Away from the Crowd
According to Rachel Lauren, jazz really found her. However, ever since the initial discovery at age 14, Rachel has been doing everything in her power to make it a full and enduring part of her life. Now 20, with the release of her first album 'away from the crowd', Rachel has succeeded in stepping away from the anonymity of the larger music scene and into a spotlight of her very own. Self-recorded and produced, 'away from the crowd' is the first tangible reward for all of the hard work and effort she has put forth as a performing jazz artist over the past six years. A third-year Music Industry major at USC, Rachel believes that not following the rules has got her where she is today. "It's not about how many notes or beats you have," says Rachel, "If you have people feeling something --- feeling what you are feeling --- that's what jazz is about." With her sultry voice and emotional innovation Rachel consciously challenges the technicalities that people often define as "jazz" and always searches for something new. "For me, jazz is about shutting my eyes and envisioning an emotion --- and letting the music come out. I can't practice too much, the feeling has to be fresh." Drawing on influences such as Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, and Ella Fitzgerald, and collaborating with her band of young music professionals, Rachel has found a fresh sound that brings jazz to a new emotional and musical level. In establishing her own label (Moody Doll Music) and releasing her album, Rachel recognizes that as a young artist she cannot have any hesitations. Both vocally and emotionally she has brought herself to the place where she is today. "I am responsible for getting the best out of me and now it is up to me to decide what kind of music I make." This decision not only reveals maturity and dedication, but also gives us much to look forward to as Rachel explores new avenues of musical creativity.