Editor’s note: This story has been updated to show De Souza and The Wildflowers are opening for Andy Grammer in Stamford, Connecticut.
TROY — Raquel and the Wildflowers brought its A-game to the first show of the 2019 Rockin’ on the River season at Riverfront Park. The newly-branded band, coming fresh off the heels of lead singer Raquel De Souza’s solo endeavors, recently announced it will be opening for Andy Grammer in Stamford, Connecticut this July. De Souza sat down for a quick call to discuss the Wildflowers, Skeeter Creek and what’s coming.
Kaitlin Lembo: Tell me about how it feels to be opening for Andy Grammer!
Raquel De Souza: Oh my god, I am so excited. When we first heard it, I said to myself that I had to see it in writing first. When it finally posted, it hit me even more and we all went crazy. We are just so, so excited!
KL: You guys went from rebranding as the band, to opening for Skeeter Creek at Rockin’ on the River, to now opening for Andy Grammer. That must be absolutely insane to think about.
RD: I know, but even opening for Skeeter Creek was huge because they are such a big deal up there and they’ve won so many awards. They’re the number one country band and for us, that was huge. We were so excited to meet them. Now that we have gotten the news about Andy Grammer, we believe that we have to be doing something right. We have to be going in the right direction.
KL: Tell me a bit about how you transitioned from your solo act as Raquel De Souza to Raquel and the Wildflowers and how you got to that point.
RD: So for awhile I was performing as a solo act and it kind of evolved over time. There was a trio, and then there were four of us. I felt so confident when we finally found the six of us and started playing together. One day we sat down and had a conversation about how we were performing. I asked if we wanted to perform as the Raquel De Souza Band and have me as a solo act and these guys as my backup, or if we wanted to perform as a band. I already knew the answer — this is a band. This is the band. You can’t lie about the chemistry on stage. Even outside of performing, we all get along so well and I can see myself touring with these people and they feel the same. We finally settled on Raquel and the Wildflowers because the songs and us, and the people who come to our shows, and I couldn’t help but think that all of us were like wildflowers because we all come from different places and different backgrounds, but if you put us together, it’s beautiful and it works.
KL: Talk to me about performing at Rockin’ on the River for that audience.
RD: I just felt like I was in my element and like I was meant to do this. I feel the most comfortable and close to myself when on stage. Everything just lets go. When you find what you love to do, it’s a sense of freedom on the stage and you just leave everything at the door. The audience was so responsive and welcoming. Skeeter Creek invited my fiddle player, Cat, and I on stage and it was amazing to sing that song and have the audience singing along to a song that everybody knows. It was so generous for them to share the stage with us.
KL: So will you get back up this way once you do more shows? Where do you guys typically perform?
RD: We perform anywhere they let us. Anywhere and everywhere. We don’t box ourselves in and we want to explore. Rockin’ on the River was the furthest we have ever traveled and I was insistent that we had to plan it all out. Now I’m excited to see where we play next!