With great joy comes the announcement of a new way to experience the music and artists that you love. Mugatunes has sanctioned the creation of "At the Crossroad with Honest Abe." The goal of this new feature will be to create an engaging and insightful dialogue while providing an intimate live concert experience from your computer screen. The Mugatunes crew and myself will be traveling to wherever necessary to ensure that we find that next great live act.
Our first stop was Ultra Sound Rehearsal Studio on 251 W 30th St., New York City. There we met up with Mugatunes' favorite 21-year-old Raphaelle. We were beyond excited for Raphaelle to be featured in the inaugural session. We hope to continue the momentum following the release of her emotion-provoking debut EP Postmodern from last month. Watch the video below to hear her breathtaking vocal range unfiltered and learn more about her journey to New York City and be sure to give Postmodern a listen too.
With a modelesque look and a voice well beyond her 20 years, musician Raphaelle is coming up in the NYC music scene in a big way. The soul singer, who lists Etta James, Janis Joplin an Carole King as her musical influences, just played her EP release party to a packed house and had the entire room in their feelings. We spoke with Raphaelle about her creative process, growing up fast, and her mission to bring music with substance to the mainstream.
What does Postmodern mean to you?
Postmodern symbolizes the starting point for me in my journey. It’s the first piece of work that I ever put out. The first time I came in touch with my feelings. The first time I felt free. These 7 songs enabled me to become the artist that was always inside of me. Now the possibilities are endless.
How did you conceptualize the EP?
I spent two years-and-a-half writing songs every single day. Each song was a therapeutic process for me. Going back to all my rock bottoms and dealing with them once and for all. All I knew is if I kept it real, the listeners would feel something. I know I am not following the “normal” approach to how music is created these days…but the beauty of expression is that there is no wrong or right way; it’s just a matter of opinion.
What was the biggest challenge working on the album?
The biggest challenge with Postmodern was that it was the first time for me making a record. I had to learn everything from the ground up. Thankfully I had a few mentors to guide me through the process. Now I am ready for anything that is thrown at me.
What can we expect after Postmodern EP from you in terms of releases?
I never stop writing songs so I have loads of music on the way. I think a lot of people don’t realize that when you write an album, you’ve been hearing these songs for years before the public hears them. I have grown so much as an artist, let alone as a person, since I wrote Postmodern. I’ve been learning and collaborating with other extraordinarily talented artist. Let’s just say the new material is on another level.
What sort of legacy do you want to leave behind when it's all said and done?
I want to be known as the woman who helped inspire people to think and move outside of the box. There is no limit. You set your own limits… and most importantly leave behind tons of classic records for decades and decades to be inspired and moved by. It’s about wanting to make a difference and then doing it.
From the first word to come from Raphaelle to the last "Thank you", the crowd was in complete and utter shock. Food sat untouched and grew cold while the ice in the Gin and Tonics melted at a rate turning them to water. The crowd's full attention was on the 20-year-old performer. As the show progressed, Raphaelle seemed to grow more and more comfortable with the audience, opening up about her music with informal decadence, as if we were friends with her for years. This sort of stage presence brings a new level of respect and admiration for an artist. Raphaelle opened with her song "Simple Things". A song praising the little things in life that help her remain positive, she sings "I got my piece of mind,/ I got my piece of mind" a large diversion from the subject matter of the majority of the other songs from the Postmodern EP. Her performance of "Stupid Face" was viciously bluesy and chill inducing. She joked with the crowd that the ex-boyfriend that inspired the song was told about the show and could have been in the audience for the song.
When we first heard Raphaelle's song "Simple Things" 2 weeks ago, we were hard pressed to discover where the majestic voice had come from. Instead of squandering over whether or not her music was considered more indie, classic rock or soul, there was just a collective sense of, "ok - now what the hell was that and why am I just hearing this name for the first time?!" Quite the change up from the banal "Hey Man thanks for listening!" music submissions we get on a daily basis.
Managed by Remi Music Group, the 20 year old, originally from Paris, now calls NYC home following a brief stint in Austin, Texas. Unlike any story we've come across, Raphaelle's is one that so many of us can relate to. An early career slowed by strained relationships and dulled by periods of impassiveness, her music is effective in capturing moments of self discovery continuously toying with a listener's emotions. In an effort to undo the many pulls of the virtual world that surrounds us, her music is fraught with a resurgence of emotion that attaches itself to the way her voice rises to a crescendo, only to fall back into softness.
Follow her story and join us for the evening as we head down to NYC in 2 weeks for the release of her first EP Postmodern.
April 19th, 9pm - 44 East 32nd street (The Cutting Room)