Rachael Is Back With More Soca!

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By Michael Mondezie

RAE (Rachael Purcell) is fast developing a reputation as the sweetheart of soca.

The diminutive fine-voiced New York-based vocalist brings a certain charming innocence to the genre that has endeared her to fans and earned her that moniker.

RAE’s Carnival 2023 single “Adjust Your Crown”, which championed women empowerment, won her fans both home and away, signalling her emerging presence on the soca circuit.

source: JulianspromosTV | Soca Music

Back on the islands to preview and promote her Carnival 2024 catalogue the affable Santa Flora-born singer says she’s most enjoying the warmth of her homeland, before having to head back to the cold dread of the American east coast.

“It always feels amazing to come home,” RAE beamed during a pleasant WhatsApp exchange with the Kitcharee on Wednesday.

“You see when dem doors open in Piarco and that heat hit yuh? Is like bliss! Plus I always enjoying seeing my family and doing some ground work,” she exclaimed.

RAE has returned to share three new releases on three upcoming Carnival 2024 riddims. She has released “Gimme D Ting” on the Advokit’s (Kitwana Israel) Bubblaz Riddim, “Chemistry” on Cayman Islands producer Skorch Bun It’s (Jason Gilbert) Hard Rock Riddim and “Closer” on American/Bajan producer DJ Spider’s (Haskell Greenidge) “Girl Cast Riddim”.

The Caribbean, Afro Music Awards UK winner insists her diverse lyrical content, atop contrasting moods of music, mirrors her mix-it-up creative approach.

“Musically the mission is to provide a variety of topics. When it comes to soca music we can do so much more than just jump and wave and wine and I would definitely like to explore more of those concepts outside of Carnival,” RAE explained.

Taking music to heart

RAE migrated to the US as a young child for health reasons. She required heart surgery to repair a Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) – a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart. TOF occurs when a baby’s heart does not form correctly in the womb.

“It’s similar to a heart murmur, but more serious and very rare. It was repaired and I visit a cardiologist to check on it from time to time,” she explained.

While attending high school in the US , she recalled developing another heart anomaly: a love for music. RAE attended the Frank Sinatra School of Arts in New York, where she further explored that passion.

“Vocally, I was trained in classical music and I dabbled in a bit of R&B as well, but soca is my true passion, however I am always open to crossovers.

“I’ve always loved singing and studied music in school, but I made the choice to pursue it professionally in 2019. Which was when I was introduced to my now manager Darryl Gervais. And one of my first songs was “Work it” off the Toatin Riddim produced by (St Lucian) Motto (Lashley Winter).

“Since then we have continued to do the groundwork. Building my brand as well as the catalogue,” she recalled.

Existing in two places at once

Contributing to a growing New York soca scene while striving to connect with a hardcore home base back in T&T has been a challenge, RAE admits.

“It definitely comes with some difficulties, but at the end of the day this is in my blood so even if I’m not here I am always surrounded by our culture as much as I can,” she related

In recent years soca has burst out of the five boroughs of New York to extend its reach into surrounding states, she added.

“I have seen soca expand to states and establishments that I would not have anticipated to hear it. The love for soca outside is different. Because we are not home I think the passion and thirst for it is a little more. Every time it is played it’s like a spark igniting and you can see people start to come alive and genuinely loving, enjoying and appreciating the music.

“I try my hardest to talk to everyone I meet about soca music but also it is one of my goals to perform soca in places that you would not typically expect. For example I recently performed at the UniverSoul circus (in Atlanta) when they hosted a Caribbean night. I also performed on Fox5 news in Washington DC. These are just some of the ways I represent for the culture,” RAE beamed.

RAE believes she is ready to explore the next frontier of the craft: writing. Penning and singing her own songs at her own feature concert, remains a life-long dream.

“What’s next is to continue building the brand and the catalog. I have been getting more in to writing so I want to continue to learn and grow in that dynamic. And one day I would love to have my own concert,” she concluded.

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