Rachael Rajan is a UK-based singer/songwriter who is just getting started on her journery as a full-time musician. We recently saw her perform at Barts and the London Asian Society’s show "Elegance", and were blown away by her rendition of Beyoncé’s song "Listen".
The talented musician has been involved in the arts from a young age, saying "I never really ‘got’ into music; it was just a part of me and my upbringing. I loved any kind of music that was around me, from nursery rhymes to Disney songs."
"My mum was a dance teacher," she continues. "She took me to a lot of lessons, and I became used to the sound and dance. So from the beginning I was able to immerse myself in music."
Although there are many youngsters with clear musical talents, not many take it seriously enough to take it up at university. Rachael, however, decided to break the mould and pursue music at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford.
"It’s not easy being an Asian and having to explain to people that I studied music and intend to make a career out of it. It’s not usually done, so I took my time to study my craft from professionals, before I jumped in head first."
Deciding to go full-time is a pretty risky move for any creative, but Rachael decided to take the plunge, and has been a self-employed musician since she graduated in July. But she’s a savvy lady who has taken the necessary steps to learn as much about her art as possible.
"In my mind I was always serious about music, and like any other career you need to be able to back up what you want with the knowledge to do so," adds Rachael, backing up her decision to study the Industry of Music at the Academy of Contemporary Music.
"I knew how to sing and how to play piano, but I didn’t know how to go about making a livelihood from it. Now that I have finished, and have a firm grasp of what I want to achieve in my career and a plan of how I’m going to pursue it."
Although she says her main influences as old soul singers such as Etta James and Ray Charles, she also takes influence from modern artistes such as Lana Del Ray, Alicia Keys and Beyoncé. In terms of ethnic artistes, Rachael also is a fan of Susheela Raman who she finds "infinitely intriguing".
These days, Rachael is hard at work in the process of creating her first EP, and working on her website – IAmRachaelRajan.com – which should be live soon.
We’re looking forward to hearing from this talented musician! Stay tuned for updates about her musical journey, and in the mean time, enjoy Rachael Rajan’s performance of "Listen" from BLAS Elegance 2013, which took place at the Barbican Centre in February: