• Mina Johnson

rainsford's "2 cents" is a dazzling pop masterpiece

Updated: May 12

We sat down with Rainsford to talk her new single, Cocteau Twins, and quarantine creativity.

Asheville-raised Rainsford broke into the pop world with the release of her debut single "Too Close" in 2016. She recently released her latest song, "2 Cents," along with its accompanying music video, and I had the chance to discuss the track, music video, and her upcoming music with her.



HS: You recently released your newest single “2 Cents." Where does inspiration come from when you’re writing new music?

Rainsford: My music is largely autobiographical. At the time I wrote this song, I was in a relationship that I was desperate to keep together even though I could tell it was becoming unhealthy.


HS: And what was it like filming the music video?

Rainsford: I worked with my friend and amazing director Dana Boulos. She was a dream! The physical experience of sweating in a black plastic suit while riding a horse all day and holding my pee for 8 hours was a challenge.

HS: The music video features you in a latex suit on a horse— where did that idea come from?

Rainsford: I have been wanting to make a music video where I would wear a latex bodysuit, riding a horse through a beautiful landscape for years now. I was just waiting for the right track to work with the concept. I don’t know why that idea appealed to me so much, I think I like the juxtaposition of beauty and inherent gentleness of nature with the suggestion of violence and sex from the latex.


HS: What music have you been listening to that has inspired your writing?

Rainsford: My taste is kind of all over the place. Lately, I’ve been listening to Section 25, Minimal Man, Backstreet Boys, BEA1991, Wet, Jim-E Stack, Liss, The Carter Family, the Snow White soundtrack, Marvin Gaye, Cocteau Twins, and This Mortal Coil.

Photo by Dana Boulos

HS: Did you see any differences in writing your newer music compared to songs like “Too Close” or “Rendezvous”?

Rainsford: I hope that I’m constantly growing, changing, and learning and that my music is a reflection of that. I’m still working with Nick Dungo, the producer of both those tracks. He’s one of my best friends now; but when we wrote those two songs, we were just getting to know each other.


HS: Can you give me any insight into any other new music? Any releases in the near future?

Rainsford: I have five more singles coming out in the next several months. I’m also working on putting together a mixtape of a bunch of unreleased demos.

HS: Do you have any exciting plans this year that you’re excited for fans to hear about?

Rainsford: I’m really looking forward to releasing all this music I’ve been holding onto for years. And I have some music videos I think are pretty cool, too.

HS: What (or who) has helped you get to where you are (musically and in life)?

Rainsford: My sister is the most important person in my life. She helps me in every way. Also my cats, my brother, and my friends are so important. The people we surround ourselves with shape the way we experience the world. I’m so lucky and grateful to give and receive so much love.

HS: What have you been working on since we’re all stuck inside right now?

Rainsford: I’ve been writing music, working on homemade music videos, doing a lot of YouTube workout videos and Ryan Heffington’s dance classes, and painting. I have a small QuaranTeam of friends, and we’ve been having regular game nights which is great for our mental health.

Make sure to stream “2 Cents” here.

Mina Johnson is a 18-year-old singer/songwriter and music journalist originally from Los Angeles, CA and now based in Philadelphia, PA. Her writing is inspired by her favorite artists (Mac Miller, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lorde - to name a few), new music, and giving new artists a platform to share their music with the world. When she's not writing, you can find her going to concerts with friends, rewatching Lady Bird, or finding new restaurants to try. Her other interests include ramen, oddly specific Spotify playlists, and a good thrift shop find.


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