ABOUT RACHAEL ROBERTS
Born in Devon, raised in Dorset, UK. Rachael was brought up by a musical and creative family. Her father, Tony Roberts is a professional jazz musician, and mother, Jean Roberts, an artist. Siblings Lucy and Claire are also classically trained musicians and so Rachael has been exposed to a variety of different musical genres and creative principles from an early age.
Encouraged to begin playing piano and saxophone at an early age, Rachael later began composing electronically, with an Atari ST. In 1998 (after a short stint performing with a travelling circus in Europe!), Rachael moved to Bath to begin studying music (Music Technology and Popular Music Diploma at Bath College, and a Foundation Degree in Commercial Music at Bath Spa University). It was around this time Rachael began writing lyrics and discovered she had a singing voice. She formed her own bands, (The A Theme, REMEDY) performing her original songs.
In 2001 Rachael began gigging and recording in the Bath/Bristol area, later expanding to UK tours and playing venues such as the Jazz Café, London and supporting acts such as The Herbalizer, The Egg and Stephanie McKay. Her work from this period of her career, although unreleased, has been featured on several TV programmes and played on national radio (achieving No.4 in Gilles Peterson’s ‘Best of Unsigned’ charts).
Rachael’s career has also seen her working as a co-writer and featured vocalist for several dance producers such as SIAN (Cookin’ Records), Stabilizer (Plastic Raygun) and Will White (Propellerheads). A discography of releases on vinyl and CD are listed in SESSIONS.
In 2004 Rachael began working for Peter Gabriel’s company Real World in the Publishing division. She undertook the music licensing administration and had the opportunity to work with composers, film directors and ad agencies placing music in Film and TV. 6 years working for Real World gave Rachael a huge amount of business experience and has been of great value to her music career. During her time working at Real World, Rachael was also called upon for session vocals including studio sessions for Beth Orton and MERZ.
It was at Real World that Rachael met with Alex Swift, a composer published by Real World who had undertaken production work for Peter Gabriel, Massive Attack and Amy Winehouse to name a few. Discovering they had similar musical tastes they decided to collaborate on what would be Rachael’s debut solo album entitled 'QUIETUDE' (Released on Long Tale Recordings). Rachael signed a publishing deal with Real World Works in 2008 and has had several tracks from the album submitted for Film and TV synchronisation licences. The beautiful track ‘Heavenly’ (Bliss Mix) was selected for use in the Ch4 TV series UGLY BETTY.
Alongside Rachael’s songwriting she has, over the years, developed a love affair with jazz. She began performing jazz standards with The Chaser Jazz Quartet in 2003 which subsequently saw the band record a jazz album in London. She continues to perform with fellow jazz musicians across the country at private and public events. Rachael states that her jazz vocal work allows her to focus on the interpretation of the emotion and intent of a vocal delivery. Performing jazz gives her the freedom to ‘simply sing’ and to be able to respond to the music, without feeling the intense attachment involved when performing her own music.
Inspired by the vocal performances of the great legendary figures such as Billie Holiday, Astrud Gilberto and Sarah Vaughan, Rachael performs standards with her Jazz band in ballad, bossa nova and swing styles. Rachael and her father Tony Roberts (Saxophone) often perform together, which she feels is a great honour, given her father’s professional jazz background.