Tales from the Hub – a musical supremo with big ambitions!

Meet Rachel Walker Mason. A musical supremo with big ambitions who made her dreams a reality with a (little) credit to Freelance Mum.

 

It’s not unusual for a young child to like performing for their friends and family. But to write and perform their version of The Nativity, aged 8, it was clear that Rachel was going places.

Rason Mason age 1 in her parents home in London

 

Now an award-winning songwriter, vocal teacher, author of not one but two books, judge and public speaker and mum of two, Rachel shares what being a Freelance Mum means to her, and why she counts joining the group as one of the best decisions she’s ever made.

 

Can you tell me in a few lines a little bit about yourself?

 

My name is Rachel Walker Mason, BCA (British Citizen Award for services to music). I live in North Somerset and belong to the North Somerset hub. In my free time, I like to paint, listen to podcasts, drink tea and spend time with my family.

 

What did you want to be when you grew up? 

 

I was always singing and making up songs in my head. My parents knew I’d go into the music industry, so they were very supportive, paying for piano, guitar, viola and singing lessons.

 

I was always a child with an artistic vision, forcing friends and family to be part of plays and musicals I had written. Some of my wider family teased me for my big ambitions, but I always knew I would make those dreams a reality.

 

Now I write songs, have directed award-winning show choirs, and have my first musical performed this year.

 

Rachel Mason, song writing in her home studio

 

What came first- the baby or the business? What was your route to becoming a freelance mum?

 

The babies came both after and before…

 

I started being a freelancer when I set up my vocal teaching business. I’ve run other businesses alongside it since then, including choirs and workshops and began judging vocal contests worldwide. I had my first child in April 2017 and began working on Sky television and with big charities when she was three months old. From that, I set up Lyrical Light, a songwriting workshop for those who, like me, had postnatal depression. Then I had another baby in October 2018.

 

After I won Freelancer of The Year the following June, I used the money I won to create an artist management business called Listen In Colour to support young musicians joining the music industry. I went on to write two books and, during lockdown, began to pursue my dream job as a songwriter seriously.

 

How does it make you feel when you step into work mode? 

 

I feel excited and challenged to create something brand new. My brain gets full and colourful. I love taking on something I’ve not tried before to see if I can do it. I like to feel fear and uncertainty!

Rachel Mason recording in her professional home studio

 

Do you have any tips/advice for anyone starting up in business and juggling it around motherhood?

 

It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. The best advice I got was that running a business and being a mum is possible, but not to expect it to look like you thought. Find the best balance and accept that you won’t always get it right.

 

Rachel Mason, with her hubsand Tom and young family

 

What is your (not-so-secret) superpower?

 

I have synesthesia which means I can see colours when I hear music and taste steak when I’m writing a song, and it’s going well. I’ve always wanted to be a musician, and this superpower has helped with my music education and writing.

 

Whats your vision for your business, and how are you taking steps to make it happen?

 

I’d love to move entirely into songwriting and make that my primary career. I also want to continue writing musicals now that my first one, The Circle, is being performed in a few months, and I have some ideas for new ones already.

 

I want to write a children’s book and have plans with another Freelance Mum, so we’ll get that started when we both have time!

 

I’d also like a radio show where I talk about new artists, play their music and interview them. The music industry can be lonely, so if I can help young musicians get some traction, I will.

 

Can you remember the first Freelance Mum meeting you attended?

 

It was in June 2019 at City Farm in Bristol. It was National freelancers day, and I had just been crowned Freelancer of the Year by IPSE. I was nervous about meeting the other women as they were all so clever and capable. I took a deep breath as I walked in and thought, well, if they don’t like me, I haven’t lost anything, and I’ll go home and remain alone in my little freelance world.

 

The total opposite happened, though; they were lovely to me, and I have gained so much from being part of the group. I remember Kirsty Northover giving a short talk about branding, and I booked her to be my photographer shortly after that. We’re friends and colleagues to this day.

 

Finally, how does it feel knowing youre part of a group at Freelance Mum? 

 

I love being part of Freelance Mum. I count joining the group as one of the best decisions I ever made as it’s lonely as a sole trader, but with Freelance Mum, you suddenly have a whole family to cheer you on and give you advice when needed.

 

In the thank yous at the end of my first book, I thanked the Freelance Mums as meeting them felt like I’d finally found my tribe and was home.

 

If you would like to share your story and inspire others, just like Rachel, drop me a line or head here.

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