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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Q&A: Artist, Aggie finds success on Spotify

Rachel Dacus, theatre arts senior, recently released her album “Honeytree” on Spotify and iTunes. Assistant city editor Jack Riewe spoke with her about the process leading up to releasing an EP.


THE BATTALION: Who influenced your music?

DACUS: My favorite artists are Dave Matthews Band and Death Cab for Cutie and stuff like that. But for this EP, we went a little more of like a pop route — not as much of the alternative style Death Cab for Cutie is. Those are the people that I like, but this EP doesn’t sound like any of their stuff at all.

THE BATTALIONWhere’d you learn to sing?

DACUS: I didn’t really learn to sing, I just have a really musical family and I was born and raised listening to music and being around my parents who sang and played the piano and played the guitar. Me and my sisters all sang in church and i just have been doing it ever since I can remember. So singing I didn’t really learn, I learned how to get better at it, and better techniques, and better way to do it and get my own style. But, it’s something I always had.

THE BATTALION:  What was the process like releasing an EP?

DACUS: Well, it was a really long process. The recording process took a really short amount of time because there was only five songs so it didn’t take very long to get that done, but then figuring out album art and figuring out when I wanted to release everything, when would be best and when financially I’d be able to release stuff, that took a little longer. That took probably finalized. And we’re still working out some kinks with iTunes and Spotify and things like that. But waiting for the financial means to produce it took the longest.

THE BATTALION:How’d you come up with the artwork for the cover?

DACUS: I knew what I wanted in my head, but I’m not really artistic in that way, like drawing or painting. But, my sister, Virginia is super artistic. I was like, ‘Hey I have this idea for this specific kind of tree that I want. I want it to be watercolor and I want it to be these certain kind of colors, so see what you can do.’ And she did it and sent me and picture and I was like ‘This is perfect.’

THE BATTALION: What do you think the overall theme of the album is?

DACUS: I think it’s a lot about love in different ways and the different types. So the love for adventure, the love of relationships, the love of friendships — there’s one song in there like Jesus and the love that he gives. So stuff like that. Love in different areas and love in different ways.

THE BATTALION: What inspires you to write music?

DACUS: Love comes up a lot; God comes up a lot. I just believe in sharing your honest emotions through music so if love is the thing you’re sharing, then share it truthfully, but if you’re feeling angry share that truthfully, or if you’re feeling sad share that truthfully. This series of songs turned out to be a lot about love and the truthful emotions that I feel about love in different circumstances. But I have a lot of songs that are the opposite of love, or the absence of love. I just believe in — no matter what you write about — write about it truthfully and honestly and express yourself in that way.

THE BATTALION: How long did you know you wanted to make an EP?

DACUS: It never really seemed like a possibility. I never thought it’d be something I’d be able to do. I saw how expensive it was and I’m a poor college student that has no money, I just thought it was never going to happen. So, when my friends came to me and said, “Hey we all got together, we all believe in you and support you. We want to do this for you and want to give this to you.” That just blew my mind. I haven’t thought about it until they gave me that opportunity. I just assumed that I would play shows and just play little places here and there and share my music that way. But when this became a possibility it just opened up another realm of possibility to share music online.

THE BATTALION: What are your plans for the future?
DACUS: I really want this to be a stepping stone to see what can be opened up because of this. I’d love to send it out to recording studios and other labels. I mean, I know the odds of somebody wanting to sign me are slim. I just love to keep doing things like this and work on projects, it might be a long term thing, where it takes me a long time to make the money to produce things like that. But I definitely want to be able to do music. I’d love this to be something I do for the rest of my life.

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