Genius is a term that is not supposed to be used with a heavy hand. However, when appropriate, it should be applied generously. Rachel Fannan is a musical genius. Period. From lending her beautiful voice to the phenomenally successful video game Devil May Cry to her playing drums for the punk group Pussy Riot to her solo work as a singer-songwriter to teaching music at The School of Rock in Portland, she embodies an artist who has reached its highest potential.
We spoke to Rachel in her studio in Portland, Oregon, to talk about her musical journey and her new album, The Marigold Experiment, which is released under APM Music’s artist-driven label, Kinetik, and is now available for licensing.
In part one of this conversation, she talked about her background and how she started her musical journey. She also touched on her major musical influences and the story behind her album, The Marigold Experiment.
Watch part one of our interview with Rachel Fannan.
Born Rachel Marie Williams in Southern California, Rachel received international acclaim as the singer of the San Francisco-based psych-rock band Sleepy Sun. She won an Emmy for her vocal work in 2012’s “Beautiful Dreamer” spot for Canon. She had collaborated with Black Mountain, Jacob Miller, Fantasydub, and Anywhere, which features Cedric Bixler from At-the-Drive-In and The Mars Volta, and Mike Watt of Stooges and Minuteman.
She grew up in a family of musicians and got into the game quite early.
"My dad is a classical pianist, and my mom was also musical, but she was a singer, so I grew up listening to my mom sing a lot," Rachel said. "So where my dad was into classical music and kind of a nerd, my mom was into the Everly Brothers, The Association, and The Mamas and the Papas, so I had the pop melodies and pop lyricism over the romantic classical stuff at a early age."
Next week, Rachel talks about playing drums for Pussy Riot and her foray into the world of video game music.
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Listen to The Marigold Experiment.