We’d like to introduce our Campaign Leader and Community Wrangler, Rachel Wong.
In case you couldn’t tell from what she’s holding in her hand, in addition to being the voice of Brown Paper Tickets on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Foursquare, as well as holding the keys to Brown Paper Tickets’ social media and digital marketing strategy, Rachel’s heart is also on display through her music. Take a listen to her latest single, “Center Stage,” here.
Rachel is a self-taught musician, with a natural ear for music, and a passionate drive for expression that resonates and connects her to her fans. Wong was selected from more than 3,000 artists across the US as a Top-12 finalist in Ford’s “Gimme the Gig II” contest in Los Angeles in August 2012. Influenced by Michael Jackson, John Mayer and Lauryn Hill, Wong’s acoustic, soulful pop sound has been compared to “Sara Bareilles, but on the guitar.”
Tracks from Rachel’s first album and single, Curtain Fall, can now be heard on radio stations in Canada and the Phillipines. Letters to You, her second album to be released on iTunes and Spotify May 28, is a 10-track musical journey from the pop anthem production of “Center Stage” to the island-flavored “Beach Bum Living.” Album tracks feature her soothing, powerful vocals and catchy songs, accentuated by the sincere warmth of her lyrics. A music video to for “Center Stage” will be released on You Tube shortly after the “Letters to You” album release show in Portland on June 29, and you are invited to attend!
Rachel wants to let you know that one of her good friends, Tess Henley, will be having her album release party just three days later, at Seattle’s Columbia City Theater. Pick up tickets for that show right over here.
As the world’s first home for independent musicians like Rachel and Tess, Brown Paper Tickets hosts album release parties and performances by some of the world’s best artists before they are “discovered” by the rest of the world, and sometimes after they are discovered, simply because they love the warmth, the 5% donations of profits from every ticket sold, and the down-to-earth, local vibe of Brown Paper Tickets. Why not take a look at the events in your city and see which local live events appeal to you?
We sat down with Rachel to ask her a couple of questions so that you could get to know her a little bit better. Enjoy!
What’s your full name?
RW: Rachel Wong
Why did you decide to use your real name as your “artist name?”
RW: I thought about different stage names but decided to just keep it simple and stay true to myself. I’m also not creative enough to think of something like Lady Gaga. But if I had to use a stage name it would probably incorporate my nick name: Rae Rae.
Where were you born, Rachel?
RW: I grew up in Vancouver, Washington but was born in Portland, Oregon.
Why do you love Seattle?
RW: Oh goodness there are too many things. It’s beautiful being in the Northwest surrounded by water, greenery and mountains. Our waterfronts are on a whole ‘nother level. I also love that Seattle has so many diverse neighborhoods and communities. Each area has a unique and distinct history. Plus the food options are tremendous. Love it!
RW: Why not! As an employee, I’ve only been given tremendous opportunities to learn and grow in my field. On top of that, it’s incredible to work for a company that genuinely cares about you. That’s hard to find in the marketing world. That way of business extends to how we deal with clients and ticket buyers. As an independent artist, I love that I can host events professionally without being nickle-and-dimed, or doing that to my fans. That plus all the free resources for promotion of events makes BPT a no-brainer.
Quick! Someone is coming to Seattle this weekend. Where should they go? What should they do?
RW: Man that’s a tough one. There’s way too many things to choose from! I’d definitely go canoeing on Lake Washington, walk (and eat) through Pike Place, BBQ and bonfire at Alki Beach, visit Bruce Lee’s grave, take touristy pictures at Gas Works Park, and definitely eat a Paseos sandwich and a Dick’s burger and shake. They’d need to plan for a food coma nap after though.
Best music event you’ve ever been to?
RW: I’d have to say John Mayer at the Gorge for his “Battle Studies” tour. As a lyricist and musician John Mayer has been one of the biggest musical influences for me. Watching him live was an incredible experience. He played some of his oldest material and was just jamming with his band for like 10 minutes on each song. You could literally feel each note. That kind of love and passion for music is why I write and sing.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you during a performance?
RW: One time, about 15 minutes before my show at a new venue, I broke one of my guitar strings. Luckily, the booking guy ran down a couple blocks to buy me some new strings and literally 3 minutes before I started, I had to unscrew and change it out! Luckily I still started on time and the show went well.
Who are your biggest inspirations as a singer?
RW: John Mayer, for the reasons stated above. Vocally, I try to pull from my heart and my soul and I’ve had a lot of influence from Lauren Hill. Then of course there’s Michael Jackson, the King of Pop.
What are your guilty pleasures?
RW: I love watching Jersey Shore. There’s something incredibly daring about people who can just have fun without any reservations. I enjoy the personalities, mostly the ridiculousness of it. I’m also a pretty big Pretty Little Liars fangirl.
Live performance event you’re looking forward to the most:
RW: One of my good friends, Tess Henley, is celebrating her CD release next week! Even though she’s my friend I know she’s one of the best songwriters around. She’s worked really hard on this new record and am so excited to hear the new material.
Favorite Seattle food?
RW: Toulouse Petite’s Egg’s Benedict and breakfast potatoes are a delicious combo you have to experience. Also they have a BREAKFAST happy hour. I’m all for the delicious deals. Marination Mobile’s Kalua Pork Sliders are a close second though.
Anything else we need to know?
RW: I can’t snap my fingers or whistle… but I can put my heart and soul into my music. I’m so proud of this new record and I really hope you guys find something about it to connect to.