Rachel Colleen Smith’s Bio:
I’m from St. Louis and I’m a natural-born Stan. For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessive. My loves and passions are broad and 1000% non sequiturs. Sorta: seltzer, my sisters, girl bands, cash registers, boy bands, arugula, Christmas, boy bands that look like girl bands, puppies, folk music, Buzzfeed quizzes, a capella groups, lyrics and the number five. Fortunately, my parents fostered an artistic and open environment that allowed me to explore my loves and commit to each obsession, excuse me, passion like it was the only one. During Saturday house chores, we’d listen to Bobby McFerrin. Regularly, my sisters and I staged live productions of Animaniacs for an imaginary audience, delivering one too many encores of “I’m Cute”. My father, the Minister of Music at our church, would do some of the same–maybe minus the Animaniacs. He’d set up his keyboard and play along to whatever cd or rehearsal songs for the choir to sing, but mostly improvise on his own. These mini concerts were my first experiences with live music.
Music is the only reason I function. It is my biggest inspiration, it completes me and is my favorite way to experience life. And for me, concerts provide the most rewarding way to experience artists and their music. I’m the girl who will go to concerts alone—and I’m so fine with it. My musical taste has been heavily influenced by a few things: my father’s taste, my sisters’ recommendations and soundtracks to television shows.
My music progression? Maybe a little weird and forever changing. Despite the fact that I’m younger than Alicia, I remember listening to Louis Jordan, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Bobby McFerrin, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Broadway musicals, N’SYNC, Kirk Franklin, B2K, Mariah Carey, Snoop Dogg, Cash Money Millionaires, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Ani DiFranco, Common, Talib Kweli, Melissa Ferrick, Kanye West, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Zaho, Ed Sheeran, Childish Gambino, One Direction, Kendrick Lamar and falling asleep last night to McFly. Chances are, if you like it, I’ll love it.
Alicia Durand’s Bio:
Born in suburban Detroit to a teacher and an electrician, going to church on Sundays was one of the usual times my parents and their three daughters were all in the car together. When I was about 6 years old I didn’t like the music they were listening to, so I asked my mom, “Can you turn on the church music?” Confused, she responded, “You want to listen to hymns?” No, I wanted to listen to The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Joe Cocker, Jefferson Airplane, Joe Walsh, The Supremes, Elvis Presley, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Otis Redding, The Mammas and the Papas – you know, the music we always listened to on our way to church, the “oldies” station. Motown and rock and roll from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s served as the gospel of my musical education. I have vivid memories of my father making rock-god-like faces while singing or drumming along to all the booming percussion sounds of every song on the steering wheel with a crazy passion. To this day, when I hear certain songs, they put me right back in that car with him. Music is something that my family has always loved, and while we didn’t go to many live shows when I was child, there was always a live show in the car. Or the shower, or my bedroom, or the backyard, you get it. My musical preferences are vast and varied. There’s not much that I don’t like, and there’s nothing that I won’t go see. My first tape – yes, cassette tape – was Bon Jovi’s 7800o Fahrenheit.
My musical progression? Well, I’m older than Rachel so it starts like this: Journey, The Carrs, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, The Cure, Bon Jovi, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Prince, Poison, Guns N Roses, Aerosmith, Debbie Gibson, 2 Live Crew, Beastie Boys, Garth Brooks, Boys II Men, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Bare Naked Ladies, The White Stripes, Coldplay…after college, it’s hard to pinpoint bands because iTunes was invented and who really buys full albums anymore? I currently like Adele, Macklemore, The Lumineers, Kendrick Lamar, Flo Rida, American Authors, Alabama Shakes, Beyonce, Little & Ashley, oh, and I’m obsessed with Mumford and Sons, to name just a few.