First things first, it’s pronounced [RAY-BUL] and his first name is actually Stephen but he prefers to go by his last. He’s from the States and although he just landed on Mix’s playlist, he’s been around for a while. If you like electronic music and more specifically “Afrojack”, you may have heard his upbeat ballad, “Ten Feet Tall”, released in 2014. He later released a stripped down version accompanied with him playing piano.
He was attending the Berklee College of Music when he got his first big break as a songwriter with Pulse Recordings before being signed to Island def jam in 2012. He most recently released “11 Blocks” and all of us at Mix have fallen in love with it. The meaning behind it is so raw and that’s why you have no choice but to be captivated by the lyrics. The tropical vibe, along with that emotional tone of his voice stands alone in music today. I can appreciate someone who writes their own lyrics because it is a rarity in pop music.
“11 Blocks” tells a story of moving on from his great love and having nothing to do with that person, when at one time she was his whole world. 11 blocks is a distance is from her. He always knows how far away he is, and the hardest part is knowing he could and wants to see her. It’s a story of never forgetting that amazing relationship and not knowing when he will be able to truly let go, a feeling that many of us know. He also admitted he is not a person to take transit or drive, so blocks in his life are a measurement of importance. Once he sent the song to production, he felt so vulnerable and was second guessing it. He said,
the night it came out I called my manager and I was like, ‘I kind of want to call Mr. iTunes and be like, ‘Can you take it down actually? Like I’ve made a big mistake.’ It’s too much.
He became so transparent that he wanted to put on a few layers before letting the world see him.
In the music video for “11 Blocks”, he draws a map that he traced from google maps which is also a tattoo on his forearm, which displays the non-fiction of his art. He separates himself artists who put themselves into a head space when performing. Wrabel is Wrabel, onstage and off.