Posted On 17 Apr 2019
Rachel Lynn is a New York City-based chanteuse classically trained vocalist whose original soulful pop music is entwined with her signature evocative lyrics. Her sound resonates with the passion of a singer/songwriter raised on 90’s pop and Motown masterpieces.
Lynn has performed up and down the East Coast, and has performed at legendary NYC venues including Webster Hall and Mercury Lounge. Her previous work has been heralded by tastemakers such as The Huffington Post, PopMatters, and Baeble Music.
Connect With Rachel Lynn Here:
Learn more about Rachel Lynn in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you?
Well, in a literal sense, I’m lounging on a cozy couch with a friend’s two puppies right now—so you know, in heaven. In a larger sense, I’m working really hard to release new music this summer and often thinking about how awesome it would be if people listened to it—so you know, in slight personal purgatory.
Now that we are into the 4th month of the new year, how has 2019 been treating you so far? What are some of your goals that you have for yourself this year? How are those New Years Resolutions going?
2019 has been pretty amazing so far. I don’t know if I’d call it a “New Years Resolution,” but I let go of a few things that were burning me out, and it’s resulted in a forward push towards reaching my goals and a heightened sense of gratitude. March was a big month for me—I released my single, “Didn’t I” and went on a small release tour that took me to a few different cities and introduced me to so many wonderful new people. It was incredible to receive a positive response to the single, and I’m so ready to release more music this year and follow it up with another tour.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
Music was always a driving force in my life, and singing was everything. I grew up thinking that everyone had dreams of becoming a professional singer. In 4th grade, the kids would make fun of me for being a “mic hog” in chorus class. Whoops. I always wanted to sing professionally, and I remember deciding to move to NYC after college graduation, leaving behind so many familiar parts of my life, and thinking, “Okay, I’m doing it. I’m chasing this.” It was terrifying, but I knew I had to try.
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?
I studied both music and art history in college. I spent a semester in Rome and absolutely fell in love with the Italian Baroque masters. There was a time when I considered continuing my education in that realm, but ultimately, I knew that I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t try to pursue music at a professional level with everything I had. I think it would have been an all-consuming regret.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
I decided to move to NYC after I graduated college because I saw it as the land of opportunity. I didn’t necessarily expect for the abundance of opportunity to be both a blessing and a curse. You have to be incredibly smart and selective when it comes to using your resources (financial, emotional, etc.), and you can’t actually take every single gig that comes your way. It surprised me that turning down a gig could be a positive and constructive decision, but sometimes a particular gig doesn’t make sense in terms of achieving your specific goals. Work smarter, not harder–even in this industry.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live now?
Growing up on the east coast, I was able to spend some time hiking parts of the Virginia and West Virginia sections of the Appalachian Trail, alongside my Quaker community. As a community that values originality and artistic expression, they encouraged me to dive into my creative self, full force, combining nature, spirituality, and art. That time really shaped me as a young writer and musician. I remember walking through the woods at 12 years old, singing my very first original melodies, and feeling absolutely alive. NYC often inspires me in a different way—stimulation, abundance, momentum… but then, it’s also inspired me in a very similar way, in that there’s a communal energy of artistic manifestation.
Let’s talk about the new music that you plan on releasing later this year. What are some of the themes that you are focusing on? Where do you find that you are getting your inspiration from lately?
I’m so excited to share this new EP; the music draws from R&B, 60s pop, gospel, and rock and roll influences, and I feel really empowered having been able to sort of harness the music that inspires me and then express myself in an authentic way. The songs focus on themes of love and longing—concepts we humans know a lot about.
What has changed about your style of music? How has your creative process grown over the years?
My music has gradually thickened in instrumentation over the years. As a singer/songwriter, my songs start very organically for me—just sitting at a keyboard or piano, finding chords and melodies I like. The songs still start that way, but it’s been amazing to explore so many additional elements that can elevate the songs from their original format.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
It’s important to me that I stay connected with people who are enjoying my music in whatever way I can; I think the platform that I stay most engaged with is Instagram, but it’s probably just because pictures are fun.
Who are some of your favorite artists, or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
I’ve always been inspired by old soul music (Otis, Sam, Smokey, etc.) Currently, I’m drawing a lot inspiration from artists like Allen Stone and Donna Missal, who also seem to be inspired by the greats and are translating that into their own unique sound. To be clear, a chance to work with either of those people would have me hyperventilating for a solid twenty minutes.
Where can fans see you perform next?
I was very excited to be back at the NYC Veggie Pride Parade this year on April 14th in Union Square. It’s a wonderful event with tons of speakers, performers, and vendors celebrating a common message and sharing knowledge. On June 22nd, I’ll be at NYC’s CanILive Music Festival, another incredible event for a great cause—hoping to see lots of new faces there!
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
I honestly don’t know what my dream music video would look like. It would be nice to feature a cast of real, powerful, badass women, gorgeous backdrops and scenery, and probably a performance scene or two because that’s what I love to do. That said, when I see the words, “unlimited budget,” I think more about being able to release new music and tour extensively. For me, that’s the dream.
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island, what musical item would you take with you and why?
The ol’ “deserted island” question. Well, part of me wants to say a keyboard or piano so I could write, and then the part of me that thinks about the unstable state my mind would be in, as a person on a deserted island, says I would bring some sort of solar powered device with streaming services on it (cheating, I know). But this way, I could have endless dance parties with all of my friends (various roaming animals) and create a very exclusive lounge/club environment. I’m picturing a scene from the Fyre Festival documentaries, except with music.
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
Easy and High Maintenance are two shows that come to mind right away—they’re both such relatable, emotional shows that portray relationships of all kinds. Plus, I’m a huge fan of both.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I hope that people feel connected to the music and that it offers them something. I know how it feels to be moved by music, and if my music can move even one person, I’d feel incredibly humbled and grateful.
Would you like to share anything else with our readers about your music?
Readers and listeners—thank you for reading! Thank you for listening! I hope you’ll stick with me as I continue to share my music with the world.