Interview with Canadian soprano-turned-pop soloist Rachel Zeffira

The vocalist has previously teamed up with The Horrors' Faris Badwan for goth-pop outfit Cat's Eyes

It was a clash of two very different worlds when Rachel Zeffira, a young Canadian opera soprano and classical multi-instrumentalist based in London, got together with Faris Badwan, the frontman from British psychedelic-rockers The Horrors, to form the duo Cat's Eyes. Following up the soft romantic-pop of that project with her own solo tour, which takes on a similiarly dreamy, ethereal vibe, Rachel Zeffira stops for a quick chat about her classical background and meeting The Horrors …

Some people will be aware of you after hearing Cat’s Eyes, what had your career involved up 'til then?
Although I grew up listening to a lot of different types of music, I only ever really performed classical music before meeting Faris – I performed in quite a few opera houses and played the oboe professionally, in an orchestra.

What did you think of The Horrors?
I’d never met anyone like The Horrors. There is no-one else like them.

What are the pros of cons of performing solo, and performing in a duo? Do you prefer one to the other?
My solo shows are very different to Cat’s Eyes shows because they are mostly acoustic. Touring with Cat’s Eyes is fun because it’s with Faris and the band, the shows are louder and I also feel like there’s a little less pressure. But performing an acoustic show has it’s advantages, too. I can hear everything a little better and don’t have to worry as much about monitors. The musicians that I’ll be touring with are all friends of mine, too - so it will still be fun.

What will your set-up be for the Scottish shows? What kind of night can we expect?
My Glasgow show will be stripped down, so it will be much more intimate. I’m bringing a cellist, oboist, drummer and backing singers.

What’s the best live show you’ve been to, as a listener?
I saw Portishead last year and immediately understood why everyone always raves about their live shows. I thought the singer, Beth Gibbons, was even better live than on record.

You worked with Chris Cunningham for some of the artwork and photos for Cat's Eyes – what are your memories of that?
Chris is undeniably brilliant and no one else works like him. He also makes me laugh so hard. He’s definitely an inspiring person to work with.

Have you been to Scotland before? What are you expecting?
I’m really looking forward to Glasgow because it was one of my favourite audiences when we toured with Cat’s Eyes.

Rachel Zeffira plays The Arches, Glasgow on Sat 13 Apr.

Rachel Zeffira performs Silver City Days for The Line of Best Fit

Rachel Zeffira - The Deserters

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