Music is my oldest friend. Music’s been there for me during the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s helped me make sense of life and all its complexities, and it’s been a channel of communication for me at times when I really didn’t know how else to express myself.
My aspiration as a guitar playing singer-songwriter — whose drawn comparisons to Rachael Yamagata, Stevie Nicks, and Janis Joplin — is to inspire the next generation of music fans and musicians by encouraging them to follow their hearts and forge their own life’s path, just as the folks I’ve listened to and admired over the years have done for me through their musical compositions and performances.
It’s been a full-steam-ahead musical lifestyle for me ever since the Fall I started the fourth grade. That’s the year I was enrolled in middle school chorus, playing trumpet in the school band, and learning guitar. After a few years as a singing multi-instrumentalist, I started writing songs at the age of 12. That’s when I decided to keep track of singer-songwriters whose music I felt demonstrated what I wished to accomplish myself as a young songwriter. It’s through those adventures that I’ve encountered some of my biggest musical influences over the years including: Rachael Yamagata, Tony Lucca, Matt Duke, Norah Jones, and Anna Rose. And now — at age 31 — I find myself with a plethora of stories highlighting how these individuals have all become role models and mentors (to some degree) of mine. I’m most grateful for their guidance.
But no matter how many role models and mentors I pick up along the way, the biggest influence in my life and on my music is my late father Steven. We wrote songs together about farm animals and pink flamingos when I was barely walking. He would strum along on his full bodied 1970’s Guild or play DJ in our Volvo station wagon while my sister and I sang along to James Taylor, The Beatles, and more from the backseat. If only my dad could see me now! He’d be so proud to know that I’ve had the honor of sharing a stage with likes of Damian Rice and Tony Lucca, performing at the Off The Record Music Festival and the DC Shorts Film Festival, touring across the East coast, and now releasing my first EP in Fall 2015.
A few days before I officially started the last semester of my senior year at college, my dad and family dog suddenly passed away. It broke me. A cloud came over my life and I couldn’t escape. Eventually, I started to write new music to capture that chapter of my life and was soothed by the process of self-expression. The cloud started to lift.
The ‘Nearly Broken’ EP (available now) is a deeply personal collection of songs that symbolize this progression in my life, from darkness to light. It’s about learning how to navigate the great unknown, embracing that journey, and finding yourself on the other side – a little bruised and nearly broken, but living life with your head held high.
So that’s who I am. I express myself through music.
I am Rachel Levitin.
If you would like to get in touch with me, visit the booking page.