“Love Dua Lipa, she’s come such a long way.” I’m flicking through a copy of Notion Magazine with Rachel Foxx, who sits comfortably on a sofa following her shoot. It’s not the first time she’s been featured by Notion, having appeared in the same issue as Dua Lipa just a couple of years ago. When Rachel spots herself, she opens the pages wider and pulls the magazine closer to her eye line, looking at the Rachel Foxx from two years ago.
Back then, she was a new artist on the scene, fresh off releasing the soulful ‘Pink and Green’ and readying to release her first EP, which introduced the world to her velvety voice and her mature exploration of neo-soul and R&B. It was also a body of work written which reflected a time where she wasn’t her happiest, something she discusses today. “I wanna have some fun now, I’ve been heartbroken for a long time,” she says before announcing she’s excited for a summer of fun, of playing festivals and visiting Ibiza for the first time.
She has a lot to look forward to in the coming months. It’s a few days before the release of her new song ‘Mistress’, a collaboration with Don-E which puts Rachel firmly in the driving seat. It’s a celebration of empowerment, of overcoming heartbreak and reclaiming her sexuality. The track follows on from last year’s single ‘Happen to Me‘, a seriously catchy, funk-laden R&B number and her recent feature on Toddla T’s ‘Never Mine’ earlier this year, signalling to a new chapter to her music.
Take a listen to ‘Mistress’ below.
Having spent the last year working on new material and playing live dates all over Europe, she’s excited to be putting out new music. We asked her to fill us in on how she’s going to own 2018.
Notion: You’ve got your new single ‘Mistress’. What else have you been working on?
Rachel Foxx: The Toddla T track came out the end of Jan. Then it’s my single. I’ve done the video for it.
What’s it like?
It’s a party vibe, really good vibes! It’s a good vibe video. Then I have another song out called ‘Wish’ after ‘Mistress’, then it’s going to be my EP in May. It’s the Flame EP, like my nickname. I’ve got a lot of shows and festivals that [I’ll be] doing. Going to be in Europe. I’m doing Ibiza Rocks this year with Toddla T. I’ve never been to Ibiza before!
Well, you’re in for a treat!
I’m doing the 26th, I’m doing the closing party with Krept & Konan. Jamz Supernova is doing it with J Hus. I’m Jamz no.1 fan! Jamz Supernova is such a good woman to know in the industry as well. And she’s an influencer and a tastemaker when it comes to R&B in the UK, she’s really got it.
You work quite closely with her, don’t you?
I do. I met her backstage at a Soulection gig at XOYO – their first London tour. She’s always supported my music without me even meeting her. When she was at 1 Xtra, she always used to play my new releases. Then I bumped into her at that gig and from there we just built. That was years ago, now she’s one of the team.
She mentors too.
Yeah, she does. She’s a really positive female and she has industry knowledge and she’s experienced – even if she looks really young. She gives me advice all the time, whenever I need help.
How did the Toddla feature come about?
He asked Jamz for some singers and heard my voice and wanted me straight away for a song. I was in LA in January last year and she linked us on email and he was like ‘cool, do you want to work on a track?’ I don’t know where it is, it’s somewhere in the hemisphere. We never used it, but then we were going back and forth on WhatsApp and he was like ‘Are you free on Wednesday? I need someone to sing my single ‘Magnet’ for Radio 1 Piano Sessions.’ I said: ‘Radio 1, Huw Stephens, I’m free, anything that day is cancelled!’
It was a natural vibe, him and the guy that played piano in the session, we had such a good chemistry. Then some time had passed, we said we’d get in another session. We brought back the piano player, Adrian, and then we made that tune, ‘Never Mine’. We’ve done quite a few songs together.
I’ve been listening to your releases, and although there’s been a development, you’ve remained true to your sound.
Thank you. It’s a bit more current this new stuff. Obviously, I’ve been to quite a few festivals, so this [upcoming] EP is really fun vibes, that I haven’t done so much. I still keep the soulful element, but I’m going to go back to do more soulful stuff at the end of summer.
You’ve been touring massively.
It just happened. Before, back in those days, I was doing little London bits here and there. Now, I’m fully out there with my band; I’m happy that I get to perform now because that’s what every artist wants to do.
Where is the most unexpected place where your music is resonating?
Copenhagen. I got booked again, and I’m going back in two weeks to do a bigger show. The thing is people there just love soul music and R&B, they just love music, they don’t care who you are or if your Instagram is popping. It was so weird, when I had my first show in Denmark, they knew my words and stuff, it was madness.
Tell us about the new EP.
All my other songs are depressing, or I’m heartbroken, or I’m sad, talking about my feelings because in real life I don’t talk about my feelings. I avoid it so much, I just write it in my music. Originally I’m a party girl; I’m from East London. I love going out, so I wanted something I could party to as well. That’s when I made ‘Happen to Me’. I wanna have some fun now, I’ve been heartbroken for a long time. I now want to go out to all the festivals.
Is this your breakthrough year?
Who knows? Who knows? It just takes one song to change your life, or it could be work for three years and build and build. Everyone’s stars are written differently. It’s all going right if I’m doing another Notion piece.
Words Phie McKenzie
Photographer Aleksandra Podburtnaja
Stylist Kiera Liberati
Hair Afi Emily Attipoe using Moroccan Oil
Makeup Lucy Thomas using NARS Cosmetics
Fashion Assistant Joshua Meredith
Hair Assistant Jazmin Lanyero