Every season since 2002, thousands of singing hopefuls sang their hearts and lungs out for a chance to be the next American Idol. This dream was no different for teen Rhea Raj. This New York City denizen actually made it to Hollywood for the farewell season this past January! Even though circumstances kept her from advancing to the finals, Rhea saw this opportunity as a stepping stone and a beautiful part of the longer story that she’s been crafting since she first began her blossoming singing career.
At just 16 years old, she has already written more than 100 songs, performed at dozens of venues and released her first VEVO music video “Struck” last year. Through her incredible tenacity and talent, she is definitely our idol and why we chose her as this Monday’s Modern Muse!
What inspired you to do the work that you do/motivates you today?
“I’m inspired every day by the people I look up to. Every time I see my favorite artists perform, it fuels me to go home and write, or work on production. When I first started singing, it was people like Taylor Swift or Kelly Clarkson that made me say, ‘Oh, I wanna do that!'”
How did you get to where you are and what challenges did/do you face?
“I was on American Idol this past season, and I was really excited because I made it through the first round of auditions and they even aired my performance in January! During Hollywood Week though, I came down with the flu and lost my voice. When my journey with American Idol ended, I was upset for a while because I really wanted it to work out. But that experience taught me that the right moment will come at the right time and it’s all about patience and hard work!”
Who is your she-ro?
“My she-roe is Beyoncé! I love her music and she’s always promoting girl-power, strength and love!”
What does the term”UGauGrrl” (“you go girl”) mean to you?
“To me, ‘UGauGrrl’ tells women that they are beautiful, independent, and fierce! Never forget that!”
What is the message that you would like to share with the world as a woman or girl?
“A lot of times, we have to change and mold ourselves to whatever a certain situation needs. Especially in a society where there are so many unspoken rules, don’t lose who you are. We all grow and become different but it’s important to be yourself and not let others tell you who to be or what to act like.”
“Don’t look for society to give you permission to be yourself.” – Steve Maraboli
“You just gotta do you! xoxo”
Learn more about Rhea:
Do you know a #ModernMuse who has an amazing story to tell? Send us her story to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to know her: 1) Name, 2) Age if under 25, 3) Ethnicity, 4) Location, 5) Relationship to you, 6) Why you think she is a #ModernMuse (what is she doing or has she done to make Inspire, Empower, Impact the world or the community around her?). We’ll let you both know when we’d like to publish her story, send her a few more questions and will share it on our social media channels. Looking forward to your submissions!