Deardra Shuler interviews singer Rachel Brown, an Ethiopian/Bermudian with southern roots, whose voice reveals a sultriness and sweetness that has captivated listeners. A musician who plays the guitar and ukulele, Rachel embodies with her African/Caribbean band, the genres of pop, Caribbean, Hawaiian, country, hip-hop and world sounds into a captivating groove.
At 19, with no formal musical training, Brown found her voice organically. “My songwriting process consists of grabbing my guitar and learning how to play it while I write songs,” says Brown. “I just play until it sounds right.”
Brown was the 2010 recipient of the prestigious ASCAP Foundation Robert Allen Award for songwriting as well as a 2011 recipient of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame Abe Olman Award for Excellence in Songwriting. She also received a very coveted showcase slot at the National Association for Campus Activities’ national convention, leading to a 40 date college tour.
The Harvard graduate has been featured by the New York Post and PerezHilton.com and has opened for the likes of Mary J. Blige and Robin Thicke at Bermuda’s National Stadium, and John Legend and Quincy Jones at the Bermuda Music Festival.
Brown’s music also caught the ear of Wyclef Jean who brought her up on stage to perform an impromptu duet of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” at a fundraiser held at New York’s legendary Cipriani 42 Street. Recently Jean joined Brown onstage at her residency at NYC’s famed supper club, The Darby.
Be sure to catch Brown’s debut EP “Building Castles” which is available now.
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