Zerp: Rae, your recently released 8-track album is filled with amazing Pop-Rock Country Vibes! I am excited to interview you to learn more about your music and your career!
Rae: Thank you for inviting me, I’m excited to be here!
Z: Can you start by discussing your concept for your recently released album, or maybe provide some background information on how it was created?
R: I really wanted to showcase my range and versatility with this album. I wanted each song to have its own world, sound, and style regardless of genre. I’m sure you can hear my influences of Fleetwood Mac, Shania Twain, and James Taylor in every song. This album will always be special to me because we finished it during the pandemic. We had a few songs left to record when the shutdown happened, so my production team and I would converse via Zoom, phone, and eventually record in a secluded studio. I would send demo recordings from my room, and when it came time to record the vocals it was only 1 producer and myself in the booth. Looking back I’m impressed how we worked through it all.
Z: What song off of your album would you like to specifically discuss? What inspired you all to compose/produce this song?
R: “The Soldier and the Bombshell” is a song very near and dear to my heart. This song was fairly easy to write and produce. It just came to me one night, and I thought it was already a famous song. From day 1 I told my production team I wanted this song to be simple and stripped down. I wanted the story to be the focal point. Originally I wanted only vocals and acoustic guitar. Then after the first demo I realized it was missing a steel pedal, so I contacted my friend who laid down a few tracks. With the guitars finalized, we thought a touch of piano would be a nice element to ghost behind the vocals. It was one of the easiest and quickest songs I’ve recorded due to the simplicity of it all. I like to think the inspiration came to me from a higher power, because it came to me so fast and effortlessly.
Z: That’s fantastic! What is your songwriting process like?
R: I almost always write at night. There’s something about the nighttime that allows me to feel free to play, make mistakes, and be creative. Some songs I like to write by myself, and others I like to collaborate with my production team, Ghidrah Music. Our approach is usually music first, lyrics second. However, there have been a few songs (“The Soldier and the Bombshell” and “Miss The Most“) where the melody and lyrics came at the same time.
Z: Who is in the band besides you, or are you a solo singer-songwriter that hires studio musicians to record your songs with you?
R: I’m a solo singer/songwriter but I love collaborating with other people. Some songs I write by myself and come to the production team already finished, and other songs we work on collectively.
Z: Are there any people you would like to highlight that are not officially in the band (engineers/producers/etc) that have helped you in your career (or with this album)?
R: Yes! My production team Ghidrah Music are people I’d work with for the rest of my life! They’re amazingly talented and easy to work with. Shout out to: Apoena Frota, Andre Vasconcelos, and Joe Ulmer.
Z: I think the readers would love to know more about your personal feelings/experiences with music. What is it about music that makes you feel passionate?
R: I always advocate for people following their passion and doing what they love, because life is short. Music has always moved me in a way that feels like heaven. Ever since I was a child music and performing has been a part of my life. I love music because it’s always there for you. If you want to feel sexy, cry, in love, nostalgic, angry– it’s there. It’s a universal language that connects people on many levels.
Z: What made you want to become a musician?
R: I always say music chose me. Since I was three years old I have been drawn to music and performing. There’s something about it that attracts me like no other profession or hobby. As I got older I realized the healing power of music. A single song can change the world. When someone approaches me and shares how my song moved them it reminds me that I’m meant to do this.
Z: That’s wonderful! What is your primary instrument(s)? Did you study music in school?
R: I write songs on the piano but I like to play the guitar on stage because I can move around. Plus, I discovered as a teenager a guitar is easier to carry than a keyboard. Although I studied musical theater in college, music is something I never stopped doing because it comes organically to me. I took guitar and piano lessons to be able to communicate to other musicians what I wanted, but music theory is something I never understood.
Z: Can you tell us about your musical influences? Which musicians/artists do you listen to (now and in the past) that have inspired you in your own musical journey?
R: When I was a teenager I was obsessed with Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Shania Twain, Hall and Oates, and Keith Urban. I still listen to them to this day but with a different appreciation. When I was younger I just liked the songs they sang, but now that I’m older I admire how each of these artists capture something universal in a poetic way that makes them loved by the world.
Today, I listen to the above artists mentioned but with additional artists such as Led Zeppelin, John Mayer, Queen, Dr. Hook, Harry Chapin, Motley Crue, Doobie Brothers, and anything 70’s and 80’s playlists.
Z: What are some interesting facts about you that you would feel comfortable sharing with the readers?
R: Hmm…some fun facts about me are that I’m a night owl. Anyone who knows me knows I won’t respond via email or text until after Noon because I spend most of my mornings sleeping in. However, if my friends text me at 4 am I will respond!
My favorite food is breakfast food! I like classic rock compared to the music today, and a top notch movie quoter.
Z: That’s great, I love quoting some movies and shows. The “Ted Lasso” Apple+ show has some epic quotes! What are your interests outside of writing and performing music?
R: I like to workout and be active. Maybe it’s the high you get after a good run. I’m a huge movie buff. I can quote lots of movies because I’ve seen them dozens of times. I am also an actress, so outside of music and writing I enjoy acting and immersing myself in a character.
Z: Nice! Do you have any new musical projects in progress? Any upcoming events you are performing in or new songs being recorded? What are your plans for the coming months?
R: I had some performances scheduled in December but they were cancelled due to the Omicron virus. It’s hard to make plans because we’re still living on the edge with this virus and I’m not sure whether things will shut down again or not. So, right now I’m at a standstill until I hear how society is going to handle events for this upcoming winter. I would love to continue to promote my album and perform it as much as possible!
Z: Thank you for chatting with me today! I love your music and your style and look forward to hearing your upcoming releases!
R: It was my pleasure thank you for having me! I hope you stay safe and enjoy my album!