Born in the Philippines, raised in New York and currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia, Raquel Lily is an independent singer, songwriter, producer, guitarist and online personality. She streams music performance and a variety of content, including live vlogging (IRL Streaming), Just Chatting, Social Eating, gaming and cooking on Twitch. 

Graduating from UC Davis with a degree in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, Raquel left the medical field and dove head first into her creative pursuit in music and began online streaming in 2017.

Her debut full-length concept album, Fixations, features eight songs, narrating a coming of age story about someone going through their 20’s. Raquel confides, “Everyone’s been broken from something. You smoke some weed, you fall in love, they turn out to be a fuckboy, you’re with someone shitty, you break up, you ghost them, you still love them, you resign, you meet someone new and there’s hope again.”

Raquel confesses how her songwriting is a cathartic, emotional purge. With the simple objective to guide listeners through an impassioned ride, her songs are driven by genuine experiences from an introspective and honest place. Inspired by the likes of Whitney Houston and old school R&B, Raquel wanted to capture a similar essence of synth-heavy, soul soaked music. Her love for old soul groups and classics, including Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, also shines brightly throughout her music. 

Tell us about your story as an artist 

– I was born in the Philippines and raised in New York; I’ve been singing as young as I can remember, as music is a huge part of the Filipino culture. I started playing guitar at 13 and was in a metal band pretty much all my teenage years; by the time I got to college, I really mellowed out and started inching closer towards my own personal style, which I would say is soulful, jazzy and still very pop. Funny enough, I graduated in Neurobiology from UC Davis and actually chose a medical path; however, working at the hospital for 2 years didn’t seem entirely like my calling, so I cut my teeth at open mics and bar gigs, meeting as many musicians as I possibly could. I took a leap of faith and dove into music full time in 2017, where I started streaming music online; unbeknownst to me at the time, I was one of the first ever music streamers to have popularized the movement on Twitch, where to this day, I continue to connect to fans all over the world and live stream my music. We celebrate milestones along the way and I produce all my music in front of them.

What do you think is the most important aspect of your life right now?

I think surrounding myself with people who are also eager, hungry and willing to push for the sake of mastering their craft is what drives me the most in my life right now. Working online gets lonely and it is even more so when all your “co-workers” exist all over the world. When we do, it’s nice to hang out and make the space feel less like it’s a solo climb. Hanging with like-minded friends gets me out of burn out the fastest.

What makes this song special in your opinion?

This song, Ghost, was originally written for someone I was dating (at the time). Heartbroken for them, I wrote a gut wrenching tune about being ghosted in today’s modern day dating scene, the lack of closure, the emotional roller coaster of regret which eventually slips into spite and then sadness. About a year later, the song, funny enough, became ABOUT them as they ghosted me in the end.

What are some of the core messages here?

Inner dialogue with oneself is the most important part of the whole process. It’s easier to turn your head and be spiteful but really engaging with your emotions and being honest with yourself is what ultimately leads to healing.

How do you think tik tok and social media are contributing to change an artist’s career?

I think discoverability is incredible and the potential for your songs to blow up because you can meme them well is pretty exciting and genius. It makes it easier for someone like me to connect to so many people who would otherwise not know anything about me.

What excites you about your life?

Being able to travel and create experiences for myself which will ultimately fuel my music later on.

What are some of your core values as a human being?

Honesty is the best policy. I believe in being kind to everyone and giving most people the benefit of the doubt. I think everyone has an interesting story, if you dig hard enough for it. I live to write about it.

What are your projects for this year?

Dropping my debut album, “Fixations,” on 3/11 and I cannot be more excited to finally release it. I am also going on tour with Cannibal Kids for my album release parties in March. After that, I plan on hitting the studio to produce my next single, anticipated coming out in the late summer.