Arizona-based singer-songwriter Raquel Aurilia immediately catches you with her pure voice and emotional lyrics, and her most recent single “Pretty Roses” showcases just that. A mix between contemporary and country, Aurilia’s music has appeared on MTV shows like “The Hills,” “The City” and “Taking the Stage.” She even broke into the R&R Top 30 AC and Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary charts at No. 28 for her single “Feels Like.” Most recently, Aurilia performed and hosted a fan appreciation party during CMAFest in Nashville, and she was also nominated for the 2017 Hollywood Music in Media awards for singer-songwriter.
With a new single on the horizon, we had the chance to catch up with Aurilia to see what goes into writing her music, what it’s been like working with industry greats and her fave Valley spots for a night out.
AFM: How would you describe your style to someone who’s never heard your music?
Raquel Aurilia: I would describe my music as Adult Contemporary with a little bit of Country crossover. I think you can hear a hint of country in some of the songs on my last album and in the newest songs that I have co-written in Nashville for sure. So I think it’s a little of both with its own sound as a result.
AFM: I listened to your recent single, “Pretty Roses,” which is beautiful. Do you draw from real life experiences when writing your music?
RA: Thank you 🙂 I definitely draw from real life experiences when I write sometimes, but some songs I write from things I may have seen or watched someone else go through. With “Pretty Roses” for example, I kept hearing the melody and lyrics regarding the roses and couldn’t get it out of my head. I still have no idea where it came from but I immediately “felt” the emotion behind the story as we were writing it, even though I had not been in this situation myself. The story of the man honoring the love of his life was one I wanted to tell. Or this story of eternal love—although sad but still beautiful— and how he is still connected to his wife even after she is gone.
AFM: Has Arizona impacted your songwriting and music in any way? If so, how?
RA: I think Arizona has definitely impacted my songwriting because I actually started writing after I met Producer Gardner Cole one day at his studio in Arizona while I was looking for some local musicians to play in gigs for me. Gardner has worked with artists like Madonna and Jodi Whatley and he asked me if I wanted to write, so I went home and started to try and write a few songs. I didn’t realize I could write songs, so I am grateful to Gardner for encouraging me to just start writing! The music scene here is starting to grow and there are some awesome musicians here that I love and support when I can!
AFM: You’ve worked with quite a few notable people, including John Waite, Pat Benatar, B.B. King and more. What’s it like working with such legendary artists who have been in the industry for many years?
RA: I feel so fortunate to have been able to work with some amazing musicians who I have always respected and admired! I am beyond grateful for these opportunities! I was fortunate to open for John Waite in New York which ended up turning into over 25 shows across the country! I loved watching how hard he works at his craft and how much he loves what he does. I still can’t believe sometimes that I was on the road with him and got to hear him perform every night after I sang, which was amazing!
AFM: What can fans expect from you in the near future?
RA: I will be releasing my new single “2 Seconds” on September 10 via iTunes which I co-wrote with songwriter Shane Thompson and country artist Shelby Lowe in Nashville. We’re working on finalizing some shows around the release in Arizona as we speak and I plan to get back to Nashville next month to continue writing and performing as much as possible. I’m also focusing on songwriting and publishing, including placement of my new songs in film and TV.
AFM: Lastly, where are your favorite spots in Arizona to enjoy a night out for a drink?
RA: Arizona has so many cool places to hang out! I love Mastro’s City Hall because I love the bartenders (who make the best cocktails), their butter cake and live music; The Mission because I enjoy the ambience and Pomegranate Margaritas; and one of my new favorite places Hanny’s in downtown Phoenix, because it is a great place for drinks and has such a cool vibe!
For more information on Raquel and her music, visit: RaquelAurilia.com