|Photo By Danya Morrison©|
Give me an authentic songstress any day of the week instead of all the cookie cutter, one-dimensional auto-tune wannabes out there. Enter singer/songwriter RACHAEL OWENS who has an exceptional voice that resonates even when stripped down to the bare acoustic style. Sorry to say I’ve heard Ke$ha,Miley Cyrus,etc. perform live and they sound atrocious so I’m partial to the more credible sounds of say Sara Bareilles and Rachel Yamagata. When a singer appears to be polished on record but fails miserably outside of the studio, that’s how you tell that they are seriously lacking tune wise. RACHAEL on the other hand is legit all the way as can been seen from her remarkable vocal range on groovy self-penned “Everything Is Alright” (above). Check out RACHAEL OWENS ON REVERBNATION for the dynamic neo-soulfulness glittering her collection of original songs. Much Thanks to RACHAEL and her photographer Danya Morrison who have both graciously allowed me to use the gorgeous photos(above) adorning this article.
While she’s at the cusp of her blossoming music career, on the acting front, RACHAEL appears in the upcoming “Empress Vampire” as a gorgeous bloodsucker. First imagery from the movie sees RACHAEL baring her fangs and I must say you’ll be lusting after her as we so often do when getting seduced by these sexy vamps…hehe. With an ever increasing appeal in the music/film world as well as her beguiling personality, success is set to come quickly for such a beautiful soul.
Q & A WITH THE VIVACIOUS RACHAEL OWENS
1. Hi Rachael, you’re an accomplished singer,songwriter and actress currently based in Los Angeles. What have been the highlights of your career so far?
A: Well one of the biggest highlights for me is when I’ve finished recording and I hold the finished album in my hand. I’ve recorded 2 independent CD’s, one full length album in Canada and I’m about to release my new EP in the US and the world this summer. I’m very hands on with every aspect of the CD, from writing, to co-producing, recording and the artwork, so it’s very satisfying when it’s complete. I also love the collaborative process while recording. With regards to music, other highlights would probably be specific concerts and festivals I’ve been asked to perform at over the years.
With regards to my acting, I’ve been pretty busy with the music lately so I haven’t been acting that much in the past 2 years. But before that, I really enjoyed acting in 2 independent films called Empress Vampire and Hunting Grounds, where I played a singing Vampire and a College Professor who specializes in UFO’s. They weren’t lead roles or anything, but they were really fun to play.
2. Can you give us an insight into your musical style and what have been the major influences shaping the songs your write?
A: I have a pretty eclectic musical style. I would call it Pop/Rock/Soul but there are elements of Jazz in there as well. I’m influenced by many genres. If you love music, it doesn’t really have boundaries, in my opinion. It just has to be good. I grew up singing along to records by jazz artists like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday and performed in alot of musical theatre. But when I started to play in bands and write music, I was influenced by U2, Michael Jackson, Sting, Lauryn Hill, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Prince. When I started playing guitar, I would play songs by Joni Mitchell and Sarah McLachlan.
3. “Dear Friend Of Mine” is your maiden music video that made its debut just a few weeks ago and I must say there’s a feel good vibe throughout touching on love and friendship. Do you believe in the notion of friends with benefits, mixing intimacy between good pals?
A: Friends with Benefits..hmm. Well I think it can work in some situations as long as there is communication about what’s going on. But it’s tricky cause you don’t want to ruin a friendship. That song can be interpreted in many ways, the music video is just one interpretation.
4. I’m not the type to mince my words so here goes. No matter what people say because there was no Simon Cowell to harshly critique the contestants, the standard on American Idol was particularly substandard. What’s your opinion on this and what does it take to be a success in the music industry?
A: Well I actually enjoy watching American Idol and I do think there are some very talented singers on there. When it comes to artistry though, that takes time to develop..so by the end of the show, it might not have fully developed yet for some. There were artists on the show and Idol really just gave them a platform. In this day and age with the music industry struggling with selling records and less artists getting signed, you really have to be open to any avenue to get heard. I know I have to use the internet more to my advantage when it comes to getting my music out there.
5. Your voice has an impeccable mutli-layered soulfulness. Tell us how you consistently reach those powerful high notes and how difficult is it for performers?
A: Thank you so much Haren. When it comes to reaching high notes, it’s a lot about control, rest the night before and having an ear for the note. I think the most difficulty in singing happens when you haven’t warmed up your voice, if you’re nervous or tired. Also, I love dance and I’ve tried to sing and do choreography at the same time…wow that is really hard! lol
Photo By Danya Morrison ©
6. Recently, I came across a pic of you with pointy fangs for your role as a seductive vampire in the upcoming indie horror flick “Empress Vampire”. Can you tell us a little about your role and was it like to go all vamped up?
A: Well I had a blast playing vampire Candace for the film. It’s a Sci Fi, Musical, Comedy Horror flick kind of in the vein of Rocky Horror Picture Show or any B movie Horror film out there with a twist. I actually haven’t seen the final version of the movie, so I don’t know how much I’m in it. I’m not one of the lead characters. I play one of the Vampire assistants to the lead Vampire. My main scene is when me and another Vampire seduce these FBI agents.
We sing and waltz with them before we kill them..lol. The funny thing is I sang in the studio recording the voice that the other Vampire lip synchs to. So I’m actually lip synching to another singers voice. It’s cool though… it was a casting decision that happened after the recording. The whole crew were great on set. It was fun putting on fangs and playing an evil character. We laughed alot during this shoot.
7. Just like the majority of actresses I’ve had the pleasure to befriend, you’re undeniably one of the nicest ladies in the industry. Why is it important to treat people well no matter where they’re from or whatever their stature may be?
A: Thanks Haren. I do believe you should treat people the way you’d like to be treated. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you do in my mind. I believe in Karma as well.
8. You were born in Central Africa, spent your formative years in Canada and now pursue artistic endeavors in LA, embodying the spirit of global citizenship. What would be your ideal getaway in future and can I be your tag-along?
A: Well I do love to travel. My favorite get away right now would probably be Hawaii. I would love to take a week off and just relax and meditate by the beach. So I hope I can do that soon. I’m flattered that you’d like to come along:)
9. What does the lovely and talented Rachael Owens have in store for her fans in the latter part of 2011 and beyond?
A: Well, I will be releasing my music on Itunes, Amazon and CD Baby very soon.. I will also be filming more original videos and covers for youtube. I have a few directors who are also interested in making a few more music videos for me as well. I don’t know when that will happen though. Also my CD Release Party is on August 12, Friday night at 10 pm at Room 5 in Hollywood. I haven’t played my own show for a really long time, as I’ve been recording. So come on out!
Thanks Haren for being such a supporter of my music! I really appreciate it and hope to meet you one day!