|Rachel K Collier|
Andy Howells chatted to singer/songwriter Rachel K Collier during the Summer of 2014 about her collaboration with Ray Foxx, Curious.
Curious, the new single from Ray Foxx ft. Rachel K Collier, is the latest collaboration from the duo, following on from last summer’s infectious Top 20 hit Boom Boom (Heartbeat). 23 year old singer/songwriter Rachel who hails from Swansea and is a former student of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, has had quite a busy year since her last chart appearance.
“I’m working on an EP now and another commercial release which will be coming quite soon after Curious,” she says, “I spent a bit of time in LA last year just song writing not only for myself but for other artists and other projects. I came back last summer and it all kicked off with the Boom Boom which was amazing because we got to play Majorca Rocks and the Radio One Live Lounge. Since then I’ve been working on my own stuff and getting all my solo material together.”
Anyone who hears Rachel’s music is usually struck by her diversity, she is equally at home playing piano and singing as well as laying down beat hooks for new dance tracks.
“I love dancing and I love writing over a beat, but scrape all that back and I’m a singer/songwriter,” she continues, “I play piano and write stuff with chords, if you take away the beat there will always be a strong song there. Sometimes it’s quite hard knowing where to fit yourself in.”
Rachel K Collier and Ray Foxx
Rachel’s musical success is a far cry for the young girl from Swansea whose initial interest was drawing. “There was a piano in the house which my mum played a bit when I was small. One day I just switched from drawing pictures to playing around on the piano every night. It was like a complete transition; I found the piano and started experimenting on there, copying tunes from the television. I never really read music until I was about 18. I had a really good group of supportive friends who would just listen to me.”
Since studying a Music Tech course at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Rachel has fronted her own band and released several recordings before signing to Island Records. Recently Rachel had to turn her skills to acting for the Curious video in which she is seen swimming with a male model. “We shot it in Ibiza during July, I was quite nervous because it was an acting role. I did a bit of acting in school at the Glamorgan County Theatre. To be honest I didn’t like acting, I just used to like the singing and the dancing. There was this moment in the boiling sun when I was just about to swim in the water to do this underwater kiss scene and I thought, “Actually the West Glamorgan county theatre had its uses!””.
Rachel K Collier
Does Rachel have a particular formula she follows when collaborating on a track with another artist? “With Ray Foxx it’s been a song beforehand and then he’s taken a song and made a wicked beat. Then Ray and I work on it to make the chorus strong. But in my next commercial release, the producer just sent me the beat. He said “can you write me a melody and lyrics over this?” In that case it can be beat first, it varies. It depends on the producer you are working with.”
A varied approach to music ensures Rachel won’t be restrained by a specific genre, so music fans can expect to be hearing more from her in coming months as a singer. Songwriter and producer. “There’s lots of ways you can go about making music especially for me, because I can go about making banging dance music or stripped back vocal and piano. With my forthcoming EP I want to get a blend in there I make a lot of music just from my vocal sounds. I do like to have a variety of what I can do. It’s definitely a challenge.”