Check out our interview with Award-Winning Canadian Pop Artist Rachel Cousins who is an stunning vocalist and immensely talented writer who at young age has already achieved an incredible amount of success in her music career. With her early 2000’s Pop sound complemented by modern elements, Rachel’s impressive songwriting and soaring vocals have landed the Newfoundland based artists’ music on top television shows including CityTV’s “The Wedding Planners”, CBC’s Hudson” and the People’s Choice award-winning series “Wynonna Earp”. She has twice been awarded Pop Artist of the Year by MusicNL, and was a Top 10 finalist in CBC’s Searchlight competition. Her feature on Ian Foster’s rendition of Joan Morrisey’s “Surrounded By Water” has reached nearly 100,000 views on YouTube. As she gears up to release her debut album later this year, Rachel just released “For Myself”, an anthemic Pop/R&B song with an infectious groove and powerful message.
Follow Rachel @rachelcousinsmusic
Hi Rachel, please tell us a little about you?
I’m a 20 year old singer-songwriter & pop recording artist from Newfoundland, Canada. I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember & started in musical theatre as a kid. I’ve always told my parents I wanted to have a career in music & acting & eventually move to L.A. My goals haven’t changed since I’ve been about 12 years old, because music has always been my first choice. Once I graduated high school I set my mind to music & spend my full-time writing, recording & gigging.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Outgoing, spontaneous & loving
How did you get started in the business?
When I started in musical theatre as a kid I knew that being on stage was something I’d always love & need in my life. I started attending open mics, showing up anywhere I knew I could meet new people in the business & eventually grew my fan base & started booking paying gigs. Over years and years I built myself up in the industry here at home.
How has this changed your life?
Music has taught me so much about myself as a person & of course as an artist. I really believe that I have that many more life lessons under my belt at 20 years old because of music. I’ve seen so much of the world, have made connections that are life long, & have learned so much about my strength & boundaries & what holds value in my life.
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
Musical theatre, acting auditions, commercials & open mics were the things that really pushed me forward into the industry. I was taught from a very young age to just start shaking people’s hands and introduce myself & that’s exactly what I did from 10 years old.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Clean, unique & refreshing
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
Serena Ryder was a huge inspiration of mine as a young girl after winning a competition & getting to sing with her at her concert here in my home town. I really connected to her as an artist & have had a few heart to heart moments with her as we’ve crossed paths and I constantly tell her how she inspired me to follow my music career. I have many influences in music, but she has to be the top.
Tell us about your new single “For Myself?”
For Myself is an empowering self-love anthem that I wrote with my producer Daniel Adams & artist JEM who’s based out of Toronto. I love the idea of music being used as an affirmation for yourself, and my wish for this song would be that when people sing this they really are speaking & believe that they have their own back & really love themselves. Doing it for yourself is what really matters at the end of the day.
What’s the story behind the song?
I wrote it with Daniel & JEM over a zoom call during Covid lockdown. We all knew I needed a really strong pop single for the album, and when JEM pitched this idea with just keys & this R&B feel to it we all clicked with it instantly. Daniel worked his producer magic with a beat, and it turned into this super fun upbeat song.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
When I have people come up to me or message me after a show or new release telling me how much they connected with a specific song or my performance. I love hearing that my music is a comfort to other people & I think that’s what it’s all about, so hearing that someone connected to my lyrics means the world.
Now tell us about the feeling of being a Top 10 finalist in CBC’s Searchlight competition? Congrats!
Being in the Top 10 with other incredible artist in Canada was a super surreal but also reassuring feeling. It really makes you feel heard & although your hard work has paid off when you achieve something like that. I was so over the moon to just reach the Top 10 finalists.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
Self-respect, accountability, & independence.
What do you think is the secret to have a successful IG account?
Interaction & response. Respond to everyone especially in a timely matter & interact with other accounts. Being personable on social media especially IG helps a lot as well.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
This question makes me a little emotional because there’s so much I’d say to her. I’d tell her to believe in herself a lot more, she has a lot more to offer & a lot more power then she thinks. Stop overthinking your next step so much, & stop being so hard on yourself.
How would your best friend describe you?
Compassionate, funny, & outgoing
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
Bloom Wherever You’re Planted. It’s a quote a voice teacher of mine instilled in me. It means to grow no matter your circumstances.
What’s next for Rachel Cousins in 2022?
With a new album coming out in a few months,, I hope to be able to complete an Island tour this year. Before I move from the province, I want to grow my fan base here as best I can.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Carrots & avocado
And your favorite cheat food?
Chips & salsa
How would you explain your fashion style?
Genuinely just fluid. I dress day to day on how I’m feeling.
What is your own definition of happiness?
My definition of happiness is freedom & living in free present moment. When I finally feel present in one place & as if everything is the way it should be, I feel happiest. This comes naturally every time I’m on stage because it’s where I feel most present.
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
My dream holiday would be myself & my best friend somewhere tropical. Living in NL really makes you want to go somewhere with a beach & day drinks where it’s constantly warm & you’re simply on vacation.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Amy Winehouse. I’ve always been a lover of her music but after watching her documentary I’d love to have been able to meet her & understand her brain, it’s like it was the definition of an artist mind.
Best advice ever given?
The energy that you put out into the world is the energy you receive back to you.
Do you support any charity?
I support the SPCA as much as I can. I’ve adopted both of my cats from rescues so animal rescue charities have a special place in my heart.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
5 years from now I hope to be attending award shows hopefully as a nominee, living somewhere like LA, & hopefully on my second album that I’ll be planning a cross country tour for.
Favorite song? Why?
My favorite song at the moment (which honestly changes every day( is Getting Older by Billie Eilish. I relate to it the most right now & it’s on repeat constantly. Just one of those comfort songs. I’m also obsessed with Harry Styles new single As It Was, a total feel good song.
What do you think of Social Media?
As a 20-year-old female artist I have such a love hate relationship with social media. The world is at my fingertips but at the same time it is so hard on my mental health & truly everybody else’s without boundaries in place. It’s easy to dig yourself a hole of obsessing over what everyone else is doing & achieving, & it’s dangerous because you only see what people want you to see.
Where we can follow you?
All of my social media is Rachel Cousins Music & my website is rachelcousinsmusic.com
My music is also available on all streaming platforms.
Photo Credit: Hilda Cousins