By Sam Brawner
There are two things you can always count on at a Raquel Rodriguez performance: One is an undoubtedly impressive show, and the other, her signature 310 necklace, ever present around her neck. 310 just happens to be the area code for the Westside of Los Angeles, where this talented singer was born and raised. It also happens to be the title of Raquel’s new release, “The 310”!
“I’m a product of Los Angeles,” Raquel said “and for a long time I didn’t feel like I was. I didn’t feel like I had much to offer, and in a city like LA, that’s one of the things that people look for the most. After making this record, that perspective changed. I was really proud of the music Sam and I put together with our team and I couldn’t wait for people to hear it. It not only represents me, but my city as well. It’s the first time I’ve ever felt at home with my music and myself.”
If you were in attendance at Mile of Music in 2014 and/or 2015, chances are you caught a show by Raquel Rodriguez and her band. She was a stand out act performing to packed venues with lines down College Ave waiting to get in.
“I remember our first show for Mile of Music in 2014,” she said “an afternoon performance at Chadwick’s. When we got there it was almost empty and I was so bummed because my expectations and hopes were so high. I continued setting up and getting ready, and by showtime the whole place was so packed that people started watching us perform from the sidewalk!”
Each show after that, including the three performances at MoM in 2015, were all packed wall to wall for this LA girl.
Since Raquel’s last official performance in Appleton last year, fans have been eagerly anticipating her return to the Fox Valley. No worries! Raquel and her band will be performing at The Source in Menasha, Thursday December 22nd. This will be Raquel’s official Midwest record release party, and judging from her initial release show in LA, tickets will go fast!
So, you may be wondering, what’s this LA native doing in Wisconsin all the time? It just so happens that her drummer, producer, engineer, Sam Brawner, was born in Green Bay and raised in Neenah. Raquel and Sam met in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California where they both majored in music. Since then, they’ve collaborated on a full-length album, “Miss Me” and their current project, “The 310.” Raquel and Sam also built Blue Dream Studios, where “The 310” was written, recorded, mixed and mastered.
Joining them on their most recent release was Nigel Hall (Lettuce, Soulive, Ledisi). Nigel was a co-producer on Raquel’s latest EP and he will be joining Raquel and Sam for a follow up project to be released in 2017.
Over the course of 2016, Raquel has kept busy. You may have seen her performing with another LA native, Anderson Paak, on Jimmy Kimmel, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and at Coachella, as well as other festivals across the country. On December 22nd, Raquel and her crew will roll into the Fox Valley to blaze the frozen tundra with their new record.
Tickets are available at www.RQLROD.com. So let’s pack the house once again, and welcome Raquel back to Wisconsin!