Bringing her vision and a lot of hard work, singer/songwriter Rachel Brashear talks about her album, Songs From A Cave, in this Creator Conversation interview. In this Q&A session, we talk about her background in music, what inspired the album, recording at the UCO Jazz Lab, her challenges, and more.
Rachel, talk a bit about yourself, your music, and how you got involved in making music for those unfamiliar with you.
I was born here in Oklahoma to a family of musicians. I grew up playing music and listening to my parents perform, and it never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t do the same. Music has been everything to me for as long as I can remember. I was always drawn to songwriters and composers, those that wrote thoughtful and artistic music, and I began writing and performing original material around the age of 12. I’ve had a few minor detours but have consistently written, performed, and taught music. I owe alot to my parents and all those wonderful music teachers I’ve had throughout my life. I moved home to Oklahoma City in 2012 and found a beautiful community of musicians that have really helped push me into creating better art.
What inspired the album, Songs From A Cave, and its songs?
“This album is one cohesive piece of work, but it contains many stories. But all of them are true. I decided to be more raw, more personal, in this album.”This album is one cohesive piece of work, but it contains many stories. But all of them are true. I decided to be more raw, more personal, in this album. There are themes of duplicity, regret, strength, the often overlooked feminine perspective, and growth through destruction. There is a level of emotional chaos within some of these songs, teetering on a precipice that I needed to explore, and there are some songs of tenderness and healing. I think its important to let people interpret the stories in their own way and I hope these songs invite people in enough to do so.
Use only seven words to describe the album.
A little vision, alot of hard work.
In the album, you’re credited for playing all keys, guitars, and vocals. What instruments can you all play?
Haha, well I will TRY to play anything, but I focus on piano and guitar. I play violin, but it hasn’t found its place in my songs yet.
Playing on the album title, have you ever explored or toured any caves? Where?
I have, as a child, but not as an adult. Someone thought the title was a play on Plato’s cave, which is an interesting take, and in a way makes sense, but it is more of a metaphor – I’m sure it can mean different things to different people, but to me it is a secret place where these songs were born.
What was the greatest challenge in making the album?
Time. This album took much longer than anticipated to complete. Life is complicated, art even more so sometimes, and it took a few starts and stops. Once I began working with Michael Trepagnier it came together very quickly, but finding the time was definitely the hardest part.
Your album was recorded in the UCO Jazz Lab in Edmond. Why record there?
My fantastic bass player, Aaron Tomasko, works at the Jazz Lab and we knew we had access to the space after hours. They are also equipped with an amazing Steinway piano, B3 organ, and great recording equipment. We had freedom to record live and it allowed us to capture some great vibes. Did I also mention the Steinway grand piano?!
What have been some of your favorite places/events to perform or experience music in Oklahoma?
I have played so many great shows locally. Recently the Midtown Songwriter Series at City Pres with my friends Kyle Reid and Levi Parham was a highlight!
Anything else you want people to know?
I have some great shows coming up (dates on my website), and am already thinking ahead to the next project. If you like my music please keep checking back for more, sign up for emails, and stay in touch!