For this years first interview I was lucky enough to speak with Rachael Dunn, a north-west singer-songwriter who the Liverpool Echo described as having “warm, sweet, intoxicating vocals and gorgeous insightful songs.” Having performed on BBC Radio Merseyside her music has also been aired by several American radio stations. Rachael’s next album ‘Alpha Ghost’ is slated for a Febuary release.
You’ve become part of the Liverpool acoustic scene within the last few years what made you want to perform live?
My first live gig was May 2008 at ‘The Mocha Lounge’ with encouragement from local poet and writer Amanda de Angeles I decided to share my music. Prior to that the idea of getting up in front of people scared me to death, and although my first live experience was nerve wracking and scary, I felt such a buzz and rush of adrenaline, overcoming fear can give you a real sense of achievement.
What drove you to write your music?
Being born into a very musical and artistic family was the driving force that lead me to be creative on many levels. Visual art was my first choice of expression but I had an underlying fling with music, it’s something I picked up and put down many times throughout my life. In March 2007 I found myself becoming more drawn towards music and after polishing up and improving my guitar skills the song writing started to flow.
Which artists/bands influenced you as you began to write? Would you say these people still influence your music?
I grew up listening to Kate Bush, Clannad, Japan and David Sylvian, my brother who is five years older, certainly influenced my musical ear. I’ve always had very eclectic taste and love 50’s and 60’s harmony bands like Dion and The Belmonts and The Everly Brothers. When it comes to my own style of music I think melody and harmonies are very important.
What inspires you to write?
My inspiration to write can be triggered by many things, all the things life throws at you, weather positive or negative I try to put a reflective or spiritual slant on what I’m writing about, rather than bitterness, pain or blame. I’m inspired visually by the beauty of nature and also the harsh contrast of the changing seasons.
How do you approach song writing, do you find it is different each time or do you have a formula that you stick to?
Generally I start with a theme or idea of what the song is about then I try to seek out the music on my guitar, after I have a melody I’ll write lyrics and the song comes to life sometimes instantly other times more slowly over a matter of days or even weeks.
Which songs do you wish you could have written?
To me songwriting or any creative expression is so personal and individual that I never really wish I had written someone else’s songs. Although we all aspire and are appreciative of great music, your own songs are a little piece of you and you cannot be someone else.
A lot of musicians struggle or are reluctant to categorise their music what genre would you place your music in?
Everyone will have a different opinion so its difficult to pin down what my style is but if forced to categorise I would say Folk/acoustic organic and natural. Although with any genre of music you either like it or you don’t.
Are you writing at the moment?
I’m writing with musician and producer Alex Dunford on various songs, for my forthcoming album ‘Alpha Ghost’ that I’m releasing at the end of February all being well.
What’s coming up for you, any gigs or recording?
My next gig is on 26th Feb. The Folk Upstairs @ The Zanzibar and my album ‘Alpha Ghost’ will be available from the end of February and all the details will be on www.myspace.com/rachaelveronicadunn
Interview © 2010 Matthew Moss
The Harmless Musician Type
This interview was originally published on Matthew Moss’ blog, The Harmless Musician Type, which consists of Matt’s ramblings about music in general, and the local scene in particular. You can find the blog at http://theharmlessmusician.blogspot.com/
Matthew is a musician and student; he likes music so decided to make some. He enjoys Johnny Flynn, Mason Jennings, Neil Young, David Gray, Bob Dylan, The Yeah Yeah Yeas, Mumford & Sons, and Blind Pilot.
We will be publishing more of Matt’s interviews with musicians on the local acoustic music scene in the future. Many thanks to Matt for making them available to followers of the Liverpool Acoustic News and Reviews blog.
Liverpool Acoustic is the only website of its kind in the UK. It was founded by Graham Holland in April 2008 as a central resource for the vibrant and exciting acoustic music scene in Liverpool and the Greater Merseyside area. The website publishes news from the local acoustic music scene, previews of upcoming events, reviews of music releases and gigs, and the Liverpool Acoustic Spotlight podcast. This content is available for free via email subscription. The diary lists acoustic events including festivals, theatre concerts, folk clubs, showcases and open mic nights.
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