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Meet Rachel Oto

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Oto.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
When I was twelve, I got it in my head that I wanted to play guitar and start a garage band. My parents were surprisingly supportive and got me my first electric guitar for Christmas. I started lessons, then convinced all my friends to learn instruments too and join my band. We had a lot of fun for a couple of years, but we didn’t make it through the demands of high school and went on indefinite hiatus our sophomore year.

From that point forward, I was on a mission to make it as a solo artist. My parents, while still supportive, wanted me to get a degree as a backup plan just in case I didn’t make it as a rock star, so I went to school for my bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, all the while taking songwriting classes and learning about music recording with my extra units.

The years after I graduated are a blur… Lots of networking. Lots of figuring out how to survive in LA and still make music. Lots of honing my craft. After about a year of making a go of things on my own, I met producer Andrew Monheim, who aligned me with independent label AndromiDen Recordings. That was the start of slowly gathering my team of talented musicians, artists, and creators together.

From there, I started recording and playing shows. I put together a few tours of my own and was invited on a few more. Now, with the release of my latest single, “Road Song,” it’s finally beginning to feel like things are starting to truly come together for my music career.

Has it been a smooth road?
If anything, it has been mostly struggle. I made a choice to put my music and my art first, but that decision left me hungry and without a steady place to live for a while—a great experience for the songwriter in me, but a traumatic one for the human in me. Thankfully, that team I mentioned earlier helped get me through the worst of that particular struggle.

Then there are the challenges of simply trying to create things, learning to trust your gut, learning how to be vulnerable. Learning how to collaborate and work with other people—especially after spending so long making music by myself.

There are always struggles, but struggle is at the heart of compelling songwriting, so I try not to complain too much.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I am primarily a singer-songwriter. Aside from my songs, I am known for my high-energy performances and my cinematic desert rock-folk vibes. I am proud of how the music has evolved and matured over the years. The goal is always to create works that will move people, and I think we are getting ever closer to achieving that goal consistently.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Hopefully, we’ll see an increase in the streaming royalty rate at some point, but beyond that… The music industry is funny. On one hand, it can be so volatile, especially since its production and distribution are extremely sensitive to changes in technology–it can be difficult to see the direction it will go.

On the other hand, I feel like the fundamentals will always remain the same. You still have to play shows and sell merchandise. You still have to tour. You still have to make great music.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ojo De Loba

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