Who are you and what are you doing here?
My name is Rachel Maria Cox and I don’t even go here, I just have a lot of feelings. Also, sometimes I put those feelings into songs.
How did your music career start?
I’ve been into music since I was a kid, I wrote my first song when I was about 9 years old. In primary school I learned the flute, which was where I first learned to read and write music, and then I started learning piano when I was about 12 and getting singing lessons when I was about 13. I played in a band in high school (we were called Blue Fear and we were definitely not great) but most of my background was in classical training. I was writing songs through my teen years but rarely played them in front of people because I was too anxious. It wasn’t until I got into my BMus degree in Uni that I started to get over my anxiety through exposure to performing and finally this year I started playing gigs with my own material – and now here I am!
How would you describe your music?
I like to call it “passion pop” – it’s emotionally charged, piano driven indie pop (also, like the drink if the same name, it can be sweet and make you emotional if you have too much). Think Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, Missy Higgins, Amanda Palmer and Kate Miller-Heidke Rolled into one.
If you had to pick one song you’ve written that best describes your sound, which one would it be?
The song that most sounds like what I aim for at the moment is ‘Sleeping on Trains’, which is on my forthcoming debut EP, “Home” (released Feb 25th).
In this day and age, where pretty much anyone is able to pick up an instrument, what would you say sets your band apart from the rest?
Anyone can pick up an instrument, but I think the fact that I’ve spent years learning and honing my craft shows – the classical training, studying composition at uni, and the fact that I sing for a living (I’m a voice teacher by day) I think sets my music apart. Plus, I try to be really honest with my lyric writing and that seems to strike a chord with people. Basically, I think what makes me stand out is I put my heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears into what I’m doing. This is my life.
Where are people able to hear your songs?
When the EP is out, it will be at rachelmariacox.bandcamp.com. At the moment, there’s two low-fi acoustic demos on that bandcamp page, but you can hear some more demos and a bunch of live recordings at soundcloud.com/rachel-maria-cox if you can’t wait until feb 25th. Of course, you could also come to a gig.
Are you playing any shows any time soon?
At the moment, the next lot of shows I have lined up are the EP launch shows. Feb 25th at the Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle (with vanishing shapes and Jessie Drane), March 1st at The Old Bar in Fitzroy (with Georgia Maq) and March 7th at the record crate in Glebe (with vanishing shapes and Spencer Scott). The best way to keep up to date is on facebook though, because I do sometimes book gigs with not a heap of notice.Facebook.com/RachelMariaCox
What is your proudest moment/greatest achievement as a musician?
This one is really hard, because every time someone comes up to me at a show or messages/emails me and says something nice about what I’m doing, that’s what makes me proud. It’s nice to be reminded that what you’re doing is valid to other people as well. And I remember everyone who’s ever come up to me at a gig – I never forget and I am constantly grateful for you all.
Tell us three bands we should be listening to/keeping an eye out for?
Just three?! Oh gosh, it’s so hard. There are so many great smaller Australian bands and artists who I love (if you listen to my radio show Home Made Mondays on Bondi radio, you’ll get a better idea). But if I have to narrow it down to just three, I’d say:
Emma and the Hungry Truth (QLD) – they’re doing amazing theatrical pop, tight arrangements, spectacular vocals, and (I hear) an impressive live show. They released an EP called “feast” not too long ago.
Vanishing Shapes (NSW) – alternative folk with classical influences. Their music will take you on a wild ride around the world’s folk traditions. Their debut Album is almost out.
Georgia Maq (VIC) – honest songwriting about living in suburban Australia, and the voice of an angel. She and Spencer Scott have a 7″ split coming out via lostboy records very soon!
Anything else to add?
I have a lot of social media (website, facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Soundcloud, triple j unearthed, bandcamp)
I really like hearing from new people (especially if they want to play gigs with me)