frank Ocean, Brockhampton, Tyler, the Creator and Fleetwood Mac.
What are your go-to albums this summer?
‘Juno’ by Remi Wolf, ‘Harry’s House’ by Harry Styles and ‘Ivory’ by Omar Apollo.
Do you believe that music and fashion share a symbiotic relationship?
100%. I think both mediums of self expression have a lot of influence on cultures around the world. I think musicians have always used fashion to explore what a visual version of their music would look like; and, on the flip side, I think the best artists wouldn’t make the kind of music they do if they didn’t take time to explore their individual style.
Did an interest in one lead to an interest in the other?
I don’t think so. I’ve been making music for a long time but it wasn’t until I went to New York in 2018 that I became obsessed with fashion. While in the metropolis, I was intrigued by each individual’s sense of style and their confidence to pull off their look. That was a turning point, for sure.
How does your personal style complement your approach to music?
I think music and fashion are both a form of self-expression. Fashion gave me a lot of confidence to be myself which, in turn, helped me gain confidence with my music.
Finally, are there any artists that inspire both your style and your music?
Tyler, the Creator is definitely up there on top. I think he fits into the same music and fashion categories that I aspire to fit into.