Rachael Leahcar might very well be one of the hardest working young ladies in the business. Since placing third on the original edition of ‘The Voice’ back in 2012, she’s released two top ten albums, toured with Delta Goodrem, performed at countless instore appearances and concerts and even squeezed in appearances at the last two ‘Carols By Candlelight’ shows on Christmas Eve in Melbourne.
In amongst all of that, she’s found the time to record her third studio album. This time around, she’s delving into the back catalogue of The Beatles for inspiration for the collection which is called ‘Here Comes The Sun’. So ahead of its release this Friday, we posed some questions to Miss Rachael to find out a little more about it.
Q : We all fell in love with you on ‘The Voice’, obviously. What did the competition teach you?
A : It taught me a few things I have found pretty valuable since. A major thing it taught me is to let go of self-awareness when it comes to singing and performing. I had people all around me doing warm-ups backstage and I always asked myself how they did it! I would have found it embarrassing to do such funny sounds everywhere. But by the end of it, I was doing sirens and lip bubbles like a pro wherever I was because it needed to be done! Not only warm-ups but some might be shocked to hear that I was very shy before ‘The Voice’. I’ve grown in confidence and as well as being able to talk to people with more ease, I can now comfortably ask for help if I need it in everyday situations, which I didn’t have the confidence to do before very often. Another thing it taught me is how to handle all the people I come across, whether it’s my supporters coming to say hello and wanting photos or the media wanting a story. I will always be happy to stop and talk.
Q : What’s been your career highlight so far after the show?
A : This is a tough one to answer but I think it would have to be when I went on a whirlwind trip to Italy and sang with Andrea Bocelli’s orchestra. I got the chance to sing four songs in four different languages and it was extremely exhilarating to hear such beautiful music behind me. I was in my element.
Q : ‘Here Comes The Sun’ is your third album release since 2012. How did you approach this LP differently to your last two?
A : This album was quite last minute, only being completed in just a few short weeks. With the help of Peter Dacy and David Cameron, I think it’s come up very special. It’s the most live sounding album I’ve done so far and I think the song choices fit together pretty nicely.
Q : What made you decide to do a Beatles covers album?
A : The record company asked if I was interested in doing a concept album and I’m never one to say no to an album! I listed a few concepts (amongst the list were Disney songs, Great Movie Classics, other artists I could cover etc.) and they came back to me saying The Beatles was the way to go. I was really happy to hear this as it was probably my favourite idea on the list. They have so many songs to choose from but every one is a piece of genius.
Q : So where did your love of the music of The Beatles emanate from?
A : I listened to The Beatles all the time growing up. They were always fun to listen to but I didn’t really understand how good they were until we lost internet for a week a few years ago. I didn’t know what to do besides sit on my bed fiddling with a ‘tomboy’ (those toilet roll things with pop sticks and wool to make a long rope). I needed some music while I did this so I asked mum for The Beatles greatest hits albums. From that moment, I sat on my bed for a whole week singing along to their music and slowly fell in love with each progressing note. When we got internet back and I emerged from my room, I was a Beatles nut and haven’t turned back since.
Q : We’re presuming that ‘Here Comes The Sun’ in particular holds special meaning, given you chose it as the album’s title?
A : ‘Here Comes the Sun’ has always been my favourite Beatles song. It’s so simple and light-hearted, I start singing it occasionally when I walk outside on a cloudy day and the sun pops out from nowhere to brighten everything. I’m automatically happy when I hear this song and I hope I can have the same affect on others when I sing it or when they hear it on the album.
Q : Were there any songs that didn’t quite make the final cut?
A : There were a few that had to be cut just because I think they were a bit similar to other songs on the album and a couple of other reasons. ‘The Fool on the Hill’ was one of them we left off because we felt there were enough ballads already and it didn’t quite gel with the other songs. ‘If I Fell’ and ‘Dear Prudence’ were cut for similar reasons. ‘Norwegian Wood’, however, was left off because it is actually about a man who burns down a woman’s house because… well, you only have to listen to the lyrics to know why. Although I love the song, I didn’t think it was really ‘me’ to sing it!
Q : Will you be treating your audiences to any live performances any time soon?
A : I’m in the process of organising live performances as I write! I toured last year and loved it so much, I have to do it again. I’m hoping to do them this year sometime but I’ll keep people updated on social media.
Q : What’s next for you? Another new album in the offing for 2015 perhaps?
A : I’m working on another album already but it will take some time to get right. I’m trying to write with as many artists as possible who have inspired me over the years to create some originals and even duets if they are happy to sing them with me. So far I have already written a song with Josh Pyke (my favourite male artist) and working on some more sessions with others. This will take some time to do as I’m sure they’re all very busy, but I’ll make sure it’s perfect. In the meantime, I’m hoping to do a tour sometime soon and keep performing around Australia.
Rachael Leahcar’s new album ‘Here Comes The Sun‘ is released this Friday.