New York City based soul-pop artist Rachel Norman just debuted her first EP, Resist.
Bearing similarities to Ariana Grande and Tori Kelly, Rachel's range and vocal power strikes a chord with listeners.
Photo by Mia Shmariahu
When asked about making music in New York, Rachel says: "Being in NYC opens up a vast array of resources and opportunities for collaboration that I’m always so grateful for. It’s not that big of a city, and I’ve found that once you meet someone in the industry, it’s very easy to lean into the community and expand your network. I’ve learned to become friends with everyone, because your friends will be the people who look out for you in the long run."
"There are a million different ways to do the same thing, and it’s very easy to spend more money than you have to (or even have)," Rachel honestly says, as she is a rising artist. "If you’re surrounded by people you trust, I’ve found it’s way less scary to put yourself out there and make both professional as well as personal musical discoveries."
Resist revolves around "manic angst, intense harmony, and high belted riffs." Stemming from popular influences like Lana Del Ray or Demi Lovato, Rachel also gains inspiration from musical theater.
"I’m a huge sucker for anything Barbra Streisand, especially Funny Girl. She’s been a huge vocal influence growing up, along with Lea Michele, who have both paved the way for young Jewish women," Rachel shares.
When asked about pursuing a solo career versus a Broadway path, Rachel tells us: "Musical theatre was actually the first thing I got involved in, starting in the eighth grade. I’ll always love musical theatre, but I prefer to sing my own material at this point. Musical theatre has a very specific style of singing, and I feel a lot freer pursuing my own style by blending vocal genres between pop, jazz, and RnB."
Each song off Resist takes listeners through Rachel's life of loving, grief, and self-acceptance. One song GMAT was particularly interested in was Rachel's favorite, "Sadness". Rachel wrote the song alongside Kris Wong and Lukas Selig.
"I was on the phone with a friend, and we were talking about how confusing it is to be generally happy while also carry around this deep inherent sadness related to past trauma. When we hung up, I wrote the song."
Asking what is her favorite lyric from the tune, she says it's “we drink and we kiss and talk about sadness / how we need it to cope with being alive”. Further explaining the line, Rachel tells us she "wanted to capture the duality between love and loss, and how our past trauma will always be a part of us." On a brighter note, she reminds us "there is an acceptance in sadness, and part of that acceptance is embracing new relationships and being able to move on."
Stream Resist on Spotify & Follow Rachel on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!