Rachel Brown is an indie-acoustic singer-songwriter from New York City. When we checked out Rachel’s live sets on her youtube channel we were really keen to interview her so that we could share her music and experiences with you. Read the interview below to find out, amongst other things, what songs she’s listening to and enjoying at the moment, where you can listen to her perform this summer and what it’s like living in NYC.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Honest songwriting, melding modern and ancient instruments into a fusion of pop, Caribbean, Hawaiian, country, hip hop, and world sounds.
Q: What is your musical background?
Minimal! I was a music fan my whole life and daydreamed about singing when I was little, but it wasn’t until I was 18 that I bought a guitar and started teaching myself to play from a book. I immediately started writing songs, all the while keeping my ears open to all types of genres, taking it all in and finding inspiration.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
2010 was great! I graduated college and had the opportunity to jump right into pursuing music full-time. Couldn’t ask for more from a year.
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
I got a bit tired of listening to songs on shuffle, I miss listening to CDs start to finish! I’m always listening to something, but albums I’ve had on repeat lately include Keith Urban’s Defying Gravity, Kina Grannis’ re-release of Stairwells, and Toots & the Maytals’ Never Grow Old.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
It varies, but for the most part, a song idea or partial lyric will pop into my head, and then I’ll sit down with my guitar and start strumming a bit, mumbling and humming until it all turns into lyrics and melody. I’ll work away at it until I’m satisfied, and then I’ve got a song! I’ll keep note of instrumentation ideas, and when I’m ready to show it to my band, I’ll throw those thoughts at them and we mess around with it until we’ve captured the sound I was looking for. Often the songs will change organically the more we play them live. It’s really interesting to watch that progression. It’s like the song is telling you how it should sound, and it’s only with time that it is fully realized.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
It’s difficult to separate the melody from the lyrics, because for me, a great song has both. However, hearing an amazing melody with awful lyrics is far more disappointing to me than when I hear a wonderful, clever lyric paired with an inferior melody.
Q: Where are you based?
New York City
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
There’s an incredible energy to NYC that I can’t go without for very long. There are so many different kinds of people, sounds, and experiences that you encounter an a daily basis, I find it hard not to find inspiration. I enjoy traveling and spending time in other places, but I’m always reminded of how much I love this city as soon as I return.
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
This fall I kick off a college tour, and I’ll be adding some shows this summer, so check the website (www.rachelbrownmusic.com) for updates, and be sure to sign up for the mailing list (http://bit.ly/gR8DFy)!
Editor’s Note: Rachel Brown has a winning combination of uplifting melodies and heartfelt lyrics. We’re sure that Rachel will continue to enjoy success through her gigs and music sales in the coming months and years.
If you’d like to learn more about or contact Rachel Brown, just follow the links below: