“Captivating audiences from an early age, Rachel’s ability to inspire and connect with her fans has always come naturely, this up and coming starlete will reel you in and leave you wanting more. After studying Classical Voice at Interlochen Arts Academy, Rachel fell in love with songwriting and various genres of music from Motown to new and classic Pop. She then attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and moved to Los Angeles three years later. In Los Angeles she honed her artistry by performing on stages all around Southern California, in addition to writing music for film and television. She has had songs placed on ABC’S General Hospital and played at venues across the country such as Chicago Symphony Hall, Berklee Performance Center, and Traverse City Wine Festival. Rachel recently relocated to Pittsburgh where she is building her career as an independent artist and spreading her passion and sass by making stages all over the country her home.”
Rachel B. is a soul pop singer from Pittsburgh who latest album is “I’m the Boss” from 2014. She has two shows upcoming playing Market Square this Thursday (6/11) and Pittsburgh Winery on Saturday (6/13). I want to thank Rachel for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.
The first album you ever bought?
Minnie Riperton’s “Perfect Angel” and one of those “Best of” Ella Fitzgerald albums. In the 7th grade I asked my mother to take me to the Public Library. I randomly picked some CDs and fell in love with the voices and horns that I heard. Later I asked my mom to take me to the store so that I could buy those two CDs and then I played them on repeat until I eventually discovered a bunch of other music, but my first love affair with music was jazz and soul singers.
Your last album bought?
An incredible singer/songwriter, Liz Longley. I actually went to college with her and she came through Pittsburgh to perform.
Favorite album of all time?
This is tough. I don’t really have one favorite album, it depends on the day and my mood! Maybe Michael Jackson’s “Bad” or Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key Of Life.” I have favorite singers: Ella Fitzgerald, Minnie Riperton, Amy Winehouse, and Michael Jackson.
Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I try not to bash other artists… I think music is subjective and creating to me is very personal. It hurts to hear that your baby, your songs were a disappointment to someone. I will say “Battle Studies” by John Mayer was kind of a letdown after “Continuum”. It’s not my least favorite album of all time, I just LOVED “Continuum”. I have to also say, “Yeezus” by Kanye West was hard for me to listen sonically. Some people loved it, I just couldn’t get through it…
First concert attended?
Christina Aguilera opened for Third Eye Blind in my hometown for the Traverse City Cherry Festival! I went to see Third Eye Blind (whom I love) and Xtina is of course a ridiculous singer. I can’t believe how much power she is in her voice. She’s really something.
I last performed at Pittsburgh Winery. Let’s see, the last concert I attended was… Allen Stone. It was awesome. Him and his band just made me feel good with the music.
Favorite concert ever?
Janelle Monae was incredible. She is such an innovator and strong role model. I saw Aretha Franklin, who is just a powerhouse and legend. Dave Matthews filled my ears with magic. The Roots and Erykah Badu also put on an amazing show! I really wish I could have seen Michael Jackson and Prince is still high on my list of people I’d like to see. Sorry, I’m not so good with favorites. I have way to many sides to my personality to pick favorites.
Least favorite concert?
My least favorite concert was a DJ I went to see in Los Angeles. I can’t even remember his name, but I left before I even went in! My friend bought us tickets and they were at capacity, so they had us wait outside in a huge line, and 10 or 15 minutes later I went home. Who sells tickets and then won’t let you in!? I thought it was disrespectful and the music was WAY too loud even from the outside!
Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I can’t say enough good things about Pittsburgh! I moved here last August when I fell in love with the city and people on tour. I was living in Los Angeles, like every other Singer-Songwriter and their mom, and moving to Pittsburgh was the best decision I have ever made. We played a show at my friend’s community art space and met all these amazing people that ended up taking us canoeing the next day. The next day we played on a farm next to a river overlooking these endless green hills. This city just has everything I want right now and I’m able to support myself as an Independent artist so I’m happy! It’s not too big, super affordable, centrally located for touring, and filled with diverse and wonderful people. I LOVE PITTSBURGH!!!
Thanks, Rachel. So nice to hear of your love for Pittsburgh. We certainly are a gem of a city and everybody should have the opportunity to experience it.