RENAE’s infectious pop melodies, soothing vocals, cutting edge productions, and mindful messages are all elements of her music that make her absolutely one of a kind. RENAE is truly a pioneer in a new genre, which she calls Spiritual / Pop or Conscious Pop — music that inspires inner and outer harmony in the world. In French, RENAE means “reborn” and through her unique music, RENAE creates an experience of storytelling, self-discovery, and celebration. Her highly anticipated debut album, “Align,” due out in 2017, is centered on the metaphors of each chakra and will inspire individuals to connect with their souls as a way to live their most authentic and conscious lives.
Growing up in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, RENAE was surrounded by music from a young age. While other kids focused on sports and academics, RENAE found an outlet in the arts. Initially shy about performing in front of others, RENAE slowly gained the confidence as she grew up and began to realize music was her true calling. “Once I started performing in front of people, I fell in love with the feeling of connecting with others through song. It’s an exhilarating sensation to feel intimately connected to many people at once.”
RENAE best describes her own sound as “pop, cinematic and alternative.” It is infused with hooky melodies and honest stories that will move listeners to a higher consciousness. “I’d like my music and brand to inspire people to reflect and turn inwards. In my opinion, a lot of pop music in our culture right now is sort of passive and pessimistic. I want to give people art that they can use to heal and that inspires them to live a better life.” Drawn to boldness and authenticity, RENAE cites two of her biggest musical influences as Taylor Swift and Twenty One Pilots.
Signed to Universal Music Publishing and Arthouse Entertainment, RENAE (aka Cristi Vaughan) has worked with some of the world's biggest pop music players, writing and placing songs with artists such as Meghan Trainor, 5 Seconds of Summer, Troye Sivan, Aluna George, Leona Lewis, and Little Mix, as well as penning many placements on TV and film. RENAE’s primary team member, producer, and husband (Matt Naylor) has achieved thousands of placements including tracks in Gone Girl, X-Men - Days of Future Past, Django Unchained, Lincoln, and has engineered projects for Selena Gomez, Casting Crowns, and Jason Mraz.
Going through a “quarter life crisis” when she turned 25, RENAE would soon find herself on a journey that would undoubtedly change the course of her life and music career. “I had been working in the music industry since I was 19 and somewhere in the midst of it, I lost myself. A spiritual book called, The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle fell in my lap and as I read it, I felt like something profound was shifting in me. Shortly after, I went to a 6-day mindfulness retreat at Spirit Rock Retreat Center in Northern California. It was a silent retreat, meaning all 100 of us didn’t speak for 6 days straight and were challenged to simply sit with ourselves, meditate, do yoga, mindfully eat, hike and draw. This was a transformative experience, where I was introduced to mindfulness and self-care for the first time. From there, I started exploring spirituality and psychology more by reading books, adopting a mindful lifestyle, and redefining my purpose and meaning in life. Through this awakening, I've felt called to help inspire others to find their own alignment with who they really are, because when you live from that place, you live your best life and change the world at the same time.”
Her upcoming album “Align” is the true product and creative expression of this time in her life. “The concept for the album came to me in Sedona, AZ on New Years Eve, while my husband, Matt, and I meditated with a group of people on the side of a mountain. There was a harp player who took us through a chakra sound healing session, and she explained to us that each of the chakras resonated with a different musical note. A light bulb went off in my head and I thought, why don’t we make a pop music album based on the chakras? As I was becoming more spiritual in my own life, I found it hard to find music I could relate to, to support my journey.”
On the album you’ll find 7 songs, each crafted to lyrically and musically embody the metaphor of each chakra. Each song is also written in the chakra's musical key to really enhance the mind-body experience. These songs are RENAE’s stories and ultimate reminders to herself of how to come back home to her true nature. Songwriting for RENAE usually starts with a title or phrase that interests her and from there, she builds a melody and structure around it. She’ll then record a rough cut of the song as a voice memo on her phone and soon after, get into the studio to flesh it out with a producer. In addition to her incredible songwriting, RENAE plays both the piano and the guitar.
Outside of music, RENAE loves animals, spending time with friends and family, exploring nature and traveling whenever she can. She is extremely passionate about using her voice to give back and plans to give 10% of income from iTunes purchases to charity. Additionally, RENAE studies psychology at the graduate level and in the future, plans to offer workshops and services in the healing arts.
“My goal is to use my voice and artistry to raise the vibration of our planet! Music is one of the best ways to do this, as it speaks directly to the soul and body, transcending the intellectual parameters that so often divide us. My new purpose in life is simply love -- to feel it within and to spread it to others. I plan to create many albums of work, tour the world, and give love to as many people as possible.”
RENAE’s music is not solely about RENAE, but about everyone who takes the time to listen. Her inspiring message is about healing together, growing together, and helping others to become “reborn” into the best version of themselves. “I hope these songs resonate and serve others in their own journey of self-exploration and alignment with their true nature. “