I literally stumbled upon Rochelle Rice’s music in 2015. During that time, I was promoting the Kickstarter for my first novel, Fortune Cookie. Rochelle was also running a Kickstarter campaign during that same time for her debut EP, Wonder. I was immediately drawn to her authentic spirit and fantastic voice. Plus, I’ve been looking to broaden my Jazz horizons with new music. After hearing some of her music, I knew that I had to support her project. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I received her CD. Her voice is flawless and not in the Beyonce kind of way. She has great music and socially conscious thoughts to back it up. Check out some of the highlights of our interview below. Read part 2 of the interview HERE or check out the full audio at the bottom of the interview excerpt.
The thing that I love about your album is even though it’s Jazz, it still sounds accessible to everybody. What was your experience like with Kickstarter and the creation of Wonder?
I didn’t think I was as prepared as I should be. But now being on this side, I realize I had all the plans for Wonder ages ago. About 18 months before I did my Kickstarter, I was reading blogs, figuring out how crowdfunding was done. I took a few artists here in DC to lunch who I knew had good Kickstarter campaigns and asked them what they did.
I really wanted people to come on a journey with me, through Wonder. It’s an EP and there are 6 songs; 7 if you have the deluxe version. They are so personal. It was like, “Hey I need everybody who loves me and people who were willing to take a chance on me to take this journey with me”. I recorded in one of the best studios in the area (Washington DC), which is Beyer. I wanted it to be a representation of where I am right now.
With Kickstarter if you don’t get the funds, you don’t get any of the money. I felt passionate about what I was trying to do though and I was so excited people decided to jump on board.
My favorite song right now if I had to pick, would be “Fear”. What has been the greatest source of fear in your career up until this point and how have you overcome it?
Funny that you ask me that because last night actually I had an experience. I’ve performed at the Kennedy Center in DC many times. Last night was my first time headlining. I performed on the Millennium stage and that was a goal of mine. I said on stage last night that for the longest time I was afraid to record. I’m relatively young, but I’ve been singing for quite a while. I have two degrees in music, but even being in the music industry, performing and living the musician life, the thought of the recording process is such a huge task.
There’s so much people don’t see once you have a CD in your hand or once you download it. Then you have to record and I don’t have a massive budget, so we needed to nail it. We recorded the whole record in 6 hours. Oh my goodness, mixing alone I probably did 4 to 6 hours on each song. Then you have to get your album artwork, the publishing, it’s just overwhelming. That whole process was what I was afraid of. But I knew what I wanted. I wanted people to go somewhere and press play and hear me.
It took the Grammy Award winning and children’s music artist Cathy Sink to really help. I probably never would have met her if I wasn’t an artist at the residency for the Strathford Music Center. She was one of the mentors and she doesn’t mess around. She helped me to write out a plan of action. I felt so empowered that day. I took it one day at a time from there. It took a whole lot of prayer and support from my mother, my family and my husband.
Purchase Rochelle Rice’s debut EP, Wonder, at RochelleRiceMusic.com or any online retailer.
You can also find Rochelle on the following social media platforms:
Facebook: Rochelle Rice Music