Liliia Smichenko, Arts Reporter
First-year Humber music student Avery Raquel began 2020 by entering the second semester of her music course at Lakeshore campus hitting the Billboard charts with a Top 40 song.
The 18-year-old Toronto-based pop-soul singer’s album “Pieces — The Remixes” was released as a single early January, based on a cut from her third solo album My Heart Away, and has since been inching up the Billboard Dance Club Song Chart to 35.
“I write from personal experience,” Raquel said. “I do it so, in a way, that whoever is listening is able to connect to it.
“It landed on the chart because of the remix that we got done, and it was a very exciting development in my career for sure. I’ve never been happier,” she said.
Raquel, who is from Brantford, started her career long before arriving at Humber’s doorstep.
When she was four she started to play piano and violin, and by seven she played in musicals. Her first job was as an actor on a TV show pilot as Avery Kadish, her family’s last name, on the dystopian sci-fi show “Falling Skies” by Steven Spielberg, and she also acted for a very first Canadian production of Mary Poppins.
It was after that foray into acting that Raquel singer started developing her music career, and at age 15 she released her first album Without a Little Rain produced by Greg Kavanagh.
Now, she has seven singles and three albums, that were written by her. The remix of Pieces helped her hit the Billboard chart.
It landed on the chart because of the remix that we got done, and it was a very exciting development in my career for sure. I’ve never been happier”Avery Raquel – Humber Music Student
Raquel was number three breakout artist on the chart in early January with “Pieces — The Remixes”, pieced together by remixer StoneBridge.
An EP with 10 remix versions was released Jan. 24.
The dance remixes are a bit off Raquel’s usual jazz, R&B and soul path.
She recalled when — at 13 — she sang at New York City’s Birdland jazz club, one of the oldest and influential spots for the genre.
She was on vacation when she heard that Birdland was hosting an open mic evening. She asked if she could sing on the stage, and the host agreed, not knowing her background.
“[It] was really nice of him because I was super young at the time and he was taking a chance on me,” said the young singer. She now has an open invitation to sing any time she’s in New York.
Raquel said her songs are about how everything happens for a reason as she’s trying to keep up with studies while managing her career which appears in the fast lane towards stardom.
“As I’m growing my career, they’re [teachers] all just more and more supportive and they understand if I have to miss a class for performances and whatnot,” she said.