Rayya Elias Interview
Rayya Elias has had one hell of a tumultuous life. Born in Syria, her family migrated to America when she was a child, escaping ahead of major political and religious instability. But even in the land of freedom and opportunity, Detroit in the 60s wasn’t the easiest place to fit in for a foreign girl who didn’t even speak the language.
From taking Mescaline at school, to hustling cocaine and heroin in NYC, Rayya used drugs to dull her emotional pain, while trying to find her place in life and come to grips with her own sexuality. But, eventually, trying to balance being an up-and-coming music star, a successful hairdresser and an addict was no longer possible, and the addiction won – at least for a time. And in her memoir, Harley Loco, Rayya gives us an unflinching look at her life through those years, the ups as well as the downs.
Rayya talked to Sky Kirkham about her mescaline, methadone, and lending eyeliner to Bauhaus. Originally broadcast on 20/03/2014. Harley Loco is out through Bloomsbury. You can find Raya’s music on her website or via iTunes.