A sweet talk with Reija Lee

Perth musician Reija Lee talks Victoria Secret Fashion Show, tequila shots and her favourite eats around the city.

Dylan Urquhart
April 7, 2017
People About Perth
Reija Lee Thomas of Kito & Reija Lee, is a WA born electro-pop musician who has enjoyed international success with their breakout track Sweet Talk. Now back in Perth, Reija Lee has been finishing off her degree and is excited to see the way the Perth music scene has evolved since living away in London. Here's a little snapshot into her career, her music and her favourite things around Perth.

Your most successful track to date is Sweet Talk. How did you react when you found out one of your songs was selected to be a part of the 2010 Victoria Secret campaign?

Well we were pretty surprised (and stoked), as it didn't get pitched to them or anything. It literally happened because someone in the VS offices found our music online and liked it and suggested they use it. It was completely organic and 'non marketed', which we think is pretty cool :)


With the closures of some of the more established live music venues and the opening of some new ones, how do you think the live music scene has developed in Perth?

To be honest I haven't had much of a chance to get involved in the live music scene since I've been back in Oz, as I've been too busy finishing my art degree.. but now that's done I can't wait to get back into the scene. I was away for five years and I do find on coming back everything has changed a lot.. there's so many new places I haven't been yet, so it's pretty exciting. I think Perth's night life is growing at a crazy rate and anyone who says they are bored in Perth needs to open their eyes. The only problem is keeping places open as a lot of bars/cafes etc seem to have about a three year expiry date. People get bored and always want something new I guess..

What is your favourite song you’re listening to at the moment?

Without a doubt that would have to be 'Lying Has To Stop' by Soft Hair. Do yourself a favour and buy the entire album and lay on your bed naked with some incense burning and maybe a beer in your hand. You can thank me later.

Reija Lee

Are you working on anything at the moment // Performing anywhere soon?

I'm on the verge of finishing an EP with a UK DnB producer that I wont name yet, BUT it's not drum n bass in the slightest. We basically wrote some chill 80s pop music and it's really nice and I'm really looking forward to sharing it with the world... I also performed with Shockone at Origin on NYE, and am going to be working on some more stuff with him next year.

If you had to come up with one thing that described Perth to someone who has never been here, what would you say?

Treasure Hunt.

Reija Lee in Perth café

What is your favourite thing to do when you go on stage?

This sounds bad but I like to do a shot of tequila before going on stage. It has to be tequila though - not any other spirit - cos it pumps you up and gives you loads of energy. I'm sure I read somewhere something about tequila releasing endorphins... could be true, could be not true. But it seems to work for me haha

What is the thing you miss the most about Perth?

When I was living in the UK, the things I missed about Perth were actually the shittest things haha. For some reason when you live away it's places like (for me) Whitfords Shopping Centre, or your nearest train station, or driving down the freeway, that pop into your mind. I never missed any of the cool places in Perth. I think it's because you begin to miss the connection that you have with a place. It's all the 'non places' or in between spaces that we frequent over and over again. And when you frequent the same space over and over you build a connection to it in your mind. It becomes associated with 'home', it becomes nostalgic. So it might not necessarily be the actual freeway or the shopping centre that I miss, but the feeling of being somewhere familiar, somewhere I come from, somewhere I belong. So I missed that... that and Masters spearmint milk.

Reija Lee photoshoot

What is the thing you miss the least about Perth?

1. Everything closing early. It takes a lot of getting used to when you come back from London where everything is open all of the time.. where you can buy alcohol in the early hours of the morning at some little off licence down the road, or where you can still do your food shopping at night time. You just have to be more organised here I guess.

2. Transport! I do admit I love the comfort of driving my car everywhere, but sometimes it is a pain in the butt. If you want to go out and drink you are pretty much doomed to spend all your hard earned dollars on Ubers. 

What is your favourite place to eat? Why/Dish of choice?

Reija Lee veggie mama

There are many! But ill stick to two of my faves:

Veggie Mama: As a vegetarian its just awesome to be able to go to a chill cafe, nothing fancy, and have so many different foods to choose from, and be able to get all of them on one plate. Dish of choice - I always get a bit of everything, but the curries are a mainstay on my plate. 

Bivouac: When I want to spend a bit more and do more of a 'restaurant' dinner I always go to Bivouac. The food is insanely good and so is their wine list and there's always really good vego options as well as meat, so it keeps everyone happy. My favourite dish is the haloumi starter.

Where is your favourite place to go on a night out in Perth? What’s your drink of choice on a night out?

Drink of choice - I drink everything (everything except crap beer - it's not worth the hangover) so it depends on my mood. 

I like bars as opposed to clubs usually, like Bar Lafayette or The Dominion League. I have a penchant for good cocktails so both of those places are always a good choice for me. 

Dylan Urquhart

Local Perth enthusiast, impromptu tour guide, small bar discoverer.