Among the biggest names in the electronic dance music scene, Rachael Starr stands tall. This young and lovely artist is a Jane of all trades in the dance music genre and has become a household name around the world. Rachael Starr is not only a producer, DJ, and a writer, but she is also a great vocalist to boot! With hits such as â€œTill There Was Youâ€, â€œCrashâ€, â€œTo Foreverâ€, Rachael continues to make hits and takes names. With world wide DJ gigs, renowned vocals and fist pumping beats, Rachael makes a bold statement and letâ€™s the world know that there is nothing she canâ€™t do! We had a chance to catch up with Rachael and here is what was said:
Rachael Starr Interview:
Dayanna Guerrero: Weâ€™re here with Rachael Starr, the woman who can not only produce the beats for your Saturday nights, but adds her vocal flair to it too.
So Rachael, we had a chance to interview Orbital at the Ultra Music Festival in 2010 and from what I read they are one of the first artists that fueled your interest in dance music. What was it about Orbital that sparked your interest in dance music?
Rachael Starr: I just think it was something completely different from anything Iâ€™ve ever heard before. I think I was probably around twelve and my mom for some reason thought it would help my self confidence if she enrolled me in the how to be a model/actor school, which I was not interested in at all. We did this really stupid fashion show at the mall which was super embarrassing but at the end of it they gave us all goodie bags and one of the things in there was this Orbital tape and I couldnâ€™t stop listening to it.
It must have been the first time I had ever even heard dance music at all so I just remember pretty much being obsessed with that and being twelve years old and the internet wasnâ€™t anything big then and I didnâ€™t really know how to pursue that or how to find more stuff like that so it kind of just stuck with me until later on in my late teens that I got back into dance music more.
Dayanna Guerrero: Youâ€™re a DJ, producer, writer and a vocalist, is there any particular role that you enjoy doing more?
Rachael Starr: Iâ€™d have to say production is probably my favorite, just because its where I started and its more suiting to my personality to just kind of be alone in my studio, just really be involved on something and work, work, work by myself. Itâ€™s more me than actually the performance side of things, I really enjoy the performing and DJ-ing but even with Dj-ing Iâ€™m still behind something, doing my own thing. I think production for sure because thatâ€™s where I started and itâ€™s what I like to do as far as getting the creativity out and getting emotions out. Itâ€™s where I find my solace, I suppose.
Dayanna Guerrero: You have produced, written and done the vocals for tracks like â€œTill There Was Youâ€, â€œCrashâ€, â€œTo Foreverâ€ and many more. Whatâ€™s the process like on getting projects like this going and how long does it generally take you to get the finished product?
Rachael Starr: Itâ€™s probably a common answer but itâ€™s pretty different for every track Iâ€™ve done. If Iâ€™m doing something where Iâ€™m producing the track and Iâ€™m singing on it as well then I definitely do the music first. I usually start with the bass and the drums and just kind of get the vibe of where Iâ€™m going in the music first before I try to lay down the vocals. For all the songs you just mentioned they were probably written that way.
When Iâ€™m collaborating with other artists its usually pretty different because your starting with something thatâ€™s already half way done so getting the inspiration from somebody elseâ€™s ideas is there but starting something from scratch completely and making the music and the vocals itâ€™s pretty challenging. Itâ€™s also really rewarding in the end because itâ€™s all you and itâ€™s all your idea and itâ€™s pretty satisfying.
Dayanna Guerrero: Youâ€™ve traveled all over the world. With all this traveling who feeds your gold fish? (depending: Do you ever get homes sick or do you enjoy always being on the go?
Rachael Starr: (Laughs) I actually do have a couple of pets. I have a dog and have two cats but theyâ€™re usually taken care of by my husband and sometimes if he goes with me then my dad watches the dog.
Iâ€™ve been traveling a lot for the last four years. Before that I was traveling a little bit doing DJ-ing and stuff but I was still in school so itâ€™s pretty much just been for the last four years that itâ€™s been pretty heavy. It took a lot of getting used to because Iâ€™m a home body and most of the time Iâ€™m traveling Iâ€™m alone so that took some getting used to too. Iâ€™ve met so many awesome people and seen so many cool things and itâ€™s been really amazing to be able to do that.
Dayanna Guerrero: You often describe yourself as being shy, what is it about dance music that persuaded you to step out into the spot light?
Rachael Starr: It just kind of happened. I was in school studying computer science and math and doing the whole logical side of things and music has always been in my blood I guess you can say. My mom did music and after she passed away I just kind of felt like this was something that I needed to pursue more. So I just started producing music and kind of slacking on my school work a little bit, staying up until five in the morning making random tracks. It was never my intention to do what Iâ€™m doing now, I just something that I felt like I needed to do at the time and it was just by chance that Gabriel & Dresden heard â€œTill There Was Youâ€ and thought it was this and that and then it was signed. Then I was getting booked at shows and it was kind of all a mistake I guess but I feel like this is where I was supposed to be and I never would have figured that myself so I needed some extra forces to help me I suppose.
Dayanna Guerrero: I read that you are working on a project with Serge Devant. Is there anything you can reveal?
Rachael Starr: Itâ€™s pretty much done. I actually just finished sending him the acapellas today so I think it turned out a lot better than I thought it would. I felt like when I first heard the track, it just took me a couple of listens to really feel like okay now I see what I can do with this. It kind of reminds me of â€œFragma – Miracleâ€, if you remember that. Just kind of a cool vibe, not super upbeat but itâ€™s not like really slow. Itâ€™s a nice mellow song that youâ€™d want to turn up really loud and drive around in your car kind of deal.
Dayanna Guerrero: So itâ€™s a guaranteed hit?
Rachael Starr: I donâ€™t know itâ€™s so hard to tell after Iâ€™ve worked on something for so long because it just like I canâ€™t tell if itâ€™s good or what anymore but it makes me feel something so hopefully makes other people feel something too.
Dayanna Guerrero: Iâ€™m sure it will. You have a new release called â€œHolding Onâ€; can you tell us how this song came to be?
Rachael Starr: That was the second collaboration that I did with David Vendetta and we had done a collaboration previously called â€œBleeding Heartâ€ which did really well. That relationship was just set up because he was releasing stuff on a label in France called DJ Center and they had released some of my stuff before they released â€œTill There Was Youâ€ for France and also release â€œCrashâ€ for France. So they had the idea of having us work together and it was the first time I ever collaborated with another artist because up to that point I had always produced my own stuff so I was kind of weary about it and I had never heard of him either. I mean heâ€™s pretty popular in France and in North Africa, Middle East and stuff so obviously I know that heâ€™s pretty big now but at that time I was just kind of on a whim that I decided to do it. Holding on was the second collaboration that we did together.
Dayanna Guerrero: I read that you are also part of a band called Human Life. Can you tell us more about it?
Rachael Starr: Thatâ€™s kind of a side project Iâ€™ve been working on for about two years now. My husband initially formed it with this guy Matt. They met each other at a birthday party and then I heard what they were working on. They were working on it together for six months, and I was like â€œI feel like I could understand, and it needs something extra and let me get in there with you guys and see if we can take it to the next levelâ€. So I started working with them, working on the production of things. Iâ€™ve sang on a couple of songs but its different than what I would normally do, itâ€™s more rocky, more disco, indie dance kind of stuff so itâ€™s fun.
Dayanna Guerrero: So now youâ€™re breaking into the more rock kind of side of things?
Rachael Starr: Yeah I mean its definitely still dance music, itâ€™s just the live shows that weâ€™ve done, Iâ€™m playing keyboard, Mattâ€™s on base, we do vocals so its definitely more of like a live aspect but itâ€™s definitely got the rock influence in there.
Dayanna Guerrero: In your upcoming album, you have a song with Cedric Gervais called â€œEven Thoughâ€. Can you tell us more about this track and your new album?
Rachael Starr: Thatâ€™s actually going to be for his album supposedly for Ultra. That track we did wow, itâ€™s been two years now. Weâ€™re just kind of waiting for him and whoever else heâ€™s collaborating with to finish the other song for the album and then it should be released. So I have actually no idea when thatâ€™s going to come out. Iâ€™m waiting because I really like it!
Dayanna Guerrero: So Rachael, what can fans expect to see from you in the future?
Rachael Starr: I am definitely going to do my own album this year, Iâ€™ve been saying it forever but I never wanted to feel pressured to do an album because thereâ€™s so many albums who say â€œyouâ€™ve had this great single, and this great single, you have to do an album!â€ but I always have felt that I donâ€™t have to do an album. I will do an album when I feel itâ€™s right and I have enough influences and I feel enough creativity. Iâ€™ve always felt that I needed to be at a certain place in my life to do that but I definitely feel like Iâ€™m there now. So, Iâ€™m going to start working on an album this year and hopefully touring a lot more and thatâ€™s pretty much it. More remix work for me; I just released an EP of just tracks, no vocals. Trying to get more remix work, I just did a remix for Lowbit Recordings last month that should be released within the next couple of months, just keeping busy with lots of different stuff.
Dayanna Guerrero: Well thatâ€™s great! Well Rachael, thank you so much for your time and we canâ€™t wait for your album to be released!
Rachael Starr: Thank you