Mumbai-based Rachel Varghese describes herself as a singer-songwriter, from a Blues and Jazz background. She also plays the guitar and piano, but refrains from doing so on onstage due to her “perfectionist” attitude (And so, you’ll only see her singing during gigs). In 2010, she was one of the finalists for Project Lotus by Peter Gabriel to form the first pan-Asian girl band. However, she decided to opt out of the project because her heart didn’t lie in doing pop-commercial music.
Majorly inspired by her elder brother’s love for music and his guitar-playing skills, Rachel decided to follow suit. Thanks to her father, she grew up listening to a plethora of artistes like Simon And Garfunkel, Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Donna Summer, Joan Baez, Herbie Hancock and many more. Her prime influence as a singer is Eva Cassidy, who she describes as “an angel who was sent by God into the world but unfortunately, was called back soon.”
Rachel began writing songs at the age of 17 and writes about her everyday experiences, love and life in general. Some of her songs include: Invincible Mind, a rock ballad about how the power of the mind and heart and believing in oneself; Follow You is an autobiographical slow rock love ballad about a musician couple; You & Me Now is a love song with an indie acoustic feel; and Road Less Travelled, a new-age Blues number about the unanswered questions in life, about musicians are forced to take the road less travelled in life.
In October 2011, Rachel enrolled at the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music near Chennai to study music. Here, she received a holistic appreciation of music besides studying vocals. While studying music, the 25-year-old teamed up with band Something Relevant doing corporate shows in various cities across the country.
After studying music, Rachel returned back to Mumbai and worked on her goal to churn out her own music. And so, in October, she along with four other musicians formed a band, Rachel And The Plutonians. (It doesn’t matter whether she pursues music as a solo artist or as a band, as long as she gets to sing and make her own music, she says). The music is composed by her with other band members adding their own flavour to it. In fact, they’re about to release their first single EP titled Road Less Travelled very soon.