From actress to singer-songwriter, Reneé Rapp’s musical journey has been a whirlwind. Her trajectory has not only been about pursuing a passion but also grappling with identity, both musically and personally. VandyRadio recently had the opportunity to attend a virtual press conference with the star, and fans and writers alike had the opportunity to delve into the layers of this up-and-coming artist. 


Two things stood out: the impact of community acceptance in her bisexual identity and her acknowledgment of white privilege. Rapp said “I have found the grace [to be out] in the community. But let’s be clear – I, myself Renee Rapp, a bisexual white woman, am the gay community? Like no. It is not that. But I am so fortunate to have an enormous community of queer people around me.” Such honesty is refreshing and offers a timely reflection of the complexities young artists face today. 

Photo Credit: Katia Temkin

Rapp followed up by saying that “I have been out to different people for almost 10 years now, but since I have been publicly out I have become so much more comfortable in myself.” She was not shy in addressing the impact that acceptance and visibility has on queer people today, and she was clear about the difference it made in her life. Offering a nuanced look into the intertwined journey of personal growth and public responsibility, Rapp said “[t]he more you are publicly accepted the more you’re going to be comfortable in yourself.” 


But this nuanced look doesn’t just show up in speaking with her. “Snow Angel,” Rapp’s debut studio album released on August 18, 2023, offers listeners an intimate view of her emotional and artistic evolution. Developed over a period that felt “like 20 years,” but in reality spanned only six months of 2023, “Snow Angel” emerges from a place of vulnerability and self-discovery. As Rapp herself reveals, while music was what she ever wanted to do, the journey was not without its challenges, from her own internal anxieties about public opinion to a “traumatic experience” that heavily influenced her writing.


Much of the success of “Snow Angel” can also be credited to the synergistic collaboration between Rapp and producer Alexander 23. The album narrates stories of angst, exuberance, and “big feelings”, but what’s consistent is Rapp’s commitment to authenticity. Critics have lauded her ability to strike a chord, resonating with the larger pop universe while retaining her unique voice. 


The album’s release also brings exciting news for fans. Rapp is slated to start touring with Towa Bird, a lineup that promises electric performances and a confluence of unique musical styles.

What’s undeniable is that Reneé Rapp is more than just her debut album. She’s an artist with a story, one that intertwines her personal journey with a larger narrative about identity, growth, and artistic expression.


Ultimately, “Snow Angel” is more than a collection of songs. It’s a testament to Reneé Rapp’s journey, both as an artist and an individual navigating complex identities. With her evident talent and willingness to grapple with tough questions, the star is undeniably on the rise. Whether you come for the music or stay for the story behind it, there’s no doubt that Reneé Rapp has carved out a space for herself in the contemporary music landscape.