‘hating myself in the summer’ – Exclusive Interview with Rachel Bochner

We all tend to be a little bit more harsh towards ourselves in the summertime. It’s this time of the year where we show more skin and we all want to look perfect and suit the ‘beauty standards’ that social media sets. New York based singer and songwriter Rachel Bochner wrote the perfect song for this occasion. She talks about how tiring it is to not have fun and live life to the fullest just because we’re having a hard time accepting the way we look. Rachel released an E.P titled ‘2 AM’ early this year and is working hard towards another E.P ’20 Something ‘ and ‘hating myself in the summer’ is the first single off Bochner’s newest project. We had a lovely chat with Rachel where we talked more about her new single, her methods of dealing with self-doubts and future plans.

The Curve: How did you discover your passion for music?

Rachel: I have Always been a singer. I’ve always loved music for as long as I can remember. As a kid my family would always be annoyed at me for making too much noise in the house. I was just always singing. But I didn’t actually start writing until a little bit later on. For a while I thought that what I wanted to do with my love for music is work on the label side of things. I studied communications in school and I had an internship at a record label going into my last year of college and that was also the summer that I kind of started taking writing more seriously and doing it. And it kind of all clicked for me there that my passion was actually for creating music as opposed to discovering music and like working with music in that way. So from that point on I just kinda started writing and finding other people to work with and building my little circle of like music, friends and it’s kind of all history from there.

TC: Tell me more about your latest single ‘hating myself in the summer’

R: ‘hating myself in the summer’ was written I think in October so it wasn’t actually written in the summertime, but it was inspired by that phrase that’s in the chorus ‘Tired of hating myself in the summer’ and it’s just something that I personally have struggled with a lot. There are just certain events. Moments in time that bring up more insecurity and and I think the summertime is one that a lot of people probably can relate to just because you’re like going to the beach and it’s hot and you don’t want to be hiding yourself, but it’s hard to kind of just exist and not be worried about the way that you look. That’s something that I’ve struggled with and I find really frustrating because I don’t want to be wasting my time thinking about that. I just want to be able to love myself and just be. The song was kind of a way to vent about that and I know that it’s something that a lot of people can probably place themselves in as well, and I think that by putting that kind of music out and having people relate and kind of feel understood by that is a comforting thing.

© Emily Hoang

TC: Definitely, we all struggle with the way other perceive us.

R: Definitely, I think like young women especially, there’s just so much pressure to look a certain way and to kind of compare yourself to other people and it’s so easy to get really down on yourself about that. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve understood more that it really doesn’t matter, and it shouldn’t matter, but it’s hard to really internalize that and change your mindset.

TC: How do you deal with self doubt and and the ‘beauty standard’ that social media sets?

R: I think I’m still navigating that. I definitely don’t have it all figured out, but I think that I just try to remind myself that the way that I look and the size of my clothing is the least interesting thing about me. And I think it’s hard as an artist, when you really do have to be on social media a lot, whether you’re posting or you’re engaging with people, it’s hard to not see someone else beyond, just like physical things. Like seeing other people and being like wow they look like they have it all or they have everything that I want. I think just trying to be very aware of the fact that not everything you see on social media is real and not everything about the way people are portraying their life is actually how you know it is. And someone could look like they have the coolest life ever on social media, but not actually be happy in reality. So I think just being aware of that. I’m trying to not get swept up in the social media craziness .That’s really important, but I think it’s a journey that I’m still very much on and I hope that someday I can have all the answers for how to deal with self doubt and stuff. But It’s a long process of unlearning and just kind of finding that within yourself.

We should all be obsessed with ourselves and support each other while doing that.

TC: What would be your advice for young girls growing up with social media?

R: I think social media can be a really great tool, but it can also be really hard in terms of your mental health. So just make sure that you have that balance of your support system outside of that and you know not getting too caught up in the numbers and the cloud. Just make sure that you’re just using it because you like sharing your life. Or if you’re pursuing music or something and you have to be a presence on social media like you’re using it for those reasons. But you’re not looking for your value in social media, because there is just so much more to you than that and it’s easy to forget it.

© Alex Lyon

TC: As you mentioned your career in the music industry began with an internship at a record label. What did you learn from that experience that you’ve been able to apply to your career?

R: I think it’s really valuable as an artist to be as versed as you can be in the business side of things. As an artist, it’s a really creative thing and you’re making music and you’re sharing that, but you also are kind of a business too and you have to network with people and learn how to promote yourself behind the scenes. I think that having a business mindset too is really helpful in addition to obviously loving creating music. I think that having an internship in the music industry at a label was really helpful in seeing how people are looking for new music and how they’re kind of judging success and what is interesting to a label and what isn’t. I think we’re in a really interesting time where you don’t necessarily need a record label to be really successful. But I think that it was helpful in kind of getting the inside look into how a label operates.

TC: You already released an EP this year, so what are your plans for the upcoming months?

R: So ‘hating myself in the summer’ is the first single to come off of a new project and it’s a new EP called ‘20 Something’ and I have more music coming out soon off of that project that I’m really excited about. Now I live in New York, and shows are finally coming back. I’m really looking forward to starting to do more live shows and actually getting to sing for people in real life. So new music and live shows. I am really excited about the future.

TC: So a tour?

R: It’s not a tour, but I’ll start doing shows around New York first. Hopefully a tour soon at some point, but right now we’re kind of starting local.

TC: If you had to pick a song out of ‘2 AM’ that best represents who you are as an artist, which would it be and why?

R: Something I like about the ‘2 AM’ EP is that I feel like all the songs sound very cohesive but they are different. I think that in terms of the direction that I am hoping to keep going with my songs, and what aligns with that, then the best would be ‘Ultraviolet’ and ‘2 AM’.

© Sasha Bellentine

TC: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned being a part of the music industry?

R: I think that I am getting comfortable with the fact that music is subjective and if I love what I’m putting out and I really believe in it then it doesn’t really matter if someone doesn’t like it or if a blog doesn’t want to write about it. I think that there’s so much room in the music industry for all kinds of music, and for literally as many artists that want to put out music as possible. I don’t like to look at it as a competitive thing. I think that there’s just room for everyone and there’s room for all kinds of music. And there’s an audience for everything. So as long as I love what I’m putting out, that’s all that matters.

TC: If you weren’t a musician, what would you like to do?

R: That’s difficult. It’s hard to imagine because I just. I hope that I never have to pursue other career paths. But I think that if I had no interest in music I would enjoy being a teacher. I think for younger kids like elementary school kids, I feel like I would find a lot of meaning in that.

TC: Who would you like to collaborate with?

R: I would love to get in a writing session with Julia Michaels. I love her writing and I’m definitely really inspired by her and her storytelling and just kind of the way that she’s able to mesh really interesting and and raw lyrics while keeping that pop sound, which is something that I try to do in my music as well. I would love to write with her. I think that that would be amazing and also just a great learning experience.

TC: What would be your advice for independent artists trying to get into the industry?

R: What is really helpful for me is just reaching out to people and trying to expand my network. Even just like friends in the industry because you can learn so much from other people just by picking their brain and finding out about where they started and where they are now. It’s always great to have friends doing similar things that you’re doing, or even just in the same industry. So I would say just don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, reach out to people who are also artists or are just writers or producers or the people working in publishing etc. Just like reaching out to people and getting to know what they do because there are so many different layers to this industry and I think hearing from people first hand what they say to do is helpful to decipher some of the complicated layers of it.

You can follow Rachel’s journey here: