I have often been accused of being unobservant. A couple of months ago I found a rather pretty lampshade in my hallway. I immediately used this as an opportunity to lovingly compliment my father on his interior decorating prowess; I was greeted with ridicule. Apparently the lampshade had been accenting our hallway for over 8 years… I say pictures or it didn’t happen. Once recovered, I again attempted to be a thoughtful daughter and this time compliment my father on the new cross-detailing in our windows; again I was snubbed. This time neglect was delivered under the guise that this was in fact on the house when we purchased it ten years ago – a ridiculous suggestion.
Excuse me if I look at the world with the wondrous eyes of a child. Surely I can be forgiven for initially missing hugely obvious things? Hugely obvious like parts of my house or Rachel Kerr’s talent…
Rachel Kerr-Hold My Hand
This London-based singer/songwriter has quite simply blown me away. Her sound hearkens back to the hay days of the Arethas and the Dionnes, with the brilliantly tailored addition of urban London flavour. I struggle to find a proficient adjective to describe her vocal range and control so, in lieu of stunning and gobsmacking’s love-child, I will have to make do with ‘exceptional’. What is particularly impressive about Kerr’s vocal ability is that the tremendous runs and riffs, the trills and the adlibs all come from such a composed place. She smiles as she defies logic, performing the tightest of vocal acrobatics at unfathomable speed. She has the inherent knack of making effort look effortless, a quality indicative of an artist who’s future as a singer was pre-determined at birth.
A hugely enjoyable performer to watch, she consistently has even her support band grinning and shaking their heads with a mixture of admiration and disbelief. The stage is her home and her easy rhythm is the perfect accompaniment to her music. Kerr looks so confident in her live performances that it negates the need for the word entirely – she simply is the live performance. I particularly enjoy watching her unleash her powerhouse vocals on the unsuspecting patrons of “Village Underground” in New York, it makes me smile every time. Go on, Rachel!
Rachel Kerr-Proud Mary
Off-stage Kerr reads as an immensely real and authentic person who passionately cares about music, not just her own work. In interviews she is a very natural and endearing presence, speaking honestly about herself and the views on and relationship to the wider music community. She also completed a schools’ tour across secondary schools in London this Summer during which she visibily engaged and inspired children with her approachability and passion. Her substantial talent is equally matched by her humility making her entirely deserving of role-model status, a rarity in today’s music society.
Both a formidable vocalist and a gifted songwriter, Kerr is one of the UK’s biggest potentials. She has already received high acclaim in the music industry, attaining a 2012 MOBO Award and even securing a performance singing for Bill Clinton, however her talent still remains entirely disproportionate to her status. She has recently released the heartfelt original track, “I Will Love Me”, and is set to release a much-anticipated EP in September which I hope will storm the charts, as is its right to do so.
In recent years the music industry has belonged to the British female vocalist and as we slip alarmingly into the old boy-band saturated culture, Rachel Kerr is exactly what we need to help keep music on the right track.