BABE #145: RANIA WOODARD, Musician @ LANNDS
If you live in the Jacksonville area, you’ve probably listened to (and fallen in love with) the music that today's babe creates. (If you haven't, you must.) Rania (aka LANNDS) is a local talent with a global reach, whose work perfectly complements her quiet, kind heart and creative vulnerability. She’s also putting in the hours at our favorite local restaurant to make ends meet while she pushes her dreams forward. She's got a whole lot of grace and the grit to match, and we're stoked we got to chat with her. Keep being a babe, Rania! We'll be here cheering you on.
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Current city: Jacksonville, FL
Alma mater: N/A
Very first job: A local music shop in Memphis.
Hustle: Musician @ LANNDS
Babe you admire and why?
I really admire YouTuber Ellen Fisher. I love how adamant she is about her lifestyle and routine when it comes to healthy eating and becoming her greatest version.
How do you spend your free time?
I spend most of my free time either biking around town, crystal wrapping or reading any Osho. I also like to listen to a lot of lectures on trying to better myself and the world around me and, of course, making music.
Go-to coffee order?
Almond milk latte.
Go-to adult beverage?
Any kind of cider or red wine.
What would you eat for your very last meal?
Honestly, avocados, sweet potatoes and potatoes.
If you could have coffee with anyone in the world, who would it be?
Kanye West, bruh.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
Somewhere along the Sacred Mountains of China.
Beach House, RY X, Daughter, Kanye West, James Vincent McMorrow, Lenny Kravitz, Marvin Gaye.
What’s something most don't know about you?
I am a huge vintage car fan, specifically a fan of the E30 BMW model (1980-1999). Some of my other favorite cars are the first-generation Ford Mustang and the ‘84 Mercedes R107.
Three words to describe yourself?
Reserved, introverted, observant.
Last concert you attended?
Bon Iver in South Carolina.
Beach or mountains?
Mountains, for sure.
What does your typical workday look like?
A typical workday for me varies. The one thing that doesn’t change is my morning routine. I wake up between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., stretch, drink a glass of water and sit in meditation for about 20 to 25 minutes. This helps me bring the awareness to my breath and mind and send gratitude into the universe, and shape the rest of my day. I then either work a morning shift or a night shift at Hawkers. As far as music, some nights I’ll go into recording and other nights I dedicate to practicing with my live band. Most nights between midnight and 3 a,m., I am awake - thriving and being creative, whether it be writing or producing music.
How long have you been playing music?
I’ve been playing music for as long as I've known what music was. My uncles and aunts would sing in church when I was growing up, and I was around them whenever they would practice for Sunday morning service at my grandmother’s home. My amazing mother bought me my first guitar for my eighth Christmas, and I’ve been playing guitar ever since. Growing up, my mom could never afford guitar lessons, so I would just sit and teach myself. For the first few years I learned, I would just sit in my room and play along to early Motown and Stax records. Once I found out what a chord was, I gradually taught myself scales and some theory.
How would you describe your sound? What inspires your music?
I guess the best way for me to describe my music is chill electronic. I am inspired by my everyday life and everyone around me. I try to listen to music that inspires me as well.
What is your songwriting process like?
My songwriting process has actually changed a lot over the past year. I usually come up with a melody in my head and try to record it on my phone or play guitar and sing to it. Then, I usually take that recording or guitar and move it to my laptop. I start a small idea and write around that small idea until I’ve written what I think is good enough to start sound-shaping.
What are some of your most notable music-related memories or experiences?
I went on tour for the first time last fall. We traveled most the Northeast of the United States, all the way to New York City and played in Manhattan. It all happened so fast, but the experience was so amazing.
Who are the musicians who have most inspired and influenced you?
Jimi Hendrix and Prince really shaped me as a musician. I love how they also embody that divine feminine energy and express it through their music and art.
What has the experience of immersing yourself in the music industry been like?
I've had a dream of making music—playing music as a profession—since I was 13. I have had some really interesting moments that all led up to this exact moment in time - working with some amazing people (and some not-so-amazing people.) I started getting my feet wet early, and some of my not-so-amazing moments have taught me so much. I'm very grateful for the opportunities I've been given. On the other hand, I do feel like everything depends on perception. I feel like everything you go through shouldn’t be looked at as good or bad or seen as, for example, “I am not being seen or heard,” but rather, “It all happens in divine timing.”
How do you balance music with your hustle in the service industry?
I have had to get used to being able to balance the two, and I have specific days off to work specifically on being creative.
Would you consider yourself organized?
I am a very organized person (a little too much, sometimes), and I need a space that’s always neat and in order. On the other hand, my laptop files can definitely get messy.
How often do you deal with creative burnout and how do you remedy it?
These times usually sneak up on me. When they do, I just have to remind myself that it’s only one aspect of my being and that, over time, it will come back. I try to go out and people-watch or listen to music to get some kind of spark.
What would you say is your biggest career milestone and why?
Playing an official showcase this upcoming March at SXSW is probably the best yet for me.
How has your gender and ethnicity affected your professional experience?
Unfortunately, I have had to deal with some inequality. Sometimes it’s not easy being the tiny black girl actually making big moves. People do have their own assumptions on things, and people make snarky comments. I just think, at the end of the day, it’s important to know that when people make any type of comment about you and the success you’ve created, it has nothing to do with you. They are only projecting what they feel about themselves onto the outer world.
What is the gender ratio like in your industry? Do you see it evolving?
Let’s just say we are entering a time of divine feminine energy. Divine. Feminine. Energy.
Who are the artists, entertainers or creatives you’d most like to collab with?
I would love to work with RY X. He seems really cool and I would like to see his process and how he writes and produces the music he does. I also would love to collab with Astronomyy and Frank Ocean.
What advice would you give to a babe trying to break into your industry?
The best advice I have for anyone trying to get into music is to learn as much as you can about the business side as well as just writing every day and honing the craft. Everyone’s situation is unique and you have that to your advantage.
What motivates and inspires you?
I like to see other people succeeding in whatever field that may be. That makes me super inspired and want to do more because it shows me just how much I am not limited to.
What does success look like to you?
Success, to me, doesn’t have any set look. If you’re happy doing what you want, that's success.
What helps you wind down and manage stress?
I sit in meditation a little bit longer or whenever I feel like something is weighing me down. I just stop and bring the awareness back to my breath.
What are your goals for the future?
Striving more to become my greatest version and writing/producing to the best of my potential.
Career and/or life advice for other babes?
Eat more plants. Tell the people you love that you love them more often. Meditate. Always try to be better than you were yesterday.
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