Home – Introducing … Rachel Zeffira

– Introducing … Rachel Zeffira

Boxx Magazine | Introducing … Rachel Zeffira

Saturday 16th March 2013,

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Introducing … Rachel Zeffira

Boxx Magazine March 11, 2013 No Comments

(By Bianca Silva)

Canadian singer/multi-instrumentalist Rachel Zeffira always imagined going to London as a young girl.

“My mom was born and raised in London, and I always kind of dreamed of going there,” she says. So at the age of 17, Zeffira moved to England to study music and found herself immersed with the country’s musical heavyweights The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, who would influence her budding career alongside modern artists like Grimes and Grouper.

After accidentally getting deported early on, Zeffira later returned to work as a French teacher at a comprehensive school in Dagenham, England and has been living in the country for the past 12 years—or as she puts it, “My whole adult life.”

It was here that she recorded her solo debut, The Deserters, released March 12 through Paper Bag Records.

While Rachel describes her work with her group Cat’s Eyes (with Faris Badwan of The Horrors) as “sound experimentation,” the tracks on The Deserters are mostly acoustic with tracks like “The Best Person I Know” and “Face In The Crowd” imbued with a psychedelic rock ambiance. Overall, The Deserters is heavily influenced by different components of classical music.

“I can’t think of a single composer that wasn’t referenced in my album,” she admits.

“Break The Spell” incorporates string and wind instruments that create a contrast of upbeat and darker classical music, like imagining Bach and Vivaldi breathing the same air and performing in the same room.

Yet, interestingly though, Zeffira says she doesn’t listen to music when recording.

“When I’m writing an album I don’t really listen to other music. I go into my own world,” she says. A world that might someday come stateside.

“I would definitely live in New York,” she says, perking up when the city’s ping-pong spot Spin is mentioned (she’s an experienced player).

In fact, her musical career has allowed Zeffira to perform in places few aspiring musicians could ever dream of. While spending time in Verona, Italy, she had the opportunity to perform with Cat’s Eyes during a mass at the Vatican in front of Pope John Paul II—an incredible moment for the singer who grew up in a Catholic household.

In the near future, she hopes to travel to her native Canada to do a few shows promoting The Deserters, including Toronto and Montreal, where she admits she has never been. Looking over the span of her career, Zeffira recognizes how far she has come, geographically and musically, and offers an appreciation for her craft, which in a way is the only thing she’s ever been really good at. Although we also like her plans if she wasn’t involved in music. “I would open up a grizzly bear sanctuary,” she says, laughing.

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