The Traverse City native now based in Pittsburgh is touring the Great Lakes State behind her debut album. She plays SpeakEZ Lounge on Wednesday night. Check out the podcast and official video.
THE ARTIST: Rachel B
THE MUSIC: Soulful, sassy indie-pop
WHERE YOU CAN SEE HER: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at SpeakEZ Lounge in Grand Rapids; Thursday at the Sand Bar in Ludington; Friday at PJ’s Lager House in Detroit; Saturday at The Avenue Café in Lansing
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Rachel B calls it “soul empowerment pop.”
Currently touring Michigan, the Traverse City native and Pittsburgh-based singer-songwriter has made that twist on indie-pop the central theme of her recently released debut album, “I’m the Boss.”
“All the lyrics have an empowerment theme throughout the songs,” she told Local Spins. “They show the true chapter of my life right now – about a young woman who is paving her own way. It’s about learning to be a boss in their own life. I grew up in a small town in Michigan and paved my own way as a girl in a big city.”
That journey started at Traverse City West Senior High School, continued as a senior at Interlochen Arts Academy, followed by studies at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. The singer-songwriter then made her way to Los Angeles where she performed and “wrote a little bit for television and film,” before falling in love with Pittsburgh “randomly on tour.”
“I thought it’d be a great place to relocate and continue as an independent artist, and it’s been awesome,” she insisted.
Still, Rachel B, whose full name is Rachel Borovik, relishes the opportunity to return and perform in her home state, playing shows this month in Holland, Grand Haven, Detroit, Lansing, Ludington and Grand Rapids. She plays SpeakEZ Lounge at 8 p.m. Wednesday as part of the Local Spins Wednesdays series.
INSPIRED BY LEGENDARY SINGERS AND HER MICHIGAN UPBRINGING
“I love coming home,” said Rachel B, 25, whose family is still in Traverse City. “Home is where your roots are. I feel grounded when I am home.”
Inspired by the likes of singers Amy Winehouse, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Minnie Riperton, Rachel B’s music has been described as sassy, imaginative and energetic, something relected in the video for her single, “I’m the Boss.” (View the video below.)
And according to Billy Castle, the guitarist and drummer who’s toured and played with Rachel B for several years, it’s unique and sincere. “It’s just really real,” he said. “It’s genuine.”
PODCAST: Local Spins Live with Rachel B
Rachel B attributes much of that to her northern Michigan and Midwest roots.
“There’s something very genuine I find in Midwest people that trait is really important in songwriting,” she said, adding that the influence of Motown artists and the state’s natural beauty also inform her writing. “It’s a staple of all of us artists that are from Michigan. It’s such a beautiful place.”
The singer hopes to continue building her audience and do more touring, and she’s already at work on material for her next album. She’ll return to Michigan this summer to perform at various music festivals.
“I really live for the stage and that connection of being up there and connecting with people through music on stage. It’s really powerful,” she said. “But I also love to be by myself and just write music. I feel like a lot of musicians I know are like very introverted extroverts. It makes no sense, but I love both.”
All of that is reflected in her “coming of age” album, “I’m the Boss.”
“I love to write music and I am so proud of the music, songs and messages. It marks a time in life where I am right now and how I feel,” she said, adding that she just wants “to create new stuff. I just want people to enjoy it.”
For more information about the singer, visit rachelbmusic.com.
VIDEO: Rachel B, “I’m the Boss”
Copyright 2016, Spins on Music LLC