Five Questions With… Avery Raquel
The promising young Toronto soul/pop artist is now climbing the Dance charts via an inventive remix. Here she discusses that collaboration, the new twist on her musical journey, new material, and goals for 2020.
By Jason Schneider
Avery Raquel has been making her mark in the contemporary soul, R&B and pop worlds over the past few years, but now a new audience is discovering the young Toronto singer through a collaboration with one of the world's leading EDM producers.
After hearing Avery's 2018 album My Heart Away, Grammy nominee StoneBridge—known for his work with Ariana Grande, P!nk and others—immediately connected with the track Pieces and offered to transform it with his current right-hand man, son Damien Hall. Their resulting remix debuted in the top 50 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart in early January. It currently sits in the Top 40 and is steadily climbing. Further unique remixes of the song were done, and these were recently released as Pieces: The Remixes on all digital platforms.
It’s added a new dimension to Avery Raquel’s still-evolving career in the entertainment industry, which began at a young age with work in television and radio, as well as a number of professional stage productions across Canada. In 2017, she was introduced to award-winning Canadian producer/songwriter Greg Kavanagh, and their eventual collaboration has so far resulted in two critically acclaimed albums, Without A Little Rain and My Heart Away.
We recently got her thoughts on this new twist on her musical journey, and you can find out more at averyraquel.com
The StoneBridge remix of your song Pieces has hit the Billboard Dance Music chart. How did that come together?
Our producer, Greg, having been involved in the EDM and dance music genre, had the thought about doing a remix a couple of years ago. I didn't think I was ready at that time to hear my music presented so diﬀerently. However, after noticing a lot of mainstream artists create remixes to further build their fan base and expose their music to a wider audience, we thought, why not?
So, Greg reached out to some associates who got us in touch with StoneBridge. He loved the song and was excited to come on board to create a few remixes for us. I am so happy with how they turned out and how well its been doing on dance radio and in the clubs. The support from DJs around the world has been amazing.
What do you think made Pieces a good choice to remix?
Pieces is evidently the most upbeat song on the album! The instrumentation also captured an up-tempo dance vibe, and was popular among my fan base prior to the remixes. The content behind the song is definitely something that I think many people can relate to.
What was your reaction when you heard all of the different remixes of the song?
To be honest, at first I was really apprehensive about what they would sound like. I have been singing that song a certain way for a really long time, and had to mentally prepare myself for all the very different versions. But I really love them. I was happily surprised at how most stayed true to the original. The StoneBridge and Damien Hall remix used the original horns, and stuck to my song layout, so it still sounded like Pieces. The SHTLM Esq radio mix focused on my vocals, which was really nice. Of course, I wasn’t aware there were so many different styles of EDM music, so I was surprised at some of the versions. But they have all struck a chord with EDM listeners, which has been great.
Do you think this success will alter your approach to new material you're working on?
I’m still, for the most part, a contemporary soul/R&B songwriter. I’ve written some new material lately, and it stays true to my core. However, I hope to co-write with more people for sure. It would be cool to branch out, grow, and learn from others about different approaches to mixing and incorporating other sounds. I think my songwriting style may be influenced by a more modern and mainstream vibe now. I might even look into doing another dance remix in the future!
What are some of your goals for the coming year?
I’m writing a lot more, and plan to release new music soon. Not sure if it will be a full album or just a few singles. I currently have about five songs ready. Inspiration is my guide. I would also like to perform more! I’m already planning some small tours in Canada and the United States for spring and summer 2020 and into 2021.