Raquel Aurilia Interview
When did you decide that a career in music was for you?
I always knew I wanted to sing but didn’t know how to get started in the industry so I didn’t start until later in my life (after college) when I met a producer in Los Angeles named Tony Papa through a mutual friend. I sang a song (he sent to me) for him and we decided to do my first album together!
Who are your musical inspirations and why?
I like a few different artists for different reasons. Elton John has always been inspirational with his amazing lyrics, and the way he performs on stage. He is awesome. I also like Sia because she has such an incredible voice and has done so many different styles of music with the different collaborations she has done. And, I love Pink. She is hip, super talented and I love her confidence!
Can you tell me 3 things about yourself that people might not already know?
1. I like to joke around and am sarcastic but in a playful way. 2. am very driven and will work hard at anything I set my mind to. 3. I have completed 3 marathons (2 for charity), New York City Marathon twice and the Honolulu Marathon! Never knew I could run 26.2 miles!
What song of yours best describes you and why?
I’m not sure if there is one specific song of mine that describes me personally, but my songs definitely tell you a lot about me and my journey since I write a lot from personal experience.
What has been the best gig you have done to date and why?
The best gig I ever did was when I opened for B.B. King. I couldn’t believe I was opening for such a legend and I got to meet him afterwards. Such an awesome evening and so fun watching him perform after my set was so much fun! He was incredible.
If you could perform a gig at any venue where would it be and why?
Madison Square Garden to me would be so amazing to perform at some day. It is legendary and has had some of the greatest artists perform there. It would be a dream to perform there!
What has been your best achievement to date and what would you like to achieve in the future?
I think the best achievement I have had was having my very first single reach #28 on the Billboard Hot AC & R&R Charts. I was just starting out and to see my name amongst such amazing artists was almost surreal.
Tell me a story from backstage or after a gig?
I think one of my favorite stories was when I opened for Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. We were having lunch before sound check and my mom was with me. She had no idea who anyone was and just pulled up a chair at the table with Kenny Loggins and his band and started talking to them, & eating lunch. I was sitting at the table next to them and had not even met him yet myself and there she was just chatting away with him and his band. He was very gracious though letting her sit there with them. She was shocked when I told her who he was afterwards. I was cracking up!
What do you like best about being a musician and why?
The thing I like most about being a musician is that I get to share my music with everyone. There’s such an amazing feeling when I hear the lyrics I have written “come to life” so to speak through the music. Knowing that people can relate to the lyrics and different songs I have written, inspires me to want to write more and create more music. I love collaborating with other artists to write because it’s so fun and you never know what you both will bring to the song.
If you were not in the job you are now what would you be doing?
I think if I wasn’t in this industry I would love to be a host of some kind for a show like ET or something industry related. It looks like a lot of fun!
What has been the best gig you have been too as a fan and can you tell us about it?
My favorite gig I have been to was when I saw Prince perform. He was such an amazing performer and just captured the audience. He had so much energy on stage! I think I knew every word of every song! He sang and danced for hours! It was so much fun!
What would your ideal festival line up be and why?
Wow where do I start. I would love to be a part of a line up that would include, Sia, Pink, Halsey, Niall Horan, & Blake Shelton just to name a few! Such a diverse group of people and it would be a blast!
What would you say is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
The best advice I have been given was to always keep writing songs. The more songs you can write the better. Another artist told me this and I think that has really helped me stay focused, even when things with gigs are slow, you can always write. So much to write about.
What things make you happy and what things annoy you?
I love watching my boys play Golf (I have 2 sons). It makes me happy watching them and seeing all their hard work pay off. I admire their worth ethics and their passion doing something they love. What annoys me is not being able to talk to a “real person” when you call anywhere anymore. You have to go through several prompts and answer so many questions before you can even possibly get a live agent! And after all that you usually get cut off anyway and have to start over-lol!
What things do you like to do when you are away from music?
I like to travel as much as possible. If I am not busy with music and have free time I am always planning my next trip! It’s been tough not being able to travel anywhere during this pandemic.
Do you think social media and the internet are a good thing in the music industry?
I definitely think that social media and the internet are so important in the music industry because it allows you to share your music with people from all over the world. Especially now, during this time when we are not able to travel and perform live, you can still perform online and post content to get your music out there. Without these things we would not be able to share anything. It is “key” in my opinion to keeping music alive during this time especially. In fact, I just performed my song, “I’ll Be Here” on Zoom last week for Bervann Capital who put on an awesome online Gala to bring everyone together! And, through social media I am still able to record songs to post and work on a few videos (from afar of course, side by side) with my guitar player Damian Martin in Nashville.
How important do you think you look and image is when it comes to being in the music industry?
I don’t think that the industry is as focused on just “looks” and has become more & more about the voice and content and what people can identify with depending on your preference in music styles. Don’t get me wrong, looks to some people may make you look twice or get noticed, but the music itself is what sells in my opinion. You can have, however, have a certain “image” that makes you unique and people may gravitate or identify with it, but I think a person with an amazing voice can be in a basic t-shirt & jeans and sing an acoustic set and “blow you away” if their music touches you, regardless of their looks. That’s the beauty (no pun intended) of this industry.
Can you tell us about any tattoos you have and the significance of them to you?
I don’t have any tattoos but have always wanted to get one just haven’t gotten around to it! It would be music related though if I did ever get one!
If you run the country for a day what would you change about it and why? I think the first thing I would change would be improving our nation’s healthcare system overall. So much to change and too much to go into here, but I would focus on that to start with!
What would your ideal day consist of?
My ideal day would consist of starting with a latte, a good workout, then writing or recording a cool new song, and finishing the day/evening off with a great dinner a nice glass or 2 of Cabernet!
What has been your experience during the Covid 19 situations.Can you tell us how this has affected you personally, how it has affected you professionally and maybe a story from this time or a message for people out there?
I have been with my boys and my mom during this whole social distancing started. For me personally, I have found this time to be like a roller coaster. All of our schedules were so off at first, with all the days blending together! We were all sleeping way too late because we didn’t have to be anywhere, but made ourselves get up and get back on some type of a schedule and be productive! It’s tough not being able to really get out and go do anything, perform, travel or even interact with other people like I’m used to doing, but I am so grateful we are all healthy. I have remained optimistic though and have taken this downtime to work on my music, zoom with my family almost every night, cook a ton, and work on myself with workouts and self-reflection through a great book I am currently reading called “I Am” by Howard Falco which is all about that. I think it’s so important to keep your mind busy during this time of uncertainty and cherish this time with family, seeing the “silver lining” during this time rather than focusing on the bad things or things we can’t control with things being closed etc.
If you could say one thing to your fans what would it be and why?
If I could say one thing to my fans, I would say thank you for taking the time to listen to my music. I am truly grateful for this and it inspires me to want to keep making more and more music to share.
How would you answer the question Who is Raquel Aurilia and what are the differences between you as a music artist and you away from music ?
Raquel Aurilia is an artist who speaks from her heart and isn’t afraid to be real and show her vulnerable side through her music. The difference would be that I am not a very serious person and like to keep things “light and fun” which is different than some of the things I write about which are more serious and sometimes “deep.’
What was the first record or song you purchased and why?
Billy Joel -“OnlyThe Good Die Young” was one of the first songs I remember having and playing over and over. I still listen to his music and love several of his songs off that album! Something about his voice when I first heard him made me fall in love with his music!
What would say to someone thinking about becoming a musician and getting into the music industry?
I would tell them... if music is what you truly love and you want to be in the music industry, you have to be willing to put the time in to work on your craft and “pay your dues” so to speak if necessary when it come to gigs and performing. I would also tell them to collaborate as much possible with other artists and be patient with the process!
If you could collaborate with any other band/singer or musician who would you choose and why?
If I could collaborate with any other artist I would collaborate with David Guetta. I think it would be fun to have one of the songs we do together have a completely different vibe and “feel” like he did with Sia and Titanium. Such a cool vibe!
If you could have written one song from history which would it have been and why?
“His Hands” by Jennifer Nettle because it is such a powerful song and so clever with the way it is written with 2 different views and feelings behind what “His Hands” mean to each of them. Amazing!
What things make you uncomfortable?
I would say people arguing in front of me makes me uncomfortable. I don’t know where to look or what to say- lol! Awkward!
If you wrote a book about yourself what would it have in it?
If I wrote a book about myself, it would include everything from my past both good and bad, my journey, my boys, my music and everything else I have been through in my life to make me who I am today. I think it’s important to be real and it would help the people reading it understand who I really am and how my past has helped make me who I am today. I would have to leave some room though in it for what is yet to come! :)
What has the rest of the year got in store for you?
Well since we are in a time of uncertainty at the moment in the world, I plan on doing everything I can do to work on my career from home until I can start performing live again booking gigs, recording etc. I also want to release an EP soon and that is something I can do from home of I have to!