Exploring The Soulful Sounds And Inspirations of Rachel Chinouriri

emilytreadgold #9, Features

Rachel is known for her soulful vocals and lyrics that cut to the core. After her viral hit on TikTok, she's continued to build on that success and release gorgeous music, establishing herself as one of the hottest up-and-comers right now. We talked to Rachel about the meaning behind her song and what it’s like to be an indie-pop artist.  

What’s the meaning behind “Maybe I’m Lonely”  and what inspired you to write it?

Rachel: I was inspired by a confused feeling. I liked someone and I was wondering if I actually liked them or if I had to deal with emotions of loneliness and desire for human contact. I’ve realized I don’t fancy them at all now, but at the time I didn’t know.

How did it feel when “All I Ever Asked” blew up on TikTok? Did it feel validating?

Rachel: It was my second song to go viral and if I’m honest it was scary. I didn’t know how to navigate it but I’m glad the song clicked with people – that gave me a lot of validation.

Did you feel a lot of pressure with new releases after having that viral success?

Rachel: Not really, I have been a musician for some time and everything has come to me in waves with each song and I looked at these like bigger waves. I’d say it’s more scary than anything, but maybe that feeling is in fact pressure?? Hmmm

Do you have any advice to people that are feeling lonely but don’t want a relationship at the moment?

Rachel: Learn to enjoy your own company. I always would feel lonely but then also not want to be around people. I noticed I had a lot of inner work to deal with and once I got comfortable alone, I began enjoying positive interactions with being social.

How does it feel being a Black artist in the indie-pop genre? To add on to that, do you feel like Black artists are often categorized as R&B when they’re clearly in pop music? 

Rachel: It’s frustrating, however I haven’t had the privilege of experiencing anything else so it becomes my normal. Every day I am reminded in some way or another that I am Black in this society so it just feels like another thing to add to the list. But I am built strong enough to know that being me will always shine through to people who love my music for the music. Black artists are always miscategorized however with social media it’s easier to speak out about it.

What has been one of the biggest challenges in your career?

Rachel: My schedule. I am someone who loves structure. As a musician, your schedule will change constantly – which is very different to how I have grown up. It’s like knowing to be right handed and suddenly having to use your left hand. I just need to learn to figure out how to make it work for me because hopefully my career will only get busier because more people listen to my stuff!

Who are some of your favorite artists right now that need to be on everyone’s radar? 

Rachel: Etta Marcus. Always.

What was the best concert you’ve seen and why? 

Rachel: Coldplay. ANYONE can go to that gig and it is one of the best experiences you can ever have with the lights, dancing and singing. It’s unexplainable.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?  

Rachel: Fantasia – “When I See You”

What’s next for you?

Rachel: My album, I get more excited the closer it is to coming together. I can’t wait to put out a whole body of work. I love the songs, it’s just piecing them together now.

Keep up with Rachel on Instagram, TikTok, and Spotify.

Alexus Vanderpool

I’m a concert enthusiast who loves tea and boybands. If I’m not at a concert I’m probably reading a book, fangirling, or jamming out to One Direction. I’m very passionate about music and love the way it brings people together. I love moments where friendships blossom over a mutual love for an artist. One of my favorite quotes is “Real bands save fans, real fans save bands.” Follow me on insta @lexi.vanderpool