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Rachael Yamagata: Collaboration, Work/Life Balance & Independence

This week we’re joined by New York based singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata. To date, she’s released 4 solo EPs and 3 full length albums, and she’s collaborated with artists such as Jason Mraz, Ryan Adams, Bright Eyes and past guest Terra Naomi. Her music has also been featured in shows such as The OC, Brothers & Sisters, Grey’s Anatomy and How I Met Your Mother.

Rachael has seen both sides of the major and independent spectrum, and is currently gearing up to release her latest album Tightrope Walker independently. In this interview we hear about Rachael’s experience as an independent musician, how she finds that work/life balance we’re all searching for, and why collaboration is so important to her.

Chris Keaton - sidebar 30-roses-sidebar


  • Sometimes we all need the melody and chord progression to help us get the words out
  • Ross shares a story about finding out how a fellow college classmate was a fan of Rachael’s
  • Rachael shares the pros/cons of being both a major and independent artist
  • When you’re on a major label, you’re surrounded by a big team – you’ve got that “machine”
  • A lot of artists now are finding that they have no choice other than to do things themselves
  • Rachael shares that being independent gave her a birds eye view of her career she didn’t have before
  • “Being an independent artist is a 24 hour job” – Rachael Yamagata, 2016
  • We talk about Rachael’s upcoming record and how she was involved in the production process
  • Rachael shares how she believes in the importance of collaboration
  • “The greatest challenge is being creatively IN it, but being able to look at it objectively” – Rachael Yamagata, 2016
  • We hear how Rachael learned how to edit her own video out of necessity
  • “Knowledge is bred from necessity” – Rachael Yamagata, 2016
  • We talk about finding that work/life balance that we’re all looking for
  • Rachael shares how she loves watching other artists work, and what you can learn from what they do
  • Rachael tells us about Jason Mraz’s work ethic and writing process and what she learned from him


  • “You just dive in and figure it out as you go” – Rachael Yamagata, 2016
  • Part of taking over your career is a great education for how to make smarter decisions and utilise your resources
  • Know what you can’t do, and pick your team around the skills you don’t have
  • Finding those key people for your team can change your life
  • Find people with 100% integrity and who can be accountable
  • You want someone on your team who makes the world a better place

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