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"I always wanted to sing country music," says Rachele, whose father works as a commercial fisherman. "When I was 10, I remember sitting in my dad's truck and saying, 'Dad, we don't have a lot of time. LeAnn Rimes was 13 when she released 'Blue.' We don't have time! We have to get on this!'"
And, as it turns out, her surroundings were a perfect breeding ground for her talents. "There are a lot of really creative people in Kodiak because it's such a different scene," the petite brunette explains. "Alaska is full of all types of people. There are a lot of artists that paint or draw, and there are a lot of writers because people are inspired by the beauty. There wasn't much of a professional music scene, but it was a good place to foster creativity. I grew up with that uninhabited space to be creative and grow my artistry."
A songwriter at 12 and a seasoned performer by age 17, Rachele moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University, where other future country stars, including Brad Paisley, Josh Turner and Trisha Yearwood were educated. While performing at downtown Music City's legendary honky-tonk, Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, the young singer handed a five-song EP she had recorded to musician/manager Jimmy Murphy, who then shared the music with his daughter, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jamie O'Neal ("There Is No Arizona," "When I Think About Angels"). The two began working in Jamie's home studio, writing together. Rachele penned 'Party' with Jamie, Jimmy Murphy and Stephanie Bentley, and other Nashville tunesmiths are spotlighted on her upcoming debut album, with Jamie producing the sessions.
"It's been awesome," Rachele says of working with the dynamic singer. "I was a little intimidated at first, but she put me at ease the moment we met. We both like to belt it out, so musically, we connected immediately. She's been a big influence on me as a vocalist and I couldn't be more thrilled about the music we're making together."
Rachele's debut album is due in January 2013.