Raised in the small town of Hopeville, Ontario, Rachael Bawn knew she was destined to be a singer before she even can remember. Discovering her voice as a songwriter and developing a core message to help other young women took a bit of time as she weathered life lessons. And now, a few years after the release of Rachael’s debut album, and signing a recording and publishing deal in America with BMG New York, and later parting ways with the record label, her innate talent and positive persona are aligned with a melodic missive primed for the masses.
After high school, with her parents’ blessing, Rachael relocated to Toronto to hone her songwriting and work in a professional music studio. There she aligned with Dean Jarvis (Alessia Cara), and eventually got connected with Ben Pelchat who she has continued to partner with as she has worked on developing her sound and identity as an artist.
Then came what was perhaps the greatest lesson of her young life: her father’s three-year battle with cancer. “With the loss of my dad, I stepped away, put music on the back burner and questioned for the first time whether this is what I’m really meant to do,” Rachael says. That trial ultimately fostered a life altering moment. “It was a personal epiphany. Everything up to this point had been about me, becoming famous, selling lots of records, having a movie made about me when I’m old… I had to let that dream go, because it was in no way healthy.”
With music on hold, Bawn followed her heart and worked as a waitress, while also devoting much of her time volunteering as a camp counselor and youth leader, where she mentored teens for the next six years. “These girls were dealing with eating disorders, broken homes, self-cutting and suicidal scares— the really rough stuff. It is so much more prevalent than anyone realizes,” Rachael says.
Rachael has shared her music across Canada and the US. She has performed before 50,000 youth in Canada in two tours with Live Different, an organization devoted to presenting in schools a message of kindness. She has performed before 80,000 youth in the US with High School Nation, who promotes the arts to youth across America.
Her music reached an even wider audience when her heart-moving single, “Trying” was featured on Law & Order SVU. As millions tuned in, the honesty of Rachael’s writing helped give voice to a teenage girl facing an incredibly painful life choice alone.
As exciting as this all is, the best is yet to come. Teaming up with songwriter Roanne Baker-Thornley, Rachael has co-written new powerful songs. They confront the toxic side of social media, inspire courage for the inevitable hard things in life, and encourage people to slow down and not allow the busyness of life to overwhelm.
Her overarching theme, Rachael says, is truth. “I want young people to know that it’s okay to be vulnerable and it’s ok to be scared—but have the courage to talk about what’s going on in your life. We all put these happy images of our life on Facebook and Instagram, but there’s often another story. Girls need to realize they’re not the only ones… that it’s okay and more common than they realize.”
Bawn says she is most excited about potentially impacting others. “That’s what it’s all about. This is a mission and a movement for me. I look forward to seeing how people respond to this new music and project, And most of all, I want my songs to inspire hope and to make their own courageous choices.”
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