Ok, not so tough, but I sat down with Alassane to discuss our upcoming show - Monday, October 22 at the Valley Bar in Phoenix. To get to know each other, we asked each other 5 questions, and now I feel I know him a little more, and it turns out, we’ll be a really great musical match at the show!
Rachel: “Ok, here are my questions, I don’t know if they are cool, but let’s find out.”
Alassane: “Alright, this is really funny and kind of embarrassing. I’m glad were doing this.”
R: “What’s your dream keyboard?”
A: “Right now, probably a Moog One. Though I've been watching, somewhat voraciously, Paul Simon's Live In Central Park Concert and Richard Tee on the CP-70 is pretty serious. Im finding those quite appealing right now as well. But Moog is about to drop what might be the most advanced synth ever made. I'm scared. They've been working on it for like 8 years. A friend just recently showed me some demo videos Moog put out and I felt like i was watching the moon landing or something. the mooG landing. ZING”
R: “Who taught you your first song?”
A: “I sat in with my Dad on one of his gigs in Montreal when I was really young. This was before I had started playing and teaching myself. He had taught me some traditional music from Mali, where he's from, and I sang with him during his set. I was probably around 6 or 7.”
R: “What job would you do if you weren’t a musician?”
A: “Hmmm.. I don't really know. I have grandiose ideas about eventually being able to integrate different lines of work and fields of interest but it all seems to be rooted in work as a musician. If I had to choose though, probably a writer. Some things just got to be written down.”
R: “What/where was the best meal that you ever had?”
A: “That is tough. I had some pretty monumental home cooked meals when I visited family in Bamako as a young squire. Also toured Europe with a singer/songwriter this year and we ate at this restaurant in Copenhagen that may have served the finest vegan meal I ever did have, let me tell ya. There's also this gourmet Jamaican food restaurant in Phoenix called The Breadfruit that is pure fire. Fire for days.”
R: “Name a non-musical artist of any genre or medium that inspires you.”
A: “Kahlil Gibran. Kahlil Gibran. Kahlil Gibran.”
Ok, now I’m in the hot seat.
A: “Are their any unorthodox/world instruments that have inspired you?”
R: “Over the past 10 years or so, I’ve been highly influenced by noise/sound. I was introduced to the world of pots and pans and typewriters, mic-ing up random things, and when I started using synthesis, it only made sense to put these things together to create new sounds. Right now I am immersed in Pedals and Effects.”
A: “What was your main source of inspiration while making your album?”
R: “I think the idea of creating a comfortable sonic space to sing in was one of my main thoughts. Like, can this music exist on its’ own without any words? So, I was trying to ‘feel good’ within the music.”
A: “I feel we've both been indelibly inspired by Bowie. Which Bowie record has meant the most to you?”
R: “Well, the main answer to that question would be the fact that the When It Falls producer, Tim Lefebvre worked with Bowie towards the end. When I started writing this album, my father was passing, he actually died the day Blackstar came out, with Bowie passing two days later. So that part is pretty intense. So Blackstar is one and The Next Day is another - we did a cover of Love Is Lost from that album. I think the other part to my answer is Bowie’s theatrical take on his music, visually and the way he sings his lyrics. I’m working on creating that world in my performances and visual offerings.”
A: “What is currently your favorite pedal?”
R: “Right now it’s the Earthquaker Devices Transmisser. It’s shows up a bunch on the album, it’s a modulated reverb with extra-long decay fed to a highly resonant filter. I like to call it ‘makeup’ for any sound you’re using - it blows it out and creates a very lovely, colorful, pad.
A: “Have you ever been moved to tears at a show?”
R: “Yes, it was a Dave Matthews concert, but that’s only because I tried E”
AND THERE YOU HAVE IT!
The new video for ‘Love Is Lost’ from When It Falls is getting lots of love out in the world. Here’s what Broadway World and Blackbook have to say.
I'm releasing another new single this Friday 8/10/2018. EarJelly.com featured it today on their website - Take a look/listen and share! ow.ly/Kli930liPBS It will be for sale/streaming on all platforms by the weekend!
I had the honor of being assistant music director at the Women's March in D.C. this year. It was crazy! Here are some behind the scenes photos from that historic day.
Coffee Tour 2016. So epic. As if I've been doing this for years. London Edition, but really, Only Edition. I have a lot of time off in London this month, so I'm making the best of it. London is an endless city, so this post really could go on forever, but I'm limited to the amount of caffeine I can take per day - that comes to about 4 cups of coffee at most. Also, I'm doing this all on foot. So, whatever my shoes can take.
Brooklyn Coffee : Shoreditch
It was really a coincidence that Brooklyn coffee was literally next to the salon that I was going to visit that day. I love those kind of conveniences, especially when wandering the streets of an unfamiliar city. I ordered the Cortado which was perfect. They used the Mudusi roast by Caravan Coffee Roasters. I loved it so I bought a bag to use in the aeropress at home and on the tour bus.
Milkbar : Soho
This was my favorite stop in London. I hoofed it all the way from the financial district to Soho at the advice of my caffeinated boyfriend to experience Milkbar. It's a tiny but cozy cafe located in the seedier part of this artsy district. I liked that it was fairly busy, but I still had a place to sit and enjoy an amazing cortado and their Hummingbird cake. I'd definitely go back here.
Workshop Coffee : High Holborn
This ones for those who like a little science with their coffee.
Every cup at Workshop Coffee was measured specifically and the baristas made sure the temps were exactly perfect for the drinks they made. Definitely for the caffeine perfectionists...
I can't believe it's almost over... I haven't had a moment to write about it, so here it is!
I just spent an AMAZING week in the mountains of Colorado with KT Tunstall and her new band. She's a beautiful talent, Singer/Songwriter and guitarist coming out with her 5th album and I'm so excited to be a part of her upcoming tour. I get to flex my keyboard muscles as well as sing backup. Sounds like the perfect job for me!
This Friday, I'll be down in San Diego to join the Curtis Taylor Quartet at Bourre 7-9PM- He's an awesome trumpet player that I knew back in New York and his music is beautiful. Looking forward to that!
Also, don't forget, next month I'm at the Baked Potato with my band - April 12!!
It's Feb 1 and I'm happy to say I survived January. Between moving out of New York, my TV job being over, and my dad's passing, it has been challenging but I feel strong and am ready to see what California is all about. I live near some pretty good hiking so that will probably be my first adventure. I'm ready to write some new songs for the next album, and I'm loving the peace and quiet of my new apartment. It's a pretty perfect setting to be able to sit there and let the words come.
I'm about to start a new adventure, leaving Brooklyn, and headed to LA. Stay tuned for more!