One can say that the presence of API’s in Seattle’s local music scene is lacking. Even rarer are strong female API vocals at the head of local groups. Sure, there are artists such as Charice and the Far East Movement that have gained national notoriety recently but what have we in our own backyard? Cue: Rachel Wong.
At only 22 years-old, she has come out with her debut album “Curtain Fall.” Her soulful vocals, folksy beats, poppy acoustics and lyrical prose are reminiscent of the works of Sara Bareillis and Colbie Caillat. Her songs deal with real life heartbreak, reconciliation and perseverance in her own life. However don’t be fooled, her guitar and vocals will make you forget about all of that.
She attributes her love for music from her parents and time spent leading her church worship team with her siblings. Influenced by old school icons such as Lauren Hill, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, Wong started piano lessons at the early age of 7. After writing her first song in 7th grade she taught herself the guitar at 14.
A Portland native, she is glad to debut her work in Seattle. “I’m excited to be a part of the Seattle music scene especially with its strong Asian community,” said Wong. Although she started writing early, it was not until after graduating from the University of Washington last year that she started to put her singing career into full drive. Her blends of rhythmic nuances and lyrical content pay homage to her eclectic taste.
Far from a curtain fall but rather curtain rising, Wong’s work exemplifies her own life and speaks for itself as a debut album. She writes all of her music and most of the inspiration for this album comes from her personal experiences along with those of her friends, said Wong. In the first song of her album titled “Sandbox Sweetheart,” she sings of love and her childhood crush with the lyrics: “Sandbox sweetheart stole me from the start, and innocent love so true/Freeze-tag this moment, I want to hold it, like the time you drew my name in Blizzard Blue.” Her last song on the album titled “Hometown Hollywood” gives us a glimpse into her life and who she is as a woman, with: “Don’t need you telling me what’s real or what’s not/and you can give me all the money in the world, but I’m not changing for you.” And “Temptations arising, they’re constantly blinding my clear sight/but I’ll take integrity, bringing my hometown Hollywood with me.”
“It was a fun chance for me to write musically and lyrically,” said Wong. “I wanted to show that music is my passion.”
Every so often one discovers a local artist that seems to catch your attention. Rachel Wong’s music does just that. Her distinctive personality is personified in her vocals, rifts and chords. She is a fresh addition to Seattle’s music scene and our local API community.
Rachel Wong’s album “Curtain Fall” is available for purchase on iTunes. Check out her MySpace at www.myspace.com/rachelwong for concert dates and her YouTube page at www.youtube.com/user/rw2084 more music and video.