We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Shapiro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
The way I view risk is that it’s always better to take one and fail than to never try at all. We are so scared of rejection and failure that we often count ourselves out before we even have the opportunity in an attempt to “save ourselves” the heartache, embarrassment, or disappointment. As an independent artist, my entire career is pretty much a risk. I don’t have a label or team behind me that can guarantee me a budget, publicity, or success at any turn. You have to trust that it’s worth the risk to live out your dream. For example, every time I have released a song in the past, I know that I am going up against all of the artists on major labels, or with more connections, or more established fan bases for Spotify and Apple Music editorial playlist placements. It’s a gamble. Even the very beginning, leaving a stable job with consistent income, to be an independent musician was a risk. But, I knew it was one I would regret not taking 5, 10, or 15 years down the road, looking back at my life thinking, “what if?” It’s about weighing your options… balancing your priorities. Is the risk worth the loss? And at the end of the day, life is short. What have you got to lose? Nothing has to be permanent.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve always been an old soul. I’m very young in age, yes. I’m currently 25, but the way I’m able to communicate and emote through music comes across very much like someone more mature or who has been here before. I’m a walking contradiction really, as I have the wisdom of someone much older and more logical, but the imagination of someone still young and innocent. Pure of heart. It’s my greatest strength and my greatest weakness. I wouldn’t call it naivety, but sometimes it gets me in trouble because I find myself getting over-excited about opportunities before they come to fruition. But it helps my artistry. It allows me to tap into a whimsical side of myself and tell real stories. Something I love about my sound is that it’s really unique. I’ve released songs that might remind you of other artists, but I’m moving forward with a sound that I’ve embraced as totally my own. My voice is distinct: soulful and strong, paying homage to my grandmother, the great Eartha Kitt.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If they’ve never been to LA before, I’d say walking down Abbott Kinney in Venice Beach and and grabbing lunch at Gjelina, and of course a visit to Mystic Bookstore for a psychic reading and some crystals. Then walking by the water towards Santa Monica. If we want to dive deeper into the city: Silver Lake & Echo Park. There’s so many amazing hidden gems: parks, restaurants, bars, etc. on the East Side of the city that are less touristy but so cool. Some of my favorite things to do are stroll through Echo Park, and the swan peddle boats, and Bar Calo, this amazing Mezcal bar in a strip right on Sunset. If there’s more time to spare, a drive up to Malibu for a farmers market is a must!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The people who deserve the biggest shoutout are definitely my parents. They have always been my biggest supporters and cheerleaders. They never spoiled me with things, but always spoil me with unconditional love and support. I know not everyone is so lucky to have that kind of relationship with their family, but I owe them everything – literally and figuratively. They are my rocks.
Alex Garcia Factory Underground