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RINA SAWAYAMA COVERS BILLBOARDLS PRIDE ISSUE

Out singer/songwriter Rina Sawayama graces the cover of Billboard‘s Pride Issue, and the fierce performer, who just nabbed an undisclosed role in John Wick Chapter 4 is opening up about her rise in the pop music world, collaborating with Lady Gaga, being the change she wants to see in the world, and more.

Check out all the highlights and photos from the shoot below…

On Being a Late Blooming Pop Star:

“I think that’s the benefit of me waiting so long. Had I been younger, I might have been like, ‘Oh, no. I need to change my sound.’”

On Her Sharing Her D-I-Y Approach With The Masses:

“Showing the creative process can be really exciting for people who, like me, had no idea how to do this. I learned so much from being independent, but I really wished I knew so much before. It would have saved me a lot of time.”

On Working With Lady Gaga:

“If they said, ‘You need to cover ‘Chromatica I,’ ” — the first of the album’s instrumental interludes — “I’d be like, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it!’ I’ll just sing the whole orchestra: dum-dum-dum, dum-dum-dum!”

On Her Ethnic Background:

“I’ve always been conscious that my surname is an inconvenience.

I think it’s important for people to instantly recognize that it’s a Japanese or Asian-sounding name. But in the future, I’m definitely not counting off dropping the surname — if I become iconic enough.”

On Drag Queens Being Her Inspiration:

“I’m inspired by drag because people wear their trauma and insecurity and celebrate it or make a character out of it, and that’s really what I wanted to do with the album. I wanted to talk about these things that have caused me so much pain — so much expensive therapy bills — and make it into something that just sounded like a pop song, to make people want to really listen over and over to what was being said.”

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