Rachael Yamagata, the powerfully raw voice behind songs like “Be Be Your Love” and “The Reason Why” is back with a new collection of tracks in her indie-produced album, Chesapeake.
Chesapeake charms with the edgy “Starlight” captivating our ears and “Even If I Don’t” lifting our hearts (despite the somber message). Here are some facts you may not know about our favorite no-pain-no-gain songbird.
She was a drifter
“I grew up mostly in Maryland and Washington DC and went to Northwestern and then got a masters at the College of Chicago and New York and was kind of drifting around with what I wanted to study. I did different languages, and studied theatre and pretty much got kicked out of acting class within a week. I was a terrible student, I’m not good with structure/deadline and needing to be in class every morning. It’s sort of a rebellion streak. I could live across the street and refuse to take the steps to get to class. I don’t think I’m that bad of an actress but it actually turned out for the best because I got into this acting class for opera students and there was a musical element and I went out and started seeing live music.”
“I’m actually quite shy on stage it takes a lot for me to go do it and I go up there and love it, feed off of it. I’m not typically a ham or a show off. It takes a bit to have me do it.”
She’s talented in multiple instruments
“I took one year of piano when I was 12 and I quit piano ‘cause I wasn’t sitting up straight enough and I took one year of flute cause I kept passing out, it was too much breathe support. Other than that, I’m pretty self-trained and pick things up as I go along and do my best. I will pick up a bass every now and then, I’d really love to play drums or a string instrument, if I ever get my hands on one, I’d love to try it out.”
Life is a fodder for her songs
“I’m definitely an observer. I like to understand the connections between people and why we relate to one another the way we do and what blocks us from relating in a closer way to each other. Certainly, romantic relationships and the psyche behind all those things is very fascinating to me.”
She’s worked with Mandy Moore…
“Mandy is hilarious. She’s just so well versed in music and extremely disciplined and has mounds of energy. Watching her juggle all of the things in her life is great and now she’s with Ryan Adams.”
And Ryan Adams…
“He’s just a musical genius, writes songs in no time.”
And Ray Lamontagne…
“Ray Lamontagne just has the most beautiful voice and is careful with his words. He doesn’t mince his words in life or in his songs. Musicians learn a lot from one another—they’re students all the time.”
She wants to work with Jack White and Elton John
“I’ve always wanted to do stuff with The White Stripes. Jack White is just super amazing. [And] Elton John is an icon of greatness that I’ve grown up on but there’s so many on this list.”
She loves getting to know her fans on a more personal basis
“I’m pretty well versed in the frustration of not being able to do things with your fans more instantaneously. It really made me think, ‘how do you go to your fans?’ I heard through other peers that they’ve done Pledge and Kick Starter that really gave fans access to things they were curious about, whether it was behind the scenes stuff or exclusives and just items you have as an artist that you’re not sure anybody wants to watch but they appreciate the personal affects you might have. Whether it’s handwritten lyrics or something you had from the road. I mean I’ve been collecting these things just for my own and then I started thinking… I literally stole honey off of Nick Cave’s table just cause I wanted something sitting near Nick Cave so maybe people would want sort of a window to this world that I had been living—a connection. It has just been amazingly gratifying.”
The fall issue of Audrey Magazine is out now! Did you get your copy yet?