Rachel Walker is one of the freshes breathes of inspiration in indie soul in a while; she is sweet, fresh, hip and the hop, smooth and a bag of apple chips...BAM!!! Ok, yes you can quote me on that. A few week back I wrote an in depth review of Rachel's new project "Walk with Me"(read review) and I love the CD so much that I just couldn't let it end there so here we are. Only this time I as the host of FVC reached out to find out a little more from the illustrious sweet soul singer.

In an E-Interview I went to Rachel with the following questions and here is what she had to say, take a read...

Freedom Verse Cafe: When putting together this wonderful project, how concerned where you with audience acceptance?

Rachel Walker: Throughout the writing and recording process I couldn’t help but think (and sometimes worry) about whether audiences would be accepting of my voice, sound and overall style. I make what I like to call “Sweet Soul” music that is inspired by the artists that I listen to like Stevie Wonder, Maroon 5, Mary J. Blige, Amel Larrieaux and Ne-Yo. The sound is soft and sophisticated but definitely has some deep soul and hip-hop influences.

My goal is to make music that people would want to listen to and enjoy so there were moments when I found it difficult to write because I wanted to please everyone. However, I got to a point where I had to let my heart lead the way. I knew that in order for this project to become a reality, I would have to create the music and sound that I believed in first and foremost, and simply consider the feedback I received along the way. Shifting my mindset removed a lot of the initial pressure and allowed me to focus squarely on the music and deliver a product that represents who I am as an artist— something that I am proud of.

FVC: I was quite shocked to find that this was a debut for you, how long was this project in the works?

RW: Releasing a record was something I always dreamed about and toiled with over the years but never actually felt could be a reality. After working with local artists and performing more, I developed a level of confidence in my vocal and writing abilities to begin working independently on my own debut project. I decided to put “Walk With Me” together in January 2008—spending most of that year writing and recording, and learning the ins & outs of releasing an album independently. It’s been a long road so, even now, I will sometimes pick up the CD and look at it in amazement. It’s truly a dream come true!

FVC: Why did you choose to remain independent rather than sign with a label, and how can this decision help others?

RW: I learned over the years that, while some opportunities may come to you, most of the things you want out of life you have to make happen for yourself. Working independently gave me free reign to carve out a path of success for myself. I made the decision to embark on this independent project at a time when the music industry is drastically changing. Internet marketing and distribution has transformed the accessibility of music and artist visibility. More doors are open for independent artists. Today, the dream of having the support of a major label is less likely than making it on your own.

Being an independent artist allows me to be involved with every aspect of my business and product. I encourage artist to go the independent route for that reason and because they are more likely to become more of a well-rounded artist and businessperson, which can result creating a more lucrative and sustainable music career.

FVC: Ok, there is a lot of love talk here and one of my favorite lines is from "Rhythm of Love" where you say "...you must be prepared to forget all you've learned". I found this to be so profound, and I guess there should be a question in here somewhere...lol! Ok, how do you see the condition of love today in relationships?

RW: Thank you! When I wrote that line on “Rhythm of Love”, I was trying to express the power of love and that, no matter what you think you know, it can sneak up on you and take over your thoughts and emotions. At that particular point in the song, I had already covered some of the dynamics of relationships and I am reminding listeners that love is not something you can control; rather, it’s something that you have to be aware of and that can find its way to you unexpectedly—even when you are making a conscious decision to run away from it.

FVC: What is your favorite track on the project and why?

RW: That is a very difficult question for me to answer because each song is so personal, written out of a specific emotion I was feeling at the time. That said, if I were forced to choose, I would have to say that “It’s Over, I’m Gone” is my favorite. The song is about me coming into my own as a woman who is clear about what she wants and refuses to wait around for someone else to change. It is also about taking responsibility for one’s self and not waiting for someone to be who you want them to be.

Like the law of attraction, you can find the strength to change the things you want to change in your life and you don’t have to accept anything less than what you deserve. As a matter of fact, you can demand the things you want in your life walk away from the things you don’t need. That’s the essence of “It’s Over, I’m Gone”. I decided to keep the vocals soft and feminine while recording to contrast the strong message. The instrumentation inspired me to layer the vocals for more dramatic and rhythmic feel. If you listen closely you can hear breathy vocals pulsating throughout the song like a heartbeat.

FVC: Were their any tracks that didn't make this project and if so is there a bonus CD in the making?

RW: One of the hardest decisions was narrowing down the album to a 10-song project. I have a number of songs that didn’t make “Walk With Me” but that I hope to release either on my next project or as promotional/bonus tracks on my official website, www.rachelwalkeronline.com.

FVC: What is your favorite season of the year and why?

RW: My favorite season of the year is autumn. There is something so beautiful about the transition nature takes during this period. It symbolizes change and evolution. When autumn ends, it feels as if the energy shifts and the whole atmosphere goes through a dark, cold and vulnerable period until spring when all is reborn. I feel like this cycle is reflective of our life experiences. Autumn is the beginning of change, and change is a natural part of life. “Walk With Me” is about change: the evolution that people go through in life and love.

FVC: What does the horizon hold for you in the way of the next project?

RW: I have learned so much from my experience with putting this project together. I am on a path to reaching my full creative and business potential. I feel strong right now! Ready.

I have already begun writing and recording songs for the next project. My goal is to continue to create music that feels good and pushes my boundaries as an artist. I am focused on writing songs that are honest, creative and true to who I am as a person. With that, I look forward to collaborating with other independent artists whom I have met during my journey and begin writing for established artists.

FVC: Thank you for your time Rachel and continued success. Let's check out your NEW video "Another Story"


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