Upon the release of her latest single, a exciting project which includes a video inspired by a short film by Andy Warhol (1963) named ‘The Kiss’ Rachel Alice Johnson explores and succeeds at creating music that is relevant and pushes the boundaries to a level which is very pleasing.
I spoke to Rachel ahead of the release of the track ‘Coming Down Slow’ out Nov 8th to chat about the making of the piece and her future plans.
MIMR: We head to Edinburgh next on the blog to introduce to you the extremely talented Rachel Alice Johnson. Hey, hope your well, how has your 2017 been so far?
Rachel: I’ve had a great 2017 so far, thank you. I’ve put out a couple of releases this year which have all been well received. It’s cool to see people take notice of my work and to gain some critical recognition.
MIMR: Tell us all about the new single, what’s it about and what influences do you draw upon when creating your music?
Rachel: I initially write the base structure to my songs on piano – ‘Coming Down Slow’ was just one of many ballads about past memories. I took the track to my band to play around with arrangement – I ended up cutting the song in half and re-writing the chorus completely, as the song became less lyric-focussed and instead more of a low-fi experiment of sounds and placement. Replacing the piano with bass distortions is always a game-changer in my songwriting process; it seems to heat everything up and disrupt the melancholy of the song. ‘Coming Down Slow’ is probably the most experimental song I’ve ever written, which pushed me out of my comfort zone. I’ve been surprised with the airplay reaction to it so far, as the low-fi, home-recording vibe isn’t often featured on radio. I like my tracks to have a rawness to them, similar to how The Black Keys write and produce.
MIMR: Playing live must be one of the highs of being a performer, what’s been your most memorable show?
Rachel: There’s been quite a few shows this year which I’ve really enjoyed. I think playing King Tuts in January was particularly special as immediately after it I saw a jolt of attention placed upon me. It really kicked off a great year for me, and it was a venue I had been dying to play since I was about 16.
MIMR: What’s next up for your music heading into next year and what aspirations would like to achieve in your career?
Rachel: As an artist my ambition is just to create the best work of my ability, and to continue pushing myself experimentally. As long as I care about the art I’m making and I can see a progression, that’s all that matters. Next year I think I’m going to be a bit more selective on what I release, and try and push all my levels of writing, production and film-making up a notch.
MIMR: Thanks Rachel for chatting to us at MIMR, all the best with the single. How can people check out your music and keep up to date with everything else your up to?
I also have a twitter which I primarily use to re-tweet Yoko Ono and quote Lana Del Rey lyrics (along with some of my own music) – my handle is @rachyjohnson
Lastly I have an Instagram account (similar to my twitter, but with more selfies/cats) – http://www.instagram.com/rachelalicejohnson
Here’s the new video: