In a period of one year, the talented singer/songwriter Rachel Sarah Thomas has performed at the Mesopotamian Night concerts in three different cities. Her debut was in Oct. 2014 at the Chicago event, the second was last May 2015 in Los Angeles and on August 1, 2015 she will be in San Jose, California to perform at the 8th annual Mesopotamian Night at the California Theater. She is to perform her adaptation of the legendary Assyrian singer Ashur BetSargis songs.
Rachel Sarah Thomas is a classically trained vocalist, songwriter, producer and recording artist from the Chicago, IL. Since the age of five, she began studying classical piano and voice. Through her childhood and teenage years she competed in various national and statewide competitions, as a solo vocalist, and as an ensemble member in award winning choirs. Studying vocal performance at the University of Michigan gave her the technical background to pursue a career as a professional musician. After college, she became a singer in The Big Band, type of musical ensemble associated with Jazz and Swing style. She transitioned to become the front keyboardist and vocalist for a psychedelic rock band, Automata.
The band’s music was featured in soundtracks of several films and fashion shows in New York. The experience with Automata made her realize the passion for composing original music. Eventually she quit the band and decided to pursue a solo career. For the next three months, she would spend sixteen hours daily studying musical equipment until she learned how to turn her career into a one-person band that would allow her to produce and perform her own music.
Rachel’s decision proved to be a great success as she currently writes and performs in an Electro-Folk music style under the name KSRA. She has collaborated with Grammy award winners, Tha Bizness, Talib Kweli, Donnie Trumpet, NYLO, Prob Cause, Griz, Loyal Divide and many more. Her song “Corners of Your Mind” which she composed and recorded is currently airing on the TV network “Adult Swim”. Many media outlets have noticed her music and asked her for interviews. Her songs have been playing on National Public Radio aa well as college radio stations in Chicago. While being interviewed, she makes it a point to mention her Assyrian heritage and hopes to preserve her culture through music. She has toured and performed at SXSW in Austin, Texas, Milwaukee Summerfest, a label showcase for Capitol, Motown, Interscope and Atlantic Records in Los Angeles. She is currently working on a full length album after signing a production deal with a publishing and recording company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Rachel is also working on her first book, a collection of her Grandfathers’ Memoirs. Her other interests are photography, painting, poetry, and learning different languages.
Within the Assyrian community, Rachel has served as a vocal coach and choir director for her community church, Saint Andrews Church of the East, for four years. She also served as the vocal coach for the resurrection Concert in Northbrook, IL. She has performed at several Assyrian functions including two memorable performances at the Mesopotamian Night concerts, first in Oct. 2014 in Chicago and second in May 2015 in Los Angeles. On August 1, 2015, Rachel will be making her third appearance, this time at the 8th Annual Mesopotamian Night in San Jose, California.