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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA’s own Lexa Raquel is looking to break into the big time

    Turki+Allugman+%2F++Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0ALexa+Raquel
    Turki Allugman
    Turki Allugman / Arizona Daily Wildcat Lexa Raquel

    With a No. 9 hit on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales chart at the young age of 19, it would be easy enough for Tucson native Lexa Raquel to put up her feet and call it a day.

    Raquel, however, is not your average singer/songwriter. Even with the runaway success of her hit, “One of a Kind,” Raquel refuses to take a break, pushing forward with her longtime dream of being a professional singer. Of course with her level of training and passion, it’s not unreasonable to picture Raquel soon becoming a name people look to for inspiration and quality music.

    Raquel began her career singing in the opera at age 5. She said her musical vision and style first came to her as a freshman in high school.

    “Technically I had training before then, because I had my first voice lesson when I was 7,” she said. “When I was a freshman, though, was when I started taking it more seriously and writing my own songs.”

    A turning point came for Raquel when she was approached by Tucson local and American Idol contestant Crystal Stark about the possibility of mentoring the young freshman. “Crystal and I go to the same church, so we were at vacation Bible school and she just heard me singing,” explained Raquel. “After that first day, she immediately approached me about singing with her, and so through my senior year of high school she gave me voice lessons once a week.”
    In addition to inspiring Raquel to take a shot at singing professionally, Stark came to be a role model to Raquel.

    “I couldn’t imagine any of this without her,” Raquel added.

    In high school Raquel also became an expert at writing her own material inspired by subjects from heartbreak to family values. “One of a Kind,” the thumping synthesizer-laden club song largely responsible for her name recognition, was inspired by her grandfather and his support of her attempt to sing professionally.

    “‘One of a Kind’ has a very special place in my heart, because it was the song that got my foot in the door,” she said. “But ultimately it was a very safe song. The record I’m doing right now is me — more my style.”

    A YouTube search reveals Raquel’s staggering number of songs that show her sound, including an acoustic R&B of originals like “All of Me,” and the straight soul of her cover of Alicia Keys’ “Unthinkable.” Raquel said that forging her own style in the music market is one of her primary goals as an artist. “I want to make a difference with my style and my lyrics, and I think a big part of that is just being different enough to stand out to people,” she said.

    For Raquel, reaching people through music is the most crucial part of her work.
    “Music is so universal,” she said. “It’s the one language everyone can understand. It’s so important because of that.”

    After attending the UA last year as a music education major, Raquel set about making her dreams come true by flying to Nashville to record. Given “full creative control” for the album, Raquel enthusiastically described her forthcoming music as some of her most inspired and diverse work yet.

    “Recording this album has just reminded me not to let opportunity pass you by,” she said. “My advice to everyone out there is just to follow your dreams. If you work hard, you can make them happen.”

    Follow us on Twitter @wildcatarts.

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