Meet Bianca Raquel, singer/songwriter/producer and student at Berklee College of Music.
• When and why did you start playing/singing, etc.?I've been singing and writing songs ever since I can remember. Music has always been second nature to me. I didn't even realize that it was a gift until I got a little older and learned that writing songs is a craft. Production is a skill that came along with the songwriting. While writing, I would hear all the instruments and vocal arrangements. By elementary school I had written, produced and performed on my first song. I began accompanying myself on the piano, which in turn enhanced my writing and musical abilities.
• What generally inspires you to write a song?Because songwriting has always been a part of me. I often use it as a way to express and process my emotions. I sit at the piano and play chords and the song kind of just comes out like it's been growing inside of me and I'm just a vessel letting it take it's form. Growing up I explored the many methods used in songwriting so that I could continue to strengthen my abilities. At this point, I am proficient enough in my art that I can write a song in any way. Whether I'm writing to a track, writing while creating a track, coming up with a title or a hook and then writing around that, etc. Just like any other discipline, the possibilities are endless and the more you learn and practice, the better you get at it.
• Are there any artists (old or new) that you are particularly influenced by?My parents exposed me to all of the classic music at a very young age. I grew up listening to the Stylistics, Earth Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield and the Jackson 5. All of those artists definitely had an impact on me. I listen to from Jay-Z to Pantera. You can definitely hear traces of the variety of genres I expose myself to in my work. I look up to current artists like Alicia Keys and Beyonce who are great singers and performers and have created their own lanes and raised the bar for upcoming artists like myself.
•For me, the ideal song would be a mix of The Roots Band, Wale would have verse 1, Amy Winehouse would hold down the chorus, Lupe Fiasco on verse 2, ’98 Lauryn Hill would do the bridge and Saul Williams would do spoken word at the end. What would be your "perfect song" (feel free to include yourself)?My perfect song would have a witty, soulful, bad ass Erykah Badu first verse. A catchy Van Hunt hook. A melodic, complex Bilal second verse. And a D'angelo on some "How Does it Feel" shit bridge/ take 'em to church break down at the end.
•Do you have a website or any upcoming projects that you'd like to share?I am getting ready to release the first single/video from my EP "Hello, My Name is..." on October 20. Make sure you guys look out for that! To keep up with my music you can follow me on Twitter at @THEBiancaRaquel. You can also check out my Tumblr and Youtube pages!
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