Why I (Still) Love DC: Rachel

The day-to-day existence I was living when We Love DC came into my life was one with little light. A darkness enveloped most thoughts I had at the time due to having lost my dad, dog, and two grandmothers all within the span of eight months. I had lost focus and direction. After having coffee with Jenn Larsen, one of the founding editors, I was persuaded to start writing for We Love DC. Finding my way into that world changed everything. The light was back. And I was ready for it.

Why do I still love DC? Because of what We Love DC brought to my life.

It took a few months for me to find my groove and re-establish my writing voice but coming from a place of feeling stranded, lost, and confused will do that to a person. In the Fall of 2009, We Love DC offered me an opportunity to utilize the skill sets I developed during my time studying journalism at American University.

But for me, We Love DC was never about having a byline or wearing a press pass. To me, We Love DC was a project that fostered my sense of self during a time of much needed self-discovery and mental preservation. I could write about any topic I wanted as long as I could compose a piece with passion, integrity, and facts. And the topic I was most passionate about was music.

It’s no secret that music is the love of my life. We Love DC provided me countless opportunities to not only interview national touring acts that I’ve admired or kept track of for quite some time – like Rachael Yamagata, Tony Lucca, Megan Hilty (of Smash), Kris Allen (of American Idol), and Barry Manilow. But, even better than that, We Love DC presented the opportunity to live, breathe, and document the current state of the DC independent music scene.

If you don’t know that there’s a wealth of musical talent based in the DC area then allow me to enlighten you. Over the past few years, my mission as an independent recording artist and musician was to embed myself within the DC music scene and learn as much about it and the people who make it up as I possible. During that time, I’ve attended hundreds of shows, made some of my closest and dearest friends, and seen first-hand exactly how talented and community-driven this music scene is.

The fact that there are far too many names to individually mention within the scope of this piece is evidence of DC’s ability to create original music, despite the city not being thought of as a “music town” like Nashville, New York, LA, or Chicago. If you’d like to know more about what concerts I’m seeing and artists I’m supporting, I’d love to continue the conversation with you. Hit me up on Twitter or Facebook; grab a coffee and a catfish wrap with me at IOTA Club + Café. Let’s keep championing the local music scene together.

This labor of love is one I won’t soon forget. We Love DC and the people involved in making it a reality are the reasons I was able to grow up despite family tragedy and find solace in what I’m most passionate about. I will be forever grateful to the We Love DC family for the opportunity, and to the city of Washington, D.C. for helping me find a new home away from home.

It’s like I always say when people ask me why I’ve lived here for a decade now:

“This city’s been real good to me. I have no reason to leave.”

Rachel moved to DC in the fall of 2005 to study Journalism and Music at American University. When she’s not keeping up with the latest Major League Baseball news, she works on making music as an accomplished singer-songwriter and was even a featured performer/speaker at TEDxDupont Circle in 2012. Rachel has also contributed to The Washington Examiner and MASN Sports’ Nationals Buzz as a guest blogger. See why she loves DC. E-Mail: rachel@welovedc.com.

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