We didn’t hear about Ratur until her project “Disparate” which remains stuck in our heads since. We quickly wanted to better know her ! Because her texts are well written and too well sung and rapped with many different productions, her album shines among DIY creations! We are so proud to introduce you Ratur’s first interview, a female rapper living around Nantes. | Par Polka B. – Trad: Alice N.
Nice to meet you Ratur! What was your state of mind as you were working on your second project “Disparate”?
Ratur : I released the Revanche EP two years ago. Since then, I wrote a lot of things. After 20 tracks, I had to stop to make an album. That’s why I said it was a mixtape, there is no real coherence between the tracks.
It’s true that we find many musical aesthetics different from each others. How did you choose your prodso?
Several prods came from Dudu (from the crew coutoentrelesdents), Amatomic and Staz. They are friends. But it wasn’t enough face to all the things I must write. That’s why the majority of typebeats came from the web. I follow my instinct. I’m a little bit lazy, then, I don’t look for beats too much time. When I like a beat, I write directly on it.
The instrumental of “étreinte” looks like cloud rap. Did PNL’s music inspire you in your performance?
I wrote “typebeat PNL” on Youtube, it must have been the first one and I found it really beautiful. You can say that I was inspired by them because I listened to them a lot at that time. But it wasn’t necessarily conscious.
Your musical influences are very diverse. Artistically would you say you still try to find yourself?
I listen to a lot of different music but I don’t consider myself to be artistically looking for myself, because I don’t consider myself an artist… Besides, I don’t really like artists.
What are you currently listening?
Blues, soul, fado… This summer I discovered reggae. Otherwise I listen lots of rap of course. Recently I have rather listened some friends’ music: Puzz Mama, coutoentrelesdents… I have access to it and the texts correspond to me. Musically I find it very good. I am quite sick of listening rap that denigrate girls… So right now for the more mainstream stuff, I tend to listen to girls like Meryl, Doria, Aya Nakamura, IAMDDB, Abra…
Inside “underground” rap, autotune has often been criticized. You didn’t. What are your thoughts about it?
Like a lot of people at first, I hated it. All around me listening to Jul, PNL … And then I got used to it, you have to educate your ear. I take the autotune as a tool that sometimes allows you to expand a song. And personally, I never really liked “underground” or militant rap. In any case I find that it is rap which very often does not allow room for aesthetics.
We find your singing parts very good. Do you train your voice in a particular way?
Most of the time I record several voices and next I put them together. Therefore when they overlap it rings a little bit less false! About autotune, the software has been installed on my computer so that I could record directly, but it didn’t work. So my friends who mix my songs added it afterwards.
I started to sing a long time ago, when I used to beg. It was the very beginning. I sung out of tune, really. People gave me money to make me stop! But by persevering it gets better. I don’t think it’s a gift, only efforts! When I started to rap I was a bit stuck in an aggressive mood. I spoke very loudly. I realized it was tiring and always a little bit the same. So I combined singing and rap when I felt comfortable enough to do so.
It looks like Disparate is concentrating all the things you can do on the microphone, with melancholic or dark sounds, whereas others are more dancing. This versatility, are you looking for it?
Honestly, I don’t think about all that. When I need to write, I write. And I see what comes out. When I’m singing, I’m letting myself go. It was rarer before. Today when you’re listening the mixtape I believe I can sing on every sounds ! Sometimes I say violent things with a small and soft voice. That makes me laugh.
What’s your relationship to the scene?
It freaks me out to be on stage, but after two songs I love it … when people also love it anyway … I still have so much shit when I start, but it can become a real pleasure . The singing was special … It was easier to rap while yelling at people. When you play the song for the first time your voice trembles…
In the track « Supernova » you’re saying: “I have the strength of a woman and I don’t need to be defended”. And in “Inadaptée”, you rather speak of your doubts, your flaws…
It looks like this mixtape raises a tension between the strength inside you and the moments you have the blues… Do you agree?
I don’t really know what to answer… At any rate there are postures I try to avoid. I think there are often strong postures in rap. There is this need to remind people “you shaped yourself alone”, you don’t need anyone, you fuck everyone, you wanna reach the “top”. I’m trying to be careful about that. I don’t want to fall into it. I claim to be on the losers’ side. To be full of flaws. The rap that touches me the most is rap of people who doubt.
In the track “Inadaptée” you say: “Am I able to wait until my turn comes?”
“What does success mean? To settle in a mad world? To run away with the wolfs? I don’t like to escape, I wanna remain honest. I feel a bit lost”.When you talk about “remain[ing] honest”, is it about your life in general or about you as a female rapper?
It’s a little bit of both. Being interviewed, performing on stage, posting tracks on Youtube… I question myself about that. Sometimes when I perform in concert, there are people who came to speak with me. And I see they are embarrassed ! It’s like we weren’t in the same world ! Only because I’m on stage and had the microphone for forty minutes. Now I have a different vision, but when I didn’t play music I used to react in the same way. People on stage are often considered as “above” us, something like that… I don’t want people to treat me like that ! That’s why after the concert I get drunk even more than others. To prove them I don’t care about all that (laughs).
In “Petite” you say: “the little one has an anger problem”. And in “Rictus”: “They said I was crazy”. You make lots of references to psychiatry. It looks like today we don’t have the right to be upset without being labeled of weird, or “tortured”…
Especially when you’re a girl ! You don’t have the right to be upset, clearly. If you speak a bit too loudly, you are either crazy or hysterical. You are considered extrinsic to the norm. And I’m not just talking about girls. In this shitty world, violence is taken in the face every day, but should not claim it… Fuck that !
You also speak a lot of love in your texts (« Calin » or « Quand tu sortiras »).
Ah it’s good to hear. It’s often that people only see the tough side of my tracks. Yet I’m only playing love songs ! When I was writing my first texts I was used to insult everybody… I wanted to make some people’s life a misery. For three minutes insults came one after another. Eventually it was a way to not expose myself. The thing is, for a long time I was used to live in a huge place where we lived in community. Playing music was for us also a way to communicate. To speak about what we lived. I needed to defend people I loved. That’s how I started to write love songs, for my friends. I needed to say how beautiful and crazy our lives are and how we screwed up everything, even if we are good-for-nothing, “little rascals who are worth gold“!
What are your future plans?
I have no “plans”. I keep writing because it makes me feel good. I tell myself that I would like to do more stuff on buddy prods, or at least use less typebeats. But I’m always in a hurry and my friends are not at my service, so I risk doing the same thing as for Disparate.