Rachel Kerr’s debut album ‘Masterpeace’ is just a few days away. Here is everything we already know about Rachel Kerr and her forthcoming body of work.
Although Rachel Kerr released her MOBO award-winning debut EP ‘Back to Music’ in 2012, a lot of activities led to that pivotal moment in her life. As the EP title implies, its message was to inform her fans and listeners about her return to music. Prior to that, the UK-based artiste of Caribbean and African heritage dazzled fans as the youngest contestant on ITV’s popular talent contest Stars in Their Eyes, she was only 15 at the time.
Rachel has had the opportunity to open for and share a stage with Gospel singers such as Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp and BeBe & CeCe Winans and as a vocal coach, she’s has worked with some of Africa’s biggest musicians like Tiwa Savage, P-Square and Waje.
We are now finally about to be treated to a full album from this celebrity vocal coach, Grammy Award Association member and BET Music Matters endorsed artiste.
Already out with the single, ‘I Do’, here’s everything you need to know about Rachel Kerr’s ‘Masterpeace’ album scheduled for release on 25th February 2022.
1. It’s just a few days away till your debut album drops, how’re you feeling right now?
Excited. Anxious and I’m working very hard not to feel overwhelmed. The last 4 years, maybe even longer have gone into crafting this album, and it’s my official debut. Not only that but it’s my most personal body of work to date. So many people have sacrificed for the world to hear this. As much as it’s exciting to share my art with the world, it’s very easy to feel the nerves but I’m hopeful that this will do exceedingly and abundantly above all I could ask or think. I just really want this release to make a difference.
2. Your voice has a lot of jazz inflections. Which jazz vocalists do you look up to?
It’s interesting I don’t listen to a whole lot of jazz although I do have a real appreciation for the genre. I was raised in the church and my father was a mass gospel choir director so my childhood was full of harmonic melodies and creative vocal expression. But growing up, I listened to the likes of Fantasia, Beyonce, Jazmine Sullivan, Whitney Houston and others. I have a real appreciation for passionate, colorful and dynamic vocal expression. It takes a lot of training, not just talent and gifting. Training and vocal science is something which I have dedicated myself to since quite young. I’ve been fortunate to build an international performing arts school that shares my vocal-advancement findings with the world.
3. Concerning your style of music, have you ever been uncertain about how you’d want to express yourself?
Oh absolutely. I’m human with a flawed desire to please. It’s something I think every artist can suffer with. It’s the need to produce what they think the masses want to hear when in actual fact the best thing we can do is just produce music from our hearts. I’ve seen how music created from the heart goes straight to the heart of its listeners. But it takes bravery. I dont mind people rejecting something that wasn’t really personal to me, but when the music is an extension or expression of me, I feel far more protective over it. But with this album, I’ve completely rebelled. This music is powerful, vulnerable, sincere and absolutely the best of my talent to date. I decided to be fearless and created the music exactly as I heard it in my head. I spent a lot of time by myself when creating this body of work, just to ensure that I wasn’t creating the type of music and message that was expected of me, but creating exactly what it was I wanted to. I promised I wouldn’t betray myself with this release, something I have been guilty of in the past, this one, is my Masterpeace.
4. Considering the album took over 4 years to create, what would you say is the song that took the shortest time to make?
Great question, to be honest, I tend to write quite quickly. Every song was born from a personal experience so my creative expression is fast and free-flowing. I do however feel like the more lengthy process came when my team and I decided to add a lot of the live music elements. I could have very easily gone down the digital production route, but I have a love of quality, timeless music and real instrumentation. I used to play the violin and piano and I have a wild love affair with brass instruments, the bass guitar and drums so to not include this in my music would have been a crime.
5. How different is your debut EP from your debut album?
My debut EP was raw, unrefined but creative. It was an honest yet immature expression of my talent back then. I was a kid who moved from a tiny town to the big city. I hadn’t traveled much, hadn’t seen a whole lot but I loved music. Moving to London and starting music changed my world dramatically. I saw countries and met people I would have never seen if I decided not to make the move. I also faced challenges that I never would have in the comfort of my small hometown. These experiences mature you and your creative expression. If you compare the complexity and depth of the background vocals, harmonies and even lyrics on my debut album to my debut EP it’s next level.
I’m also way more comfortable in my own skin which makes it easier for me to be more open and vulnerable in my music. I don’t feel the need to hide any emotion out of fear of me not being understood or accepted, because I accept myself. This bold confidence of expression can definitely be heard more in my Masterpeace. Even my vocal sound is different which again is part of the effect of growth.
6. How has Rachel evolved as an artiste since then?
I think I’m a lot more sincere in my art. I’m a lot more unapologetic with my message and sound and as mentioned less fearful. I don’t have the desire to conform to just one genre and appease everyone but me as much as I did back then. This has allowed me to be so much more bold and creative in my artistic expression which makes much better music.
7. How many songs are on the album?
I wrote over 100 songs, I recorded 25 songs but decided to put 11 songs on the album.
8. When was the decision made to not include any features on the album? Before or during conceptualization?
It was never an intentional decision. It kind of just happened that way. I would agree however that it is important for the world to really hear an undiluted expression of who I am as an artist right now. Moving forward I’m excited at the idea of collaboration with other artists from all over the world and from different genres. So far as we complement each other and create art that is authentic to both our styles, I think this would be a really exciting endeavor!
9. We understand there’d be a free 1-hour live performance of ‘Masterpeace’ on the day of release. Where can our readers sign up for that?
I’m really excited about this. The visuals and live instrumentation is next level. You can sign up to watch the whole 1-hour live performance with me and my live band for free on my website www.rachelkerrmusic.com. This undoubtedly will give you and idea of what to expect from the tour.
10. Looking forward, what are your plans for the rest of the year?
I will be touring later on this year and really excited to see what this album goes on to do. I have a feeling it’s going to be an exciting ride!