Now you see her. Now you don’t. So goes the story of Rachael Lampa, who skyrocketed onto the pop scene in 2000 as a mere teenager amassing four number one singles, five more top ten tunes, plus appearances on “The Tonight Show,” “The View,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “E!,” “Extra,” and Teen People. Add in a soundtrack slot on A Walk To Remember, an acting role in Hidden Secrets, a duet with Aaron Neville, plus tour time with Destiny’s Child, Boyz II Men, Nickel Creek, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, and Jordin Sparks, and the powerhouse vocalist/songwriter became an internationally recognized face in less than a half decade.
But after a greatest hits disc in 2006, Rachael practically disappeared from public eye at the peak of her career, leaving fans scratching their heads and searching feverishly for news of future projects. Aside from a holiday EP in 2009 and the self-released studio EP Human in 2010 (featuring guest guitar/vocals from Jonny Lang), they had to wait with baited breath. But as the personable artist so eloquently admits, the time away was just to recharge her understandably overworked batteries and plot her next creative step, which manifested itself in the 2011 album, All We Need.
“At the time, I felt like the luckiest girl in world, who got to go to school when I wanted and got to sing and see the whole world,” she recalls. “My brother was on the road with me which kept it fun and I didn’t feel like I had my childhood taken away from me. But what I found I was doing was starting to wrap my identity in my music. If something didn’t go well career wise, then I started to link that to who I was and what I was doing wrong. This was one of the factors why I just stepped away from the spotlight and invested in more time with my family and friends.”
Amidst that season of respite, Lampa remained a fan of music and continued to write, even if it was just to bounce ideas off loved ones or for her own personal enjoyment. As a result, the already seasoned songwriter sharpened herself even further and felt freer than ever before as she honed her craft without any pre-conceived notions or external pressure.
“Eventually that led me to release Human, but I kept the team really small and purposefully boxed people out because I was scared to jump back into the world of labels and expectations,” she candidly shares. “I did that project for existing fans -- I really only promoted it on Facebook and Twitter. I also got married shortly thereafter and that helped me to really get in touch with who I am: a daughter, a sister, and a wife who just so happens to love singing and music in general. At that moment, I realized I was ready to let people be part of that again.”
All We Need features plenty of the pop sensibility from which Lampa first rose to fame, wrapped around tasteful traces of R&B, soul, rock, and electronica. Along with her bountiful pipes and cutting-edge production, the collection is just as contemporary as it is timeless.
“This record is really just a reflection of my life and where I’ve been since you last heard from me,” Lampa lets out with a laugh. “Lyrically, there’s a thread of simplifying life instead of cluttering it. I’m one of those people who used to try pleasing too many people, only being able to give everyone 10% instead of 100%. Now my goal is to be an amazing friend to a few people instead of a lesser friend to a lot of people.”