Music moves us in a way no other artistic medium can. It reaches out to us and it evokes emotions in
us from deep within ourselves and from a very young age, Rachael has had a depth of feeling for the
awesome power of music.
For many, early influences and experiences shape who we are and for Rachael, those influences
came from her family. Her mother was a Bharathanatyam dancer, a classical genre of dance from
South India based on grace of movement, purity, tenderness and sculpture-esque poses and when
she was teaching her classes, Rachael watched, listened and responded with feeling and energy
to the movement and especially to the music. This led to Rachael studying classical Indian music
and also graduating in Classical Indian dance. Music and dance know no boundaries and it inspires
international exchange and promotes interdisciplinary approaches.
Like many children, Rachael, who was born in the UK, enjoyed the music of Disney and marvelled at
how the music was able to create feelings and emotions based on the different moods and scenes in
the films. She also listened to traditional Carnatic music emanating from South India and Sri Lanka.
Her first taste of what it was like to perform was at the tender age of six in front of 100 people. By
12, she had developed an interest in the piano to accompany her singing and from there a career in
the performing arts was assured.
‘I feel free when I am performing. Music allows you to express any emotion you want. I can be happy,
sad, angry and sassy whenever I feel like it. It’s a freedom that has no consequences’
Rachael’s most memorable performance to date was when she competed against other talented
musicians to reach the National Grand Final of Live & Unsigned 2008, the UKs most high profile
music competition for unsigned acts. From an early age, she studied music at an academic level and
graduated from the Academy of Contemporary Music in 2012 with a degree in Vocal Performance,
but Rachael’s unwavering desire to succeed goes beyond qualifications.
As a British musician of Sri Lankan heritage, Rachael’s music and creative persona can best be
described as a blend of traditional and modern having grown up in the UK in a first-generation Sri
Lankan family. Naturally, her parents hold traditional values at their core but having evolved amidst
Western cultures and attending a school in London where there is a diverse fusion of cultures,
religions, colours and beliefs, her influences became, by definition, multi-cultural.
This had a profound influence on her music and it has helped her to create concepts, themes and
ideas that are both powerful and personal and span more deep-rooted issues that Rachael has
identified and ones that, through her music, she has an innate passion to make visible.
‘My generation of Sri Lankans in the UK hasn’t yet found its identity and subsequently, there are very
few Sri Lankan role models in British society today because the community is so young’
There were few idols she could turn to or relate to as role models in her own community growing up
in the UK and she found there was a socially accepted culture amongst young Asian women in this
country which can, on occasion, lead to clashes in terms of what it’s OK to like. She also found that
there were categories that women were expected to fit and conform to which she never did.
However, through music, there is the amazing capacity to transcend race, religion and tradition and
empower everyone to embrace the ability to express their own individuality and freedom of choice.
‘I hope my music appeals to all those who understand the pressures that young women like me are
experiencing or have experienced in the past and we should all try to challenges ourselves to be the
very best we can be’
Rachael is constantly inspired and derives much of her passion for creativity by the sights and
sounds around her. Her craft and her positive outlook on life comes from her own life experiences
from which she draws great strength, as well as creating a strength, a sense of self-worth and an
empowering identity for herself.