June 16th, 2022 7pm Stage 2
Rachel Grae’s music is the equivalent of a page ripped out of a diary. A self-described oddball, Rachel has a way of tapping into the psychological, cerebral, and emotional, but it’s her powerhouse vocals that set her apart from her peers.
Rachel points to Kelly Clarkson, Adele, and Demi Lovato as inspirations in that regard, but she invokes the youthful energy of peers like Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, and Tate McRae through her songwriting. Music is her way of speaking to people. She has always been drawn to vulnerability, and this outlet allows her to explore topics sometimes seen as intimidating or taboo.
Rachel Grae is based in the New York tri-state area, writing and performing with her keyboard. She can often be found on Instagram and Tiktok live, her openness tangible even through a screen. She’s often told that she has no filter -- but it’s something that makes her all the more relatable.
This natural rawness is a constant in her music. She is an optimistic and outgoing young person, and music is the way for her to look inward. It’s an opportunity to unpack the darker side of life, and a reminder that even the happiest young people have challenges. She wants to talk about things other people might shy away from and the things that make people uncomfortable — these topics, she believes, are the ones that many people in her generation feel, but sometimes can’t seem to put into words.
“I don’t care if there’s one listener or a million,” she says of her budding audience. It isn’t important to her how many streams or likes her work accumulates — it matters if it resonates with people. If her words make at least one person feel seen, she’ll feel like she’s done her job well.
Blake Proehl gives it his all, whether he’s on the field or on the stage.
Proehl isn’t your everyday singer-songwriter — he worked his whole life to achieve his dream of making it to the NFL, ultimately joining the Minnesota Vikings as a wide receiver. After a devastating injury during his rookie season, though, his life in football came to a screeching halt.
Proehl isn’t stepping away from that part of his story just yet, but during the recovery period and unexpected downtime, he encountered another surprise: falling in love with music.
His musical journey began with his family, and a video of him sharing his singing voice with his grandmother for the first time unexpectedly went viral on TikTok, surprising even Proehl himself. The 26 million views (and counting!) say it all — people are ready to hear more from Blake.
Now, Proehl says he’s committed to making a recovery and continuing his time in the NFL, while being equally committed to his musical journey. His pop and r&b sound has the natural likability of predecessors like Justin Bieber, and Proehl’s humility and gentle spirit make it hard not to want to root for him.
As an artist expanding his skill set with the piano, guitar, and co-writing sessions, Proehl isn’t afraid of entering new territory. His smooth vocals are just the beginning — he is constantly gaining artistic inspiration from his interpersonal relationships as well as his own journey to physical recovery.
His debut single, “Falling Into You,” is the best introduction. A vulnerable, thoughtful ballad, co-written by Proehl and a small circle of other rising artists and songwriters including Rachel Grae, the track holds up a mirror to the universal experience of trying to communicate with a loved one. Anyone who has struggled with vulnerability in interpersonal relationships — romantic or otherwise — will hear a bit of their own story in this track.
With “Falling Into You” and all that follows, Proehl hopes his music can act as a way to help people express themselves and avoid putting on any fronts.