Virginia native Reilly Stith is a double threat. In 2013, she performed as Odette on Netflix’s hit program “Orange is the New Black,” and she recently starred in a short film currently in post-production. Since then, she has been building a music career as RYLI, and she released her debut album ENTER on Capitol Records at the beginning of the summer. Combining a progressive, rhythmic sound with traditional R&B, RYLI is an artist that you need to hear.

In addition to being an upcoming musician, you are also a rising actress. Can you tell me why you feel you have enough drive to pursue both careers simultaneously?

I’ve just always been a performer. Both music and acting are like my children - how can you decide which child you love the most? Music gives me an outlet to express my own work and acting allows me to jump into the head of the writer/director and create my own version of a character they originally created. It’s inspiring to work with others on their vision but it’s fulfilling to bring your own vision to fruition and that’s when pursuing music came into play.

Have you always wanted to be a musician and an actress?

My whole life. I was born to perform.

Can you tell me about the upcoming short film “VIDEO” you are starring in, as well as any other acting projects currently in the works?

“VIDEO” is a film about two young girls who witness an established white woman attorney harassing a homeless black man on the street. Both girls threaten to ruin this woman’s career by posting the harassment video on YouTube. I loved this acting in this film because it was actually one of the first times I got to do stage combat on camera. In reference to upcoming projects, I do have some things in the works! You’ll see soon!

Do you have any other career paths you would like to pursue in the future?

I’m just focused on performing at this time in my life. I’m loving what I do right now!

What inspired you to move from Virginia to Brooklyn?

I actually live in Harlem, never lived in Brooklyn (laughs). But I wanted to do what every performer wants — pursue my dreams! So, the only place to kick off a career in entertainment that was still close to home was New York City.

Your music is very sultry and seductive. Is that something you were going for, such as on your song “Tell Me?”

I just write what I feel. There’s never a motive behind my storytelling. I just tell the story that comes to me when I hear the music.

How does the meaning of your song “One Night” relate to the concept of your video for it?

I really wanted to have a night out with my best friends, and that’s what we did. We ran around the city in our fur coats and shot awesome footage. I like keeping the visuals a mystery, but I love writing vivid imagery in my music.

Why should people buy your debut EP, ENTER?

Because it’s dope!

For more updates on RYLI, be sure to visit her website, “like” her Facebook page, follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Soundcloud, and download ENTER on iTunes.

Joe Fitzpatrick

Joe Fitzpatrick

As editor-in-chief, Joe is very passionate about promoting music and culture in Virginia and DC. A resident of Fairfax, Joe enjoys going to shows, checking out local breweries, and trying new foods with his girlfriend Alex.

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