The UK R&B scene has flourished over the past 12 months, with singers like Ray BLK and Etta Bondbringing back an old school flavour and groups like WSTRN and MiC Lowry showing that the guys can do it too. One such “up and comer” is the talented Rachel Foxx, whose music has been described as “contemporary R&B with soul influences” and “distinctively old school” and been covered by online media outlets all over the UK and beyond. L Ø S T C U L T U R E spoke to Rachel to speak about her musical journey so far, her influences in music and what we can expect from her latest project, GOLD, due out later this year…
When did you first realise that you wanted to do music as a career?
“It kind of came naturally to me, I always wrote songs in primary school. I recorded my first song with my music teacher and the rest was history“.
Rachel’s parents were, as she describes, “traditional”. Even though her mother had hoped for young Rachel to be a doctor, her talents in music were undeniable and her mother loved and appreciated her work. Rachel’s early love of music is shown through her tracks. Her passion and desire to succeed is clear in each of her songs and one of the reasons that makes her music so compelling. She burst into the scene in 2014 with her self-titled debut EP and wowed fans and critics with her modern take on classic R&B, working alongside the likes of Hurricane, El Train and Nosaapollo on production. The project feels nostalgic in it’s approach with tracks like ‘Rock With Me‘ bringing back memories of a young Alicia Keys while tracks like ‘Intro‘ showcases Rachel’s laid-back, jazz style mixed with her husky tone. The standout track has to be ‘Before You‘ reflects a dark soundscape with Rachel’s delicate and soulful vocals almost floating over the track. Rachel even chose ‘Before You‘ as her favourite track she’s ever made;
“I think probably ‘Before You’ simply because of that time in my life. That year was such an amazing year, and I can say I was genuinely happy. Everytime I hear that song, it makes me smile“.
Apart from other music, what aspects influence your music making process?
“Literally everything, life experiences, people, love and hate. It can just be a mind frame I’m in for that current time in life or a mood I am in for the day“.
Would you say your current music is a reflection of your personality and character?
“Definitely, I’ve been writing a lot lately, I’ve linked up with one of my oldest producers and we’ve just taking things old school. I write about how I don’t really give a fuck and how I genuinely feel at this present time, Things might change but as of now my music is more blunt than ever“.
You dont haveIf you were to make a video tomorrow, who would you choose to direct it?
Rachel Foxx‘s back catalog of music shows her versatility in styles and genres. While tracks like ‘Fall For Me‘ plays out a bubbly bass line that takes hold of listeners and gently rocks them to the rhythm, ‘Love and War‘ sees her soulful vocals ride across the warbling, warping comet like beat that builds and builds, rosetta style. A personal favourite was her final release of 2015 entitled ‘Pink and Green‘ which has already racked over 30,000 streams via Soundcloud. The soulful track, produced by regular collaborator Evil Needle, has Rachel tantalizing us with hypnotic vocals that express pure R&B bliss and the vocals combined with the heavy piano production is what makes ‘Pink and Green‘ a real R&B/Neo Soul tune. Her latest release ‘Remember‘ has also done the rounds and been featured by the likes of MTV, FADER and Complex UK. Her music is honest, sometimes brutally honest, but that is what makes it so relatable. ‘Remember‘ for example is about “reminiscing on the past with someone who has constantly screwed you over and done evil things” and the stories she weaves with her lyrics could be happening to yourself or someone you know. With all her current success, is Rachel surprised by the response;
“It always surprises me that people actually want to listen to what I have to say”
You tweeted that “every article about you mentions from East London”. What does coming from East London mean to you?
“I love East London, it keeps me inspired and the energy is always up. Being from here has literally made me who I am, I’ve watched the hood become trendy, its weird for me, but inspiring, nevertheless“.
What three songs [from whenever!] could you not live without?
“Erykah Badu – ‘On & On’ Floetry – ‘Say Yes’ Donnell Jones – ‘You Know What’s Up'”
We included you on our “UK Females to Watch in 2016” amongst the likes of Nadia Rose, Jorja Smith and Lapsley. How have you found being a female in the current UK scene?
“I saw! Thank you. I find it nice, there are a lot of talented females stepping out on the scene right now and it’s inspiring“.
Who are you currently looking at the scene that you think is making big moves?