Meet Rachel Lynn, a super-talented singer/songwriter who is quickly laying the groundwork for what will surely be an amazing career. She writes her own music, has a powerful voice, and is determined to leave her mark on the world with her talent. In an age where new acts feel contrived, the 25 year old is a breath of fresh air. Her lyric driven music connects with your soul, relaxes your mind, and instantly wins you over. We caught up with Rachel to get to know more about her, and she let us into her life, shares her influences, and tell us what she enjoys when she's not making music.
Where are you originally from, and where are you currently based?
I am originally from a small town in Maryland called Glenelg. I moved to Brooklyn, New York after I graduated college and have been here for about two and a half years.
How long have you been involved in music?
I’ve been involved in music forever! I come from a very musical family; my mother was a classically trained flutist and music teacher for a time, and my father played the tuba (yes, the tuba) for years. His mother ran a church choir and led sing-alongs at most family gatherings. Meanwhile, my mother’s older brother is a classically trained pianist and professor of music theory, her sister is an opera singer and voice teacher, and her younger brother is a professional guitarist. I guess it runs in the family!
My parents were always supportive of my musical endeavors growing up. My mother even landed me my first choral audition for the Peabody Children’s Choir. At that point, I started taking voice lessons and began singing in school choirs and state ensembles. After my mother passed away in 2001, I continued to study music and pursue an artistic path. I still feel her inspiring and encouraging me everyday.
Who were some of your musical influences growing up?
As an aspiring singer growing up in the 90’s, of course I looked to the plethora of 90’s vocal powerhouses for inspiration and influence: Whitney, Mariah, Celine, and anyone who was just known for their vocal abilities. These seemingly immortal voices just made me feel like the voice really is the most powerful instrument.
I’ve also always loved Motown and 50’s & 60’s pop. I remember listening to the timeless melodies and effortless voices of artists like Sam Cooke (my all time favorite), Otis Redding (a close and intense second), The Four Tops, The Beatles, and The Monkees in the car with my Dad growing up, which made it even more special when he gave me his Sam Cooke record collection right after I moved to New York City.
You seem to pay close attention to lyricism, who inspires you from a songwriting standpoint?
Lyrically I’ve been very inspired by artists like James Morrison, John Mayer, and A Fine Frenzy. Sometimes, though, if you get too wrapped up in trying to make lyrics “meaningful,” you can get lost in your efforts and be left with a product that no longer feels genuine. In those moments, I like to revert back to stripped down methods, like those of 60’s pop; when it was simple and transcendent. The Beatles wrote, “I want to hold your hand.” The lyric is so straightforward, yet it’s somehow intricate and moving.
How would you describe your musical style?
I’d like to think my musical style is a combination of the soul and pop styles of my influences. The melodies are the focus for me, and I really enjoy thick percussive elements. I’m just trying to write as much as possible and continue to develop my style as I go.
When did you know that music was your calling?
I’ve always known I wanted to be a musician. I knew that singing meant so much to me, and that I would do everything in my power to keep it at the forefront of my life. My uncle (a professional guitarist) said something to me when I was younger that I’ll never forget: “When you wake up in the morning and all you have to do that day is play music, that’s the life.” And that’s the life I want.
What would you say makes you different from other singer/songwriter’s?
I really value my classical music education. It’s helped to shape me as a musician and definitely as a singer, and I see it as a method of respecting my craft.
Outside of music, what are your favorite things to do?
Well, I’m a very passionate vegan, so I love trying out new vegan spots in NYC. It’s the land of endless food options, after all.
If there was one thing you couldn’t live without, what would it be?
Music, duh. I mean, if you asked a botanist one thing they couldn’t live without, they’d probably say plants, right?
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
In the next five years I hope to be touring. I see myself releasing an LP (or two) and just working my a*$ off to promote it. I think I’ll be growing into my career as a singer and especially as a songwriter.
Ultimately, I hope to be closer to that dream of waking up each morning and only having to play music.