A relative newbie on the music scene, the young pop-rock songstress has spent the last few years writing, performing and touring, while trying to define the sound that will show the world who, exactly, Rachael Kennedy is. She’s making quite a statement with her new album, The InBetween, which will be released later this year.
Rachael’s pop-rock melodies keep your head nodding and your optimism flowing. On The InBetween, she experiments with layered sounds and melodies. Enthusiastic, with a passion for music that’s contagious, Rachael’s authenticity can’t be denied.
I recently chatted with Rachel about her upcoming album, and about breaking into the music scene at such a young age.
Raz Mataz Magazine (RMM): What first got you interested in music?
Rachael Kennedy (RK): When I was 15, a friend sent me a clip of Tegan & Sara performing an acoustic version ‘Nineteen’. One listen and I thought: I should be doing that. I hadn’t grown up with music – I had an older sister, who was more “the musical one”, and I was really more of a jock, but once I picked up a guitar, I was hooked.
RMM: How did you get started writing and making music yourself?
RK: I was going to Ryerson University for Arts & Contemporary Studies, and then I had interest from Warner Music and was given support for demo development. That was a great learning experience, and it was my first time being in a studio. We put together a four-song demo, and I decided to take a hiatus from school so that I could focus on music full time.
RMM: Why do you do this? What makes you want to be an artist?
RK: Music makes you have an immediate, visceral reaction. Like, you know when you hear a song that you’re just obsessed with and it’s the best feeling in the world? I want to make others feel that. I want them to feel my songs, not just hear them.
I’d say that I’m a songwriter first – before anything.
RMM: Tell us about your experiences writing music.
RK: I go to a lot of writing workshops. I like to collaborate and meet people – the music scene is such a small world. I went to the SongStudio Writing Workshop, where I met Dean McTaggart – he wrote Amanda Marshall’s ‘Dark Horse’ – and I was able to work with him which taught me a lot. I’ve also stayed at SOCAN’s Nashville House [the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada keeps a house in Nashville, where artists can stay for free while writing/working/collaborating], and when I was there, I was able to collaborate with others and learn so much.
RMM: Who are your musical influences?
RK: In terms of songwriting, definitely Joni Mitchell. Taylor Swift, even though it sounds strange, is someone who really knows her craft and is a great writer. Performance wise, there are a lot – Regina Spektor, she is so innovative and her choice of melodies is amazing, Coldplay, John Mayer, and, of course, Tegan & Sara.
RMM: Tell us about The InBetween.
RK: I feel like this album really represents me. I know myself better now, and want to show people who Rachael Kennedy is. Joel Feeney produced the album and I’m really stoked about it.
RMM: What‘s next for you?
RK: The InBetween will be released October 11, and I’ll be touring the college circuit in support of that. In November, I’m headed back to Nashville for more writing.
You can keep up with Rachael Kennedy via her YouTube channel.
The InBetween is set to release October 11, but you can read our early review of the record here.