What is biphobia?

Credit here:

Hands up, it’s a misleading title. We all know what homophobia is. Agoraphobia. Arachnophobia. My beloved NHS defines a phobia as such:

“A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder. You may not experience any symptoms until you come into contact with the source of your phobia. However, in some cases, even thinking about the source of a phobia can make a person feel anxious or panicky. This is known as anticipatory anxiety.”

If we look at Stonewall’s definition of homophobia:

“Homophobia is the irrational hatred, intolerance, and fear of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people. These negative feelings fuel the myths, stereotypes, and discrimination that can lead to violence against LGB people.”

I really don’t understand how the response to the “hey, I’m a lesbian but I liked men all along! REVELATION!” tweet is biphobic at all. If anything, you’re doing the reverse. You’re not opening the doors for bisexuality: you’re trivialising them. You’re turning them into people who labelled themselves as homosexual only to realise “well bi, bi, bi!”

It’s offensive.

From a homosexuality perspective, it’s equally offensive. You’re telling me that people who have not chosen to be homosexual, but are born that way, will suddenly you’re publishing articles about canon lesbians who will…go on to be attracted to men?

There are a number of issues here.

1.) These people are canon lesbians. I’m not saying sexuality isn’t on a kind of scale. But these people have come over strife and inner struggles to identify themselves as lesbians. The amount of courage it takes to do that is completely discounted by the fact that you, as a massive publication, have suddenly made a joke of it and said, well, yeah, maybe you were born that way–to clarify, you do  believe lesbians were born lesbians, right?–but don’t worry, there’s a chance you’ll be attracted to men!

2.) “Liked men all along” is a contradictory, reductive sentence to the terminology “canon lesbian”, so….what?

3.) Go write positive outlooks on break-ups. Go ahead. When some famous heterosexual ship like, I genuinely don’t know, say Gossip Girl still aired and you posted a positive one about Chuck and Blair now free to explore their questionable heterosexuality — wait, you wouldn’t post that, would you? It’d be weeks of mourning and sad gifs. So no, this double standard is completely unacceptable.

4.) You’re alienating your LGBTQ audience. Don’t accuse the community of being biphobic, come on, now. I as a queer person do not claim to know more about the community than anyone else. I’m also not dismissing the fact that some shows will use lesbianism for sweeps and soon they’ll be sleeping with men again. It happens all the time. We’re used to it. But don’t ridicule and trivialise it in such a way so that it can literally happen to any LGBTQ character. Some characters are lesbians because they are lesbians, and there is no repressed feeling of wanting to be attracted to a man at all.

5.) I’m worried because I respect your reach, TV Guide. And I’d hope your readers aren’t impressionable enough to swallow those words and take them to heart.

I believe in integrity of people so I believe in TV Guide; therefore I believe in the integrity of press. So I’d hope it’s just someone’s poor judgement. But duuuuuuuuuuuuude.

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‘Wynonna Earp’ may just be #TooFemale’s worst nightmare, and it’s brilliant.

#TooFemale. That was the hashtag that dominated Twitter after CBS shoved a foot in their mouth and proceeded to choke on it by not picking up ‘Nancy Drew’ (with lead Sarah Shahi) for, of all reasons, being too female. It rightly caused outrage on Twitter—not just from Shahi’s legions fans of ‘The L Word’ and ‘Person of Interest’ fans, but simply across the board. I can’t say I’ve worked in the television industry thus my experience here is lacking, but when you justify not picking up a pilot, did anyone think to maybe, I don’t know, suggest that including ‘too female’ in the statement—when you’re a network picking up a billion other pilots centred around the typical male—was kind of a bad idea?

Well, it looks like nobody did, and it’s a ruddy shame too—because on the very same channel in the mind-blowing episode ‘6,741’ of ‘Person of Interest’—in an entirely Sameen Shaw (Shahi) centric episode, Shahi absolutely kicked ass and proved to pretty much everyone that if you should be clamouring for a female lead of a series, Shahi may certainly be your first call.

Yeah she kind of kicked ass. Major. Ass.

Yeah she kind of kicked ass. Major. Ass.

There’s nothing wrong with the lack of pick-up with ‘Nancy Drew’ (despite it reportedly testing well with audiences…oh boy). If you have a promising line-up of clearly superior shows, then of course ‘Nancy Drew’, if proven to be less promising than them, would be shunted away. But the very excuse of ‘too female’ is quite frankly ridiculous—and whilst some lamented the idiocy of CBS’ statement (and that’s what it was: idiocy) others turned it into something of a wry joke. Including myself. Because there cannot be a more pathetic, disgusting, stupidly churned-out excuse for not picking up a pilot—of all the excuses in the world—they went for literally the most brain-zapped one. Which was ironic, considering CBS executives must’ve looked at ‘Person of Interest’ episode four and thought, “well darn, we’ve just got to air a Shaw-centric episode with a rough female/female sex scene.”

I can’t argue for CBS’ facepalm-worthy statement. I think others have been far more eloquent in doing so—and I think Twitter, certainly, has gotten to the stage of mockery and disgust that it’s quite prevalent what the general audience think of such a statement. But there is a show that I’m immensely enjoying that wallops #toofemale in the ass and sends it to the pits of hell with a simple “lights out, bitch.”

If you're gonna kill Revenants, at least have a cool catchphrase, huh? (I bet she did not divulge this to Waverly, who would whip out a script...)

If you’re gonna kill Revenants, at least have a cool catchphrase, huh? (I bet she did not divulge this to Waverly, who would whip out a script…)

That show is ‘Wynonna Earp’. If you haven’t heard of it, you might not have opened Twitter for about five years thus not quite catching wind of Ms. Emily Andras’ female-led adaptation of Beau Smith Ranch’s graphic novels of the same name. The premise is simple and a garble of every horror, Western, sci-fi, fantasy, comedy and drama churned in a magical pot of unapologetic badassery. If it were a sausage machine it would puke out sausages that’d burn your tongue for the number of snort-inducing one-liners laced in the dialogue, and then soothe it with magical calamine at the refreshing development of characters and importantly, a web—not an exclusive network of pairings—of relationship arcs.

She's also a crazy chick with a gun. Or a hardcore raver. It's hard to tell these days.

She’s also a crazy chick with a gun. Or a hardcore raver. It’s hard to tell these days.

Melanie Scrofano is the unfathomably kickass lead with a truckload of snark, a haunted past, a dash of vulnerability, the ability to pull off a one-liner like nobody’s business and a top-shelf ass (hey—not my words). As the eponymous heroine, Wynonna is all of these things but most importantly, she loves. She isn’t just some closed-off, robotic, stoic piece of granite (with some great dimples—seriously). She loves with all her heart. She’s still somewhat haunted by her past, though often she makes light of being the ‘town pariah’. Her love for Gus, and most notably her love for her younger sister Waverly (the fantastic Dominique Provost-Chalkley) is hands-down the best relationship on the show. Without a single doubt. Their undying love and faith in each other is incomparable. Waverly might welcome her sister back to Purgatory with a rifle and a threat to slip into something comfy—”like a coma” (seriously, watch this show)—but it’s Wynonna who saves Waverly’s life when she’s kidnapped. It’s Waverly who helps the Black Badge division with her brains. It’s Wynonna who Waverly calls when she, er, scissors a stripper (that’s Chrissy’s fault). And it’s Wynonna who comes to her rescue and comforts her in the freezing cold as they lament over Waverly’s misery at never being able to play the piano again. Not that she played it in the first place.

These two have undoubtedly the best relationship on the show, and Scrofano and Provost-Chalkley are magical to watch.

These two have undoubtedly the best relationship on the show, and Scrofano and Provost-Chalkley are magical to watch.

Wynonna and Waverly’s relationship is wrought with humour, trust, heartrending loyalty, dedication, and most of all—they know each other inside-out. Wynonna and Waverly to me are like a brain meshed together; a right and left hemisphere, if you will, and the corpus callosum is their immense love for the other. This isn’t a show where love is centred around your typical ‘ship’; this show is centred around Wynonna’s hunt for the seven who killed Wyatt Earp, and the romance is centred around this beautiful smatter of television.

Solid bun in this picture. No but really: Waverly rocks the ever-living cripes out of Wynonna Earp.

Solid bun in this picture. No but really: Waverly rocks the ever-living cripes out of Wynonna Earp.

Waverly is someone I think I could gush about for days. Brilliant, intelligent, charming, winningly beautiful and a talented pom-pom swirler (and singer!), she’s the grin-inducing, bubbly younger sister of grumper chumper Wynonna. And yes, Wynonna’s snarkiness and her unwitting moments of humour are point-blank hilarious (and played to a tee by Scrofano) but Waverly has won my heart a little, admittedly, for the good-natured attitude she has towards life. It is somewhat jaded by the darkness that shrouds Purgatory, but her upbeat attitude and her acceptance of everyone (okay, even Chrissy, come on—but I do mean Doc, really) is refreshing. She kind of wants to be a crowd-pleaser, as Officer Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell—we’ll get onto that later) notes—but is truly coming into her own these past couple of episodes. Firstly: I would like to commend Waverly on dumping that boy-man Champ (though bless him…but good for you) and spouting this winner of a line:

How can someone so pretty be so smart? – Champ

Ugh, because the two aren’t mutually exclusive! – Waverly

Proudly earning her the status as the keeper of bones (and then immediately endangering her life—yes, this is good ol’ Wynonna Earp) by cleverly solving her uncle’s riddles, Waverly’s not only technically brilliant in the years of research she dug up about the Revenants in Wynonna’s absence, but she is utterly independent of her sister. The two share a bond I have raved about above, but without Wynonna, Waverly is not a helpless girl. Though episode seven opens with Wynonna a little concerned about Waverly being lonely, she responds with a grin and a hair-flick. In the very same episode she endures quite possibly the most torturous of things: an engagement party with one heck of an idiot bride-to-be, a big-ass male ‘stripper’ who turns out to be the stone witch’s lackey (and she stabs him with a scissor) and the aforementioned stone witch zombifying the dead in order to attack the Earp house.

Waverly’s response? She rants and rants about salt, she flabberblubbs her way through admitting she is a ‘freak’ in a proud manner, I interpreted it as. She admits: she’s a freak; Wynonna’s a freak; Doc’s a freak (to his insistence) and she doesn’t give a rat’s arse because she scissored a stripper and also because she’s going to save everyone’s lives. And she does, with a throw of a skull so worthy of the Olympics shotput event that if Ms. Provost-Chalkley does not enter herself, I might have to do it covertly for her.

Wynonna is undoubtedly the hero—if there are any heroes and villains, truly, of this piece (well, okay, Constance Clootie)—but Waverly, quietly getting on with her work, her riddles and rebuilding her life around the (somewhat mild) loss of Champ, still getting used to having her sister back on the radar, and perhaps coming to terms with an unexpected connection with a new police officer in town—Nicole Haught (it’s pronounced ‘hot’)—is without a doubt a hero herself. There can be very different definitions of heroes. Wynonna is the crazy chick with a gun who is reckless, fearless and will either snark you to death or literally Peacemaker you to death (with a solid catchphrase to boot) whereas Waverly’s the book-smart, intelligent, charming, unassuming one. In my book: they’re both heroes, and their relationship? About as heroically needed as they come. So often on my television screen it’s built for comedy when you get bickering siblings, or there just isn’t that closeness—convincing closeness, and credit must go to Scrofano and Provost-Chalkley for such incredible chemistry—than I’ve seen on Wynonna Earp. And I think a lot of credit has to go to the scriptwriters and to Ms. Emily Andras, the show-runner, too. Adaptation or not, it would be so easy to have the lead ‘love’ of the show be Wynonna and Doc, or Wynonna and Dolls, or even some kind of messy love triangle—but without a doubt, it’s Wynonna and Waverly. And without a  doubt, it’s the female characters who are getting all the attention, because in this literally ‘too female’ world, that’s the kind of representation perhaps young girls crave.

Role-models: as individual as we are, so they come in different shapes, sizes and mentalities.

Role-models: as individual as we are, so they come in different shapes, sizes and mentalities.

Why? Because why can’t young girls look up to Wynonna Earp and see themselves as a gun-toting, unafraid, brave and loyal machine-gun of a character? Why can’t young girls look up and see themselves as Waverly, who has been somewhat shunted aside by her friends for being a ‘freak’ but she constantly works her way through it. She doesn’t want to lose her brain; she wants to keep that innate intelligence and use it for good. She likes her affable charm and award-worthy smile; she likes that she’s got hair for days. She’s proud of it—and why can’t young girls look up to those two and think of certain elements they could aspire to? Why can’t they watch Wynonna Earp and watch the siblings make mistakes, and be allowed to by the show—and suffer the consequences for it? Why can’t they be allowed to know that the Earp siblings are fallible; that they are human? That they can relate?

Hold onto your Stetsons, 'cause it's about to get haught in here...(and if you're wearing a Stetson and you're not Nicole Haught, stop.)

Hold onto your Stetsons, ’cause it’s about to get haught in here…(and if you’re wearing a Stetson and you’re not Nicole Haught, stop.)

This doesn’t even bring me onto Nicole Haught yet, and the positive representation Officer Haught gives to the very same community. It’s not a general statistic—I don’t have any claims to back that up—but often on social media I see a lot of admiration for the cast for their portrayals of their characters, from young Twitter users. Scrofano and Provost-Chalkley are rightly praised, and so is Ms. Katherine Barrell, who proved in the latest episode that it wasn’t all charming smiles and that love-heart-eyes-emoji (there was plenty of that, though). Barrell’s Haught in episode seven was what individualises her from the rest of the Purgatory sheriff department—this includes the sheriff himself, who’s somewhat useless. Haught is sharp, wary, suspicious, questioning—and she’s probing in all the right areas.

Episode seven also offered up for some incredibly unexpected yet magnificent Haught/Wynonna interaction—and that’s exactly what I mean when I have to praise Ms. Andras for spinning this web of dynamics instead of settling for the same duos every week. Doc and Dolls have had scenes; Dolls and Haught; Wynonna and Doc; Wynonna and Dolls; Dolls, Wynonna and Waverly; Waverly and Doc; Waverly and Bobo—everyone’s connected in some way or another and it’s something brilliant to unravel, because it’s an excellent way of exploring a character’s psyche. How does Waverly act around X, Y and Z? You can literally see it unravel in front of you on-screen. Haught and Wynonna’s interactions particularly won me over because it was a marvellous mesh of Wynonna’s somewhat tipsy but reckless and quick conclusions, versus Haught’s more cautious approach to the situation. It made up for some hilarious conversations, bragging rights for Wynonna that she got a top-shelf ass, and pensive words from a thoughtful police officer. It also made up for some patience being blown out of the water, for suspicions to arise—in a paranoid, jumpy episode.

It’s remarkable, because I don’t think Barrell has had many scenes on the show yet (but has steadily built a loyal fanbase) but she certainly sets the screen alight with her [red-haught] performance (sorry!) every time she’s on screen. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen people tweet they’ve missed Haught this episode, or the literal Twitter party everyone seemed to simultaneously explode into when she did return. And I think that’s incredibly masterful.

There's already been an overwhelming amount of fanwork for this magnetic duo.

There’s already been an overwhelming amount of fanwork for this magnetic duo.

What I find even better is the way the show is handling the juggernaught of this new ship (massive cruise-liner) “WayHaught” (that’s Waverly and Haught). Admittedly, they haven’t had much interaction at all and the ship has certainly ‘not sailed’ in my opinion; however, their charming scene in episode two and further scenes have garnered huge numbers of views on YouTube and it’s not so much as an exploding supernova than it is a supermassive black-hole consuming our brains as we drift into the inevitable event horizon of WayHaught.

They’re charming on-screen together. The chemistry between Barrell and Provost-Chalkley is absolutely undeniable; it crackles in the freezing cold of the show. But what I find most admirable is the way the actors and the show-runner herself has handled the attention ‘WayHaught’ has gained. For Ms. Andras, I cannot recall her making any false promises or misleading fans in terms of the ship—and you must remember that via Twitter, it does seem to be a very young thus vulnerable demo. After the recent disasters of female/female ships (I’m taking Root and Shaw out of this because—stop it) or just female characters in general, the fact that WayHaught has spawned such an intense following is incredible. The amount of love shown to the fans—and to each other—by the actors is awe-inspiring. The intimate interaction is important—because in this ever-evolving world of social media, where—on Twitter, especially—such validation can come with an instant 140 characters, it’s just heart-warming to see young fans revel and ‘squee’ over their favourite actors on their favourite shows like their tweet or retweet them.

TV is not just a matter of sitting down every week and watching a bolster of a show and switching off again. It’s gone past that point. I mean, my mum used to do that with Xena (I’m pretty sure she had no idea what it was). TV is at a point where you can trend important things for people to see; TV is subject to live-tweeting and immediate responses to the show; TV isn’t in a vacuum anymore (drink everytime you see that phrase and you’ll be on the floor) because social media has grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and given it a good shake. TV is utterly intertwined with social media, because here is a chance for instant validation and reaction of something that’s happened—and it’s already proven (certainly for ‘The 100’) that social media isn’t a joke. Social media can tweet up a storm, and I think that’s an incredibly good thing. Voices otherwise not are being heard. Interactions impossible are suddenly not.

As for ‘WayHaught’—I can say with the positive feedback it’s gotten from the community, from the actresses, from the show-runner—I think it’s a fun addition to an already fun romp (I need to find a new word) of a show. At risk of being hit, I will not say “well, WyNaught?” But I just think, after witnessing the utter despair and loss of hope ‘The 100’ delivered in its usual sub-par manner with Commander Lexa’s almost laughably tropey death, it’s nice to see fans having something to rejoice over again. Yes, fans will be cautious of falling victim to the ‘BYG trope’ again—but for the most part, I can see joy and people just enjoying the thrill of a ride that is Wynonna Earp, and for this, the ship WayHaught. It’s got probably the most brilliant ship name ever, it’s got chemistry that’s like a giant chunk of francium in water and it’s so much bloody fun. It’s on a show that doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. It’s on a show where the show-runner is about as unapologetically badass as Wynonna (check her twitter header) and it’s on a show where you don’t get a lady-on-lady conversation squabbling about boys—it’s utterly, utterly too female and that is probably the absolute best thing about it.

The supremely talented cast of Wynonna Earp.

The supremely talented cast of Wynonna Earp.

This isn’t without saying that Shamier Anderson (Dolls) and Tim Rozon (Doc) give great performances and have sublime chemistry with the rest of the cast too. Miraculously, I don’t find their characters boring hetero males (I mean, Dolls—is he like, a lizard?!) and that’s just why I admire the fleshing out of these characters so much. Everyone, in my opinion, is interesting. Constance Clootie may be off her rocker but she’s incredibly magnetic and watchable; The Blacksmith, though short-lived, was mysterious, strong and admirable.

Time to cuddle up for your--your tenth rewatch?! ...Yeah, same...

Time to cuddle up for your–your tenth rewatch?! …Yeah, same…

I don’t know, CBS. Often I think people start shows because they’re too female. And on Wynonna Earp—I won’t pretend it’s the masterpieces of all masterpieces—but it is an genuinely enjoyable, stomach-churning nutcracker—and in a TV-world laden with dark and gritty pieces (most of which work; some tragically fail) isn’t it just feel-good to have a show you can watch (and then rewatch) without realising your face hurts because you’ve been sniggering or grinning broadly at the screen for the entire, too female hour?

NB: I review Wynonna Earp, as ever, on the wonderful TV After Dark. With a lot less snark and ramblings. I can be a pro 0.00001% of the time.

A poetic prayer for a hero, a poem for Nicola Choi by Tracy Diane Miller

Tracy is by every definition a hero … peaceful, patient, calm, rational and always so supportive …i don’t know if I am a hero. I am capable of making rash comments and still so–I think because I am young–but that is no excuse. I have so much to learn… and in meeting Tracy (and Stacy!) I have learned so much about being a better person, about keeping your head up, high and professional, about being above the unprofessional and bigoted and bullies. To stand up for what I believe in…that minority voices shouldn’t be silenced, that minority lives matter just much as the next person and that should be emphasised in our society- that is nowhere near as progressive as it thinks it is. Thank you Tracy!

lifeisawalkingshadow

A poetic prayer for a hero, a poem for Nicola Choi by Tracy Diane Miller

As children we learn of heroes
Who fight the good fight
Endowed with special powers
To answer the call both day and night

As we grow older
We realize heroes live among us everyday
At great sacrifice to their own personal well-being
They battle injustice to keep it away

I have met many heroes
My mother was my first
Without her I would be nothing
For my love of learning she fostered my thirst

Then there is Nicola
She hasn’t been in my life for very long
Her voice is inspirational
Her passion for others remains so strong

Nicola has no special powers
She has no xray vision and she cannot fly
But she is the definition of a hero
For she gives her heart to others is why

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Exclusive Interview with Singer Rachel B

Rachel B will be a name you’ll be hearing in the next few months. With her new album ‘I’m The Boss’ set for a release date of 1 March 2016, you only need to head over to her official website to check out live show dates in Michigan and Pennsylvania, plus two full song samples on SoundCloud: ‘I’m The Boss’ and ‘Shame On Me’ to really get a feel for Rachel B’s soulful, sultry, confident music. Her lyrics and her melody are both catchy and clever, but it is truly the voice that empowers the songs: in ‘I’m The Boss’ there is an incredible bridge, so incredible to the point where when she quietly croons into your soul: ‘I’m the Boss‘ at the end, you will be rooted to your chair and have absolute faith that Rachel B is undeniably The Boss. Still don’t believe me? Watch her dominate literally everyone in her mischievously fun official video for ‘I’m The Boss‘ on her YouTube channel.

Recently I had the privilege of interviewing this talented rising star (though I think perhaps a ‘supernova’ would be a more apt term for Rachel) and I wish her all the success in the future. She is truly a genuine, kind, patient and bubbly soul. Remember if you want to catch her live shows, check herofficial website for dates and you’ll understand my utter awe when I listened to her material. Rachel’s also on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so send The Boss some love! Without further ado, I thus present to you the splendid Rachel B.

 

Hi, Rachel! First of all, I have to say I was absolutely enamored with your songs on SoundCloud. They were sultry, catchy and confident with a smoothly gorgeous voice to boot! How would you describe your style, and who were your influences growing up?

Thank you! I love the word sultry! I describe it as Soulful Empowerment Pop. I always want to be putting a positive message out there, even if it’s about overcoming pain and struggle. I’m a child of classic jazz vocalists and Motown. Some of my favorites are Ella Fitzgerald, Minnie Riperton, Billie Holiday, and the Supremes to name a few! More contemporary artists I adore are Amy Winehouse, Sia, Alicia Keys, Jessie Ware, Norah Jones and Adele.

I mean, on your press-kit, it describes you as: “If Amy Winehouse, Norah Jones, and Janis Joplin had a baby”—goodness me, what high praise, mind you!

Haha! I think that be a pretty awesome baby, right!? People often tell me I remind them of a sassier Norah Jones and a softer Amy Winehouse. I liked that description and am a big fan of all of these women!

Your songs are so full of catchy hooks and insane vocals—can I ask what your songwriting process is like? For example, ‘I’m The Boss’—how did that song come to fruition?

Songwriting is always a different process for me. My production partner and I had just quit our day jobs to be full-time creators and we were always joking around about who was the boss between the two of us. Then we started from the bass line and the melody and lyrics followed. It’s turned into such a special song for me. It’s truly inspired me how to be the boss of my own life and marked the period of my life where I actually became my own boss.

I feel like you’re my boss now, too, after watching your music video. Now, you have your first album—aptly, if I may say—titled ‘I’m The Boss’ releasing in March 2016! How do you feel about that? Excited? Nervous? How much elbow grease/time has gone into that?

I’m ecstatic about the release and really proud of the songs. Words can’t even explain how much elbow grease has gone into the record! I’m an independent artist and I’ve put a lot of time, sweat, tears, laughter, sass, and love into making this album reality, so have the people that worked on the record with me! I can’t wait to share it!

It says in your bio that you’ve gone from Michigan to LA to Pittsburgh…that’s a long journey, right? How was that process for you, finding the right niche, in a way—and what key lessons have you learned as you went along?

Yes, it is, both geographically and emotionally! I have learned so much! I would say one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from my time in Los Angeles to Pittsburgh was to take control of my life. I think a lot of aspiring artists move to big cities like NYC or LA to be “discovered” and I realized that I wasn’t interested in waiting around to be discovered, I wanted to pave my own way. I decided to take things into my own hands as an independent artist and leave Los Angeles to continue growing in Pittsburgh. Bob Dylan’s definition of success is ‘A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.’ I do just that and I’m such a happier and productive person since changing my mindset to be a boss instead of waiting for someone to “discover me.”

Following on from that—for budding, upcoming musicians such as yourself—do you have any pearls of wisdom for them?

Find yourself. Don’t practice being what you think others want you to be. Dig deep and find what really matters to you.

To expand on that long journey to success—how have you found the landscape of music changing over the years? Is it much harder to get that successful record out? I personally think ‘I’m The Boss’ will be a mega-hit—I’m a huge fan already—but do you think it’s harder now to sort of—gain popularity and followers? It seems the music industry is really, really competitive.

First of all, thank you. That means a lot. There are a lot of different conversations saying it’s easier to get your music out there than it used to be but I think it’s also harder in some ways to cut through all the noise and saturation. I don’t really focus on that anymore. Making music is what I’ve committed my life to. I just want to make music that is honest and hopefully it resonates with other people. When you love something you find a way to make it work and I’ve done that with music and believe that I will keep finding ways.

Absolutely—it’s clear your passion for making good music shines through. I see you’ve got a list of gigs as well, in Pennsylvania and Michigan. One day, would you hope to expand on that? Does the thought of playing to a big sell-out crowd in New York City frighten you a bit, or is that the dream?

Ya, we tour all over! Mostly the East Coast and Midwest right now. The thought of selling out to big crowds anywhere excites me! I live for the stage!

Because our site focuses also on TV and film—if you had to choose one scene, from any film or any TV show—for one of your songs to be a background of, what would it be? And why?

That’s a great question! It would have to be one of two scenes in a movie and I’m not sure what movie. A passionate love scene or like a badass moment where Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, or some fierce woman kick ass and is walking off in a dark alley all lit up by the moonlight, ready to take over the world! Those are kind of my two favorite feelings in life, Passion and Empowerment. Maybe the show Jessica Jones. I got hooked on that show this year.

Gosh, if every time Jessica Jones barged into the room to the tune ‘I’m The Boss’ I will ascend to heaven. From the very limited access I have to your songs (the two on SoundCloud and a third teaser) I can garner you have a very playful yet confident sound. If I were to go to your gig, what should I expect? Something intimate perhaps?

You should expect to check your worries at the door and to feel a whole bunch of feelings. We have a little bit of everything musically speaking. I like to make people dance and I like to make people think and feel from the music. I want people to walk out the door of my show feeling amazing, sassy and empowered.

You’ve demonstrated you’re quite tech-savvy, uploading two songs onto SoundCloud. Spotify and iTunes and streaming really is the future, isn’t it? But so are mediums like Twitter and Instagram, so do you think privacy would be an issue as you rise to stardom? Does that scare you, or excite you, perhaps?

The good thing about Twitter and Instagram is people get to choose how much of their lives they want to share. I just look at it as a way to connect with more people but I won’t be TMIing (too much info in) on any social media sites! It’s not my style. I prefer to do that in person.

What’s the ultimate dream for you, say in five years’ time? It could be anything from having a sell-out Madison Square gig to a first number one, or even hiking Mount Kilimanjaro!

I’m going to revert back to Bob Dylan’s quote: ‘A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.’ In five years I’ll be touring the world with my original music. I’d also like to hike Machu Picchu and have a really nice master bathroom and tub.

A bit of a random one here—but what is your favorite song(s) at the moment? What kind of genre are you most into?

I listen to a little bit of everything! Like I said I love classic jazz vocalists, Motown, and Pop. Bruno Mars & Mark Ronson “Uptown Funk” has been my favorite for awhile! Working with Mark Ronson would be a dream!

Just imagining his beats and your voice combined together is a dream I need to come true! I wrote in my notes whilst I listened to your songs that you reminded me also of Eliza Doolittle and Paloma Faith…so I’m doing to do a very brief ‘this or that’ with you: Eliza or Paloma?

I think they are both are great! I’m going to have to go with Paloma Faith.

CDs or Spotify/SoundCloud?

CDs!

Last one: falafel or Halloumi cheese?

Falafel, no doubt! I’m actually newly vegan, well a Chegan, which is a vegan who cheats every now and then…ice cream 😉

It’s been a genuine privilege, Rachel. I wish you all the success with your newest album, ‘I’m The Boss’ for March 2016—and I look forward to one day seeing your tour date in the UK! You will surely be a shooting star and a global name to look out for. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me!

Thank you for listening and asking great questions! I look forward to sharing the record with you and in the meantime, people can check out the music video for I’m The Boss on YouTube and go to my website for more information: www.rachelbmusic.com.

 

Rachel B’s new album ‘I’m The Boss’ will be released on 1 March 2016, so keep that date booked and a keen eye for her name in the future! It was truly a pleasure to interview Rachel, and I want to thank Rachel for being such a sweetheart, funny and affable. Check out her SoundCloud for free here! She’s a one to watch—and a sassy treat indeed!