After gathering huge amounts of praise for her releases over the last year, singer and songwriter Raquel Kiaraa has now delivered her stunning new album 'Defying Odds'.
Taking the alt-pop sound and blending it with some truly euphoric production, 'Defying Odds' makes for a brilliantly spellbinding listen. Jam-packed with soaring textures, bold atmosphere, and her own powerful voice throughout, this new release is a broad and effervescent step forward for the artist.
So with the new album available now, we sat down with her to find out more about her background and what has inspired her most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Piano / Spanish Guitar.
What kind of music did you love when you were younger?
TLC, Britney Spears, No doubt, Aquagirl, The Beatles, All Saints, Spice Girls, Alanis Morissette, Avril Lavigne, Destinys Child.
What was the first album you remember owning?
Britney Spears - Baby One More Time, TLC - Waterfalls, Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill.
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
When We’re Older: Writer(s): Beyonce Gisselle Knowles, James Blake Litherland, Sydney Loren Bennett, Andrew David Prosser, Nicholas John Charles Eaholtz, Oluseun John Abisagboola. (I love the way James Blake sings this track).
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
Ideas flood through me all day long; I can’t escape words and ideas. So I have always found myself carrying around a small notebook to jot down the constant ideas that come through me. I love words and writing stories; it’s something that has always come so fluid and natural to me.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
James Blake, Leonard Cohen, Rosalia, Finneas, Frank Ocean, OneRepublic, Patrick Watson, LORDE, the Civil Wars, Black Keys, Daniel Caesar, Bruno Major, Chris Stapleton, Joseph.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
What do you find is the most rewarding part of being a musician?
I am one. Working my ass off and committing to the idea that the dream of becoming a musician was possible. Coming from a background of having never sung before the age of 32 and then transforming myself into a musician has been one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life. I’ve been able to harness the power to believe, create and empower, myself, my poetry and others just by turning the impossible into possible.
And what is the most frustrating part?
Learning music from the ground up. It has been one of the most tedious, taxing and uncomfortable places I have had to go through. Starting so late in the music game and trying to fast-track your skillset can be daunting, especially when your life is already set in motion with many other things, i.e. becoming a mother twice, owning and running multiple businesses, coaching. At times, I questioned myself and everything I intended to achieve; it’s an ongoing frustration; however, that comes with learning anything new and wanting to be great at it. I have spent many hours self-talking myself through those frustrating places and realising the goal and desire to make this album and become a musician outweighed any doubt and fear I had through this process.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
Make your music relatable; people gravitate towards music and lyrics that they can relate to.
Raquel Kiaraa's new album 'Defying Odds' is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.