Kalyna Rakel has always done things her own way. After early success at 16 with a video on Much Music, she walked away from a pop record deal in Europe to teach herself guitar and play music on the street. Since then she has recorded four independent albums and played her songs for thousands of people all around the world.
Her songs come straight from the heart, sung with a voice that has been described as Amy Winehouse meets Janis Joplin. With her tour van, Daisy, and Handsome, her steel resonator guitar, the stories in her songs evoke the raw sound of the travelling blues. Her latest record, ‘Before & After You’, is a two-part concept album telling the story of love gone good and bad. Featuring some of Canada’s top musicians, including legendary guitarist Kevin Breit, the album ranges from distorted garage blues to dreamy ethereal folk. The record comes with a 24-page comic book of Kalyna’s original drawings, featuring the album’s lyrics to tell the stories of the songs.
Whether she is playing for tips on the street or on a festival main stage, Kalyna delivers her songs with an honesty that can move a crowd to tears. As her following continues to grow, she remains true to her music and grateful for the opportunity to share her stories.
“The dozen originals on Before & After You announce a new roots-rock voice has arrived. Whether she is tearing up the highway on Yellow-Blue or crooning like a mix of Amy Winehouse and Rickie Lee Jones on My First Love Song, Rakel sounds completely in control of her voice and message.” - VANCOUVER SUN
“Her velvet voice and soulful melodies are as pleasing as it gets, and her lyrics are both intimate and inspirational.” - KEEP WALKING MUSIC, MADRID
“She sings in a way that feels so raw and natural and that is entirely unique to her. With every note she sings, the listener gets a feeling of unbridled authenticity.... real without ever alienating listeners; something I haven’t felt since Lily Allen.” - STEREO STICKMAN
“Kalyna Rakel sent out soul shivers into the hearts of her intent listeners” - FOLK MUSIC ONTARIO (WEBSITE 2019)
Photo by Jakub Gronowski