It’s been a busy month for electro-pop’s Rachel K Collier. Not only did she have a handful of shows on her plate including the Beats 4 Love festival, but she also dropped her latest single “Rust.” Of course, our conversation led us to her music, but we also talked a bit about where she once called home in Wales. Not in London she had nothing but love for the country she said goodbye to in the search for a more musical path.
Kendra: You’ve proven to be quite the songwriter. Did you discover that talent before you realized your vocal abilities, or did they come about the same time?
Rachel K Collier: Thank you very much – that made me smile! I always liked to sing since I was small, and at secondary school, I had a very passionate music teacher who put on lots of concerts for our choir and big musical productions. I played Rizzo in Grease once, and one of my favourites that I remember was a big soul concert where I sang all the Aretha Franklin numbers, “Chain of Fools,” “Say a Little Prayer,” and “Respect.” I had a really squeaky voice back then though and when I listen back to CDs I made for my Dad I totally cringe. I started songwriting a little later when I was 12. I think just as I was singing more and more and recording myself singing my songs this helped me grow into my voice. It did take me a while before I actually listened back to myself and thought ah that sounds alright!
Kendra: Listening to your single, “Rust,” made me want to move about. Great dance track that made me wonder…what was your go-to song at school dances growing up?
Rachel: This is funny. I used to love Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” but also slightly more embarrassing, the Vengaboys. I requested “Boom Boom Boom” on our local radio once and recorded it onto tape so I could listen to it again and again.
Kendra: “Rust” just dropped this month, and we have “Paper Tiger” from earlier this year. Will we be getting an album soon?
Rachel: Hopefully not too far away. I’ve got so many songs waiting to see the light of day. Stuff is crazy at the moment though with my live shows and planning my UK tour in September/October, so production and writing days are a little bit too rare for my liking.
Kendra: London-based now, but from Swansea, Wales. Are there any major differences in the music scenes you can name off the top of your head?
Rachel: The house music scene in Swansea is not as good as it could be! I remember my first rave in Fabric, it was like a whole new world. We are very spoilt for choice in London.
Kendra: When we think of Wales, of course, Princess Diana comes to mind. What else should people recognize about Wales though, in your opinion?
Rachel: Wales is beautiful!!!! The Gower peninsula and the West Coast are two of my favourite spots in the world. I think when people think of Wales they might think of Cardiff or Swansea but the coastline is totally underestimated.
Kendra: Lastly, what are your plans for the next couple of months?
Rachel: I am trying super hard to have some time off in August but also I want to release an EP ahead of my Autumn UK tour. I also have some exciting shows with Ableton in November, including the We Are Robots Festival in Brick Lane and Loop, Berlin.