Christmas time is nearly here again. To celebrate the holiday season Australian singer Rachael Leahcar has just released her new album Together For Christmas. The album features many Christmas classics showcasing Rachael’s angelic and endearing voice. We were lucky enough to catch up with Rachael to learn more about her experience on the Voice and she shares her love of Christmas.

SCENEzine
Firstly how has 2019 been for you?
 
Rachael Leahcar
It’s been really busy I’ve done a few different things, a bit of acting, radio school and I moved out of home which was a big move. Also I did a tour and made the Christmas album so that pretty much sums most of it up. 
 
SCENEzine
You recently did the Colours of My Life tour. Can you tell us a bit about that experience? 
 
Rachael Leahcar
Back in 2015 I did some shows around South Australia which was received well. The idea of the show is photos, videos and stories from my past. I talk about living as a legally blind person and my time on The Voice of course which was quite exciting. I also sing songs that have inspired me throughout the years. I was hoping that people could take away something that they could apply to their own life. Since I did so many around South Australia I thought it was about time to take it to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. 
 
SCENEzine
Can you take us back to the time in 2012 when your life dramatically changed auditioning for The Voice. What was it like stepping out on that stage and having such a huge reaction from the crowd and coaches? 
 
Rachael Leahcar
It was pretty nerve racking, being the first season of the show I wasn’t sure what to expect but I knew what the idea was. I had already auditioned for Australia’s Got Talent and X Factor in the years leading up to that without success. So I didn’t have very high expectations but I got through the first couple of rounds before the blind auditions. Once I got to the blind auditions I thought whatever happens, happens. That’s pretty much what I have applied to my life the whole time. I’ll set goals and try to achieve them but sometimes life ends up going a completely different way to what you expect.
 
 
 
SCENEzine
I guess with many people over the years saying you have the voice of an angel it made perfect sense for an angel to do a Christmas album.
 
Rachael Leahcar
That’s sweet. There’s something special about music that brings everyone together. I think when music and Christmas collide it really is something magical. I’m really glad I get the opportunity to bring that to people and hopefully they will be listening to the music in the festive season. Creating happy memories as I did when I was little singing these songs. 
 
SCENEzine
Now you could of just chose 9 songs in English making it easier on yourself. But you have 14 songs in 6 languages with 4 duets and 3 producers. What made you decide to be so ambitious? 
 
Rachael Leahcar
I’ve never been one to take the easy way out. Ideally I would have liked to have an original Christmas song on there but there was an abundance of Christmas songs to choose from. The Christmas album idea came from doing all the Christmas gigs over the years I’ve really enjoyed singing these songs and loved the reactions from the crowds. I wanted to bring that onto an album so that people can experience that all the time. That’s why I called it Together for Christmas. With some help from my fans they named the album for me. All of these songs have had a special place in my life over the years   
 
SCENEzine
Our favourite track from the album is “have yourself a merry little Christmas”. Is it true that song was recorded in around one take?
 
Rachael Leahcar
Yes it was. Unfortunately I got the flu last year which as singer it can be extremely harmful to get sick. I don’t recover very well from a vocal point of view so when I got sick I couldn’t record the rest of it. But just before that I’d actually got my voice to quite a good place and I felt like I could almost sing anything. It’s also quite psychological if you believe you can do something in your heart and in your head the you can do it. We often hold ourselves back not just in singing but in life. So I did “having yourself a merry little Christmas” in one take because I was in the zone. There are some songs that come easy all the time and there are some songs you have to work on. 

SCENEzine
With learning and singing in other languages does that present any challenges with not being able to see lyrics? 
 
Rachael Leahcar
Not so much being able to see the lyrics because I can see a little bit and unfortunately I have a bit of a photographic memory. Being a bit ironic me being legally blind and reading songs and learning them that way. I think the biggest challenge was it was natural for me to sing in Italian because it’s my heritage but with the French, Spanish, German and Latin there’s all different rules and ways of pronouncing certain letters. I remember there was one song I sang in Spanish in Italy at the time I got off stage and asked a Cuban guy at the time did I pronounce everything ok? He said you don’t speak Spanish do you, I can tell. So I wanted to learn the songs from a native speaker of that language because I learnt O Tannenbaum which is O Christmas tree from Celtic woman so I was singing it with an American accent instead of a German accent. So you have to be careful of who you learn the song from. 
 
SCENEzine 
The album cover features a beautiful illustration of yourself and your dog Ella. How special is Ella to you? 
 
Rachael Leahcar
She is my little angel I’ve had her for almost six years now. She’s an eight year old golden retriever and she’s with me pretty much twenty four seven. The bond is absolutely incredible I know what she’s feeling and I know her movements when she’s in the harness. She’s so smart as well, she knows all the commands and always does what I tell her to. It’s very hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it what the bond is like. She’s my protector but also my companion. She’s with me all the time and she’s the best judge of my music. I put her on the cover of my album because she’s like my little Rudolph guiding me through all my days. 
 
SCENEzine
People get quite emotionally moved when you sing live. Are you able to feel the connection that you bring to people?  
 
Rachael Leahcar
Yeah absolutely I can definitely feel an atmosphere. I’m very much an emotional person so I’ll feel the songs regardless of what’s around me and affecting me. But as well as what I’m feeling I can feel what other people are projecting onto me. That’s what makes music so special I think because we can connect on this level that is almost beyond our understanding. You feel it with something deep within you and that’s what Christmas is about, it’s about connecting with each other and finding things in common.       
 
SCENEzine
Also congrats on scoring a role in the movie Standing Up For Sunny. I love the film, you must be stoked to be a part of it?  
 
Rachael Leahcar
Yeah it’s a small part but it was very exciting especially being my first feature film and having a speaking role. A lot of people don’t get those opportunities so when they come up if you’re in the right place, right time I got to be involved. I was very lucky and the movie is absolutely fantastic. It’s got a great message and RJ Mitte did an amazing job of portraying the character, the whole cast and crew were incredible.  
 
SCENEzine
Lastly do you have a Christmas message for your fans? 
 
Rachael Leahcar
I wrote something in the album that I think is pretty accurate. I just hope that people can hear this music and feel happy. I hope it brings a smile to everyone’s faces and that we can celebrate each other uniting. Have a Christmas of peace and love because that’s what Christmas is here for to bring us together and bring us happiness. Also thanks a lot for the support from people.     
 
(interview by Christian Ross)
 
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