folk, jazz & blues, indie pop, pop, reggae
New York City-born Rachel Brown blends elements of her Ethiopian, Bermudian and South Carolinian roots with a childhood spent listening to soul greats like Sam Cooke and Smokey Robinson, as well as other Motown, R&B, and 90s pop and hip hop. A recipient of the prestigious ASCAP Foundation Robert Allen Award for Songwriting as well as the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame Abe Olman Scholarship Award for Excellence in Songwriting, Rachel’s distinctive sound has earned her praise and attention from Vanity Fair to The New Yorker and a legion of devoted fans.
Graduating with honors from Harvard College, where she studied filmmaking, the self-taught singer-songwriter developed her passion for music in her spare time, performing at open mic nights and building up her confidence to perform at larger events and eventually headline her own shows, including a 13-month weekly residency where her audiences regularly included celebrities from Jay Z and Beyoncé to Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese.
One of Rachel’s early songs, an infectious charmer called “Bumblebee,” helped launch her career when she released it on her 2012 debut EP Building Castles. The track was soon licensed for a diamond ring commercial, which Jay Leno featured in a monologue on The Tonight Show. Jaden Smith tweeted that it was his new favorite song, and it prompted Glamour to hail her “sensually soulful vocals” and DailyCandy to declare that “the hype is justified.”
In 2013 Rachel was asked to contribute to Lennon Bermuda, a tribute album, book and concert inspired by John Lennon’s visit to Bermuda. The album includes Brown’s cover of “Watching the Wheels” alongside contributions by Yoko Ono and Maxi Priest.Fusing pop, soul, Caribbean, world and hip-hop, Rachel’s unique style of music has garnered the attention of stars such as Jay Z,]Beyoncé, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jaden Smith, and more.
In 2015, Rachel released her follow-up EP The Band, which was met with glowing reviews, with The New Yorker describing her voice as possessing “the walnut burr of Erykah Badu and the lightness of Norah Jones” and InStyle Magazine hailing her “the next big thing.” Her stripped down cover of Whitney Houston’s classic “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” became a viral hit, catching the attention of the late singer’s estate and over 21 million Spotify streams.
In 2018, Rachel released her Holiday EP “Brown Paper Packages,” and was included on Town & Country’s “Modern Swans” (the Magazine’s list of “the most stylish – and talked about – young women”).
Building Castles EP (2012)
Lennon Bermuda (2013)
Other ContributionsSummer of Love EP (2013)
Me & You (2014)
The Band EP (2015)
Artist Interview @ songrevelation.com– Rachel Brown