Rachel Lynn Interview

Rachel Lynn is burning up the NY music scene with the release of an acoustic video for her song “Tend to the Flame.” Driven by the loss of her mother to pursue music at an early age, Rachel moved from the music scene in her hometown of Maryland to NYC. She has been incredibly busy recording and performing at several major venues, including The Bowery Electric. Her unique vocal ability has earned her a place on New Music Seminar’s Top 100 Artists on The Verge for 2014. We got a chance to chat with this promising new artist and inquire on her influences, musical past, and future plans. By Joshua Forrest
Cliché: Why do you think you gravitated towards this bluesy soulful feel in your music?
Rachel Lynn: I always knew I was drawn to bluesy music and soul. When I ventured out to explore vocal training as a kid, I was met with choral music and classical vocal technique. I fell in love with the structure of the vocal technique, knowing that once I developed a healthy way of singing, I could apply it to any genre. Choral ensembles were a large part of my musical training as well; there is such a feeling of community in striving as a group to create one sound. All of these experiences have played a part in the way my musical style has developed, and I’m grateful for the training I received growing up.
Do you prefer the acoustic versions of your songs or do you like having the full band behind you?
I think each offers something different to the audience. I enjoy the intimacy of acoustic music; it can be very vulnerable and raw. It’s also how I write my songs before bringing them to my band, so sometimes it’s a great representation of the song in its bare and original form. Having the full band behind me is a different, but equally wonderful, experience. When the rhythm section is grooving, and the electric guitar is jamming out, there’s an additional element to all of the songs; there’s a collective energy booming, and it becomes a larger, group experience.
Rachel Lynn Kimono (1K)
From what you’ve seen, what are some of the big differences between the music scene in Maryland and NY?
I performed a bit in the DC area during college, but didn’t truly immerse myself into the scene. From what I knew of the DC, it was a primarily rock and jazz based scene, which is great for patrons, but didn’t really fit what I was doing. I already had it in my heart that I was moving to NYC, knowing that there would be at least a little hole in the wall somewhere for any kind of music to shine.
Who are your biggest vocal influences?
Growing up, I was very influenced by vocal powerhouses of the ‘90s like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and Celine Dion. The way they could project, their ranges, the effortlessness of it all—it was amazing to me, and I wanted to learn all about what they were doing.
I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s passing. Does her memory have a hand in your lyrics or music when you write?
Her memory has definitely had a hand in my career and my drive to pursue music. Losing her has shaped my life, so in a way, yes, she’s a part of every song.
I noticed that you have a few covers on your YouTube page. Do you do those for fun, or do you see them as an opportunity to attract more people to your music?
I think it’s a combination of both. Everyone loves to hear a song they know, and musicians love to sing the songs they enjoy listening to—it’s a win/win!
Any full length album plans in the works?
I’m definitely getting back in the studio very soon with new material. There’s no set LP project in the works, but I think the new songs will culminate into one. I’m always excited to put out new music and share new projects with people, so you can expect more music soon!
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Rachel Lynn Interview: Photographed by Shervin Lainez

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