We had the good fortune of connecting with Raquel Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Raquel, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
Knowing whether to give up or keep going in my career is something I feel like I struggle with daily. It’s a never ending cycle of pride and self-doubt. One moment you think you’re amazing and everything is going so well, and then the next you’re feeling embarrassed thinking about the choices you’ve made up until now. What I’ve learned though is that the self-doubt only creeps in when I allow the thoughts of others to guide me. The pride comes when I’ve done something to feel accomplished and productive. Usually, when that happens it’s something related to music; feeling proud of the vocal takes I just did, of a line I wrote that I thought was clever, of a live stream performance, whatever it was that made me feel proud and happy, it was because of music. If you don’t get the feeling of excitement like that doing whatever it is you’re doing, try something new!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m an R&B/Soul singer born and raised in Los Angeles and I make music inspired by the greats of our time; Prince, Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan, D’Angelo and Amy Winehouse. Growing up in LA you’ll quickly learn how much of a melting pot it is and I feel like my music embodies that in a way. There are a few different styles and genres throughout my catalog and it’s all inspired by the music I grew up with in LA because there were so many different cultures and different kinds of people to learn from. I pride myself in my live performance so it hurts not to be out on tour right now, but being able to make music and perform live streams lately has been something I feel very proud of. I’m really excited to be releasing new music and working with some pretty incredible artists and musicians that I’m able to call friends now. I’ve been making music for about 15 years and my career and path are constantly morphing. I’ve dedicated my life to being an artist and I really pride myself in always staying true to who I am. Maybe sometimes to a fault, but what I’ve learned is that if I’m making music that doesn’t make me happy, then it’s not worth it. Lately, I’ve been making my own merch so that I can be more connected to my fans and meet some of the people that are really listening to my music. It’s really cool to hear people’s thoughts about my music and what it means to them. I honestly think that’s played a huge part in my “success.” (*success is different for everyone). Just being more connected.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, I honestly only ever go out to eat haha so my suggestions are always going to be restaurants. As an LA native, I usually try to take people to the spots me and my family go to, starting with the places that my family actually owns. My dad’s family has a Mexican restaurant in Santa Monica that’s been there for 46 years, Gilbert’s El Indio. They’ve got the best margaritas on the Westside! I would maybe do a late breakfast or lunch here (probably lunch so you can have a marg). For dinner, I have 2 favorite restaurants that couldn’t be more different from each other, For a more chill time, I usually go to Kang Hodong Baekjong. It’s a Korean BBQ place on 6th street and there’s usually a 1-2 hour wait, but it’s sooo worth it. Just go across the lot to Toe Bang for a drink while you wait for your table. My next favorite spot is a little pricier, but it’s incredible. It’s called Republique on La Brea and it’s French cuisine, They have this amazing watermelon bruschetta that I thought would be weird but is actually incredible. For dessert, I’ll always be a fan of Diddy Riese ice cream sandwiches.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Definitely, my partner in life and music; Sam Brawner of Blue Dream Studios. Without him, my music wouldn’t be what it is today. He’s an amazing drummer, engineer, producer, mixing engineer, just all around awesome musician.
All photos by Kanya Iwana