Raquel comes from a family of four siblings, she being the third born. Her Mother, Sister Dinah Asabea (Caterer, Teacher, and First Aider) raised all four children mostly alone and worked hard in giving them a good life. Raquel’s father Mark Ayitey Ammah (Farmer and Chef) spent more time traveling.
Raquel attended school in London from Kindergarten to University level. After Secondary School Raquel was then accepted into Sixth Form. There she studied English Literature and Drama. After completing the first year Raquel’s English Teacher recommended that she start fresh at college doing something more practical. She believed that Raquel’s focus point was on Acting, Singing and Dance and because of this Raquel’s concentration in her usual class was never a hundred percent. According to several of her teachers Raquel was a pleasure to have in Hounslow Manor Secondary School over six years. A true teacher’s pet. Now was the time for her to move into other ventures and Institutions to then concentrate on her Art skills and abilities.
Raquel studied an NDPA (National Diploma) in Performing Arts and Extra Dance/Choreography Class at West Thames College. She also worked part time as a student mentor in her previous Secondary School and then as a sales assistant in the fragrance department of Debenhams. Raquel’s Triple Distinction (3+A) and Merit (1+B) Grade landed her a scholarship to any University of her choice.
Roehampton previously The University of Surrey was her preferred University where she studied a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies a three year course. Raquel after two years of studying took a one year gap intending to return but ever since entering her music career has never gone back. Raquel’s tutor claims that ‘Raquel in completing her degree would have definitely graduated with a First class BA but indeed welcomes Raquel at any point in her life where she feels to return however for now they support Raquel in her decision to try and pursue her music career.
Raquel has been signed to her Management BlackStar SR Entertainment and Executive Record Label [Trublackstarz Muziq] since the year 2005.
Growing up as a child Raquel expresses how much influence her Mother and Father had on her musically. She recalls hearing a lot of Reggae including the likes of Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Culture, Lucky Dube, IJAH Man, Peter Tosh to name a few and also Hi life music from Pat Thomas, Kojo Antwi, Amakye Dede and more. She also grew up listening to the likes of Prince, Kool and the Gang, Michael Jackson, Millie Jackson, Shirley Brown, Betty Wright, Whitney Houston, Tracy Chapman, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, Eddy and Charles, Pointer Sisters, Sister Sledge, Shalama, Diana Ross and more. She also admitted how much influence her senior brother had on her with bringing hip hop music into her life with the likes of Wu tang clan, Nas, Mobb deep, Da brat, Tupac, Junior Mafia etc.
She and her Older sister Matilda formed a group called ‘Sister Sister’ and later changed it to ‘The Sister Act’ taken from the Movie. Together they would write, sing/rap, and choreograph dance steps holding hair brushes and remote controls for microphones as they performed in front of small audiences. Sometimes they would perform pieces by Destiny’s Child, Jade, SWV or 702. The two resembled the modern Mel and Kim.
Raquel’s voice resembles the likes of many including Brandy, Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé, Randy Crawford, Aaliyah, Mary J Blige, Monica, Jasmine Sullivan and Shirley Brown.
Raquel officially moved to Ghana in 2008 where she resides in Accra. She has ever since been pursuing her music career. Raquel was first noticed commercially through her hit songs ‘Odo’ and ‘Sweetio ft Sarkodie’ which in total scored over 500,000 views worldwide on YouTube and 250,000 downloads plus on each record, making her one of the top female artist in Ghana. Sweetio was released in 2010 under the executive producers BlackStar SR Entertainment and trublackstarz records, Recorded at and Produced by De Genius Selection studios.
Prior to the above history, Raquel was also known for her underground hit records such as
‘Pressure ft Guru’, ‘Be In love’, ‘Min sum)b) ft Jay B’, ‘Get Wild ft Guru and Sarkodie’, and ‘This Is Me’ which featured as a soundtrack in the 2009 Shirley Frimpong Manso Movie ‘A Sting In A Tale’.
The first Official single ‘Odo’ (with element of Twi and English) was released in 2009, under the executive producers BlackStar SR Entertainment and trublackstarz records, Recorded at Hush Studio’s, Produced by Kwadwo and Mixed by Jays0 (Ebuzu/Skillions Record), the Video was shot by Abraham Ohene Djan (OM Studio’s).
Raquel has graced many big stages since entering the industry professionally such as ‘Miss
Ghana UK 2005, December2Remember, Mario Live in Ghana, Loud In GH, Movado Live In Ghana, Red Lipstick, Rapperholic Concert, Ghana Fashion Week, Lloyd Live In Ghana, World Aids Day, YFM Launch, VGMA In Takoradi, Saturday Night live, Okyeame Kwame’s (The Versatile Show), Performed with Naughty By Nature, Reggie Rockstone and Obrafuor Live in Ghana at the BackInTheDay Concert 2013 and more. She has also headlined her own shows organised by BlackStar SR Entertainment such as Raquel Live at +233 Jazz Bar and Grill Valentine’s Day special (Raquel’s Cupid Party), Raquel Live on the Dodi Princess, Raquel Live at Vanity plus more.
Raquel played the lead role of ‘Maria’ in the old time classic film ‘Sound Of Music’. It was a stage production. Several media houses were present and called Raquel’s performance spectacular and breathtaking, funny and witty and recommend that she play the role again in case the chance pops up.
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In 2010 ‘Sweetio’ became a jargon for every Ghanaian and even people from outside used the word as a house pet name or in referring to another person in a sweet way. Raquel confirmed that the song was influenced by her passion for sweet foods and her sweet tooth and was also influenced by the movie ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ which had been one of her favourite movies growing up. The song was written on her birthday, and she claims that ‘since giving up on sweet foods I actually craved for a chocolate and icing cake on that particular birthday. I then began dancing around the house singing Sweetio Sweety’ and indeed later on that day two cakes were presented to her by close family and friends.
She used her love for sweet foods as a metaphor for a woman’s love for a man and vice versa. In the song Raquel plays a waiter who works at a children’s play facility where a young man who calls himself Candy man appears there every morning, noon and evening to order candies in a way of expressing his love to her. And since they both have interest in the same thing they should get married and live in a perfect chocolate factory. Raquel sings how she is not too sure in dating a Candy man but then later confesses that indeed it might not actually be so such a bad idea.
Raquel later released ‘Set Me Free’ which fused the genres of ‘House, Azonto, Afro Pop and ‘Kpanlogo’ traditional ‘Ga’ Rhythms popular with the Ga tribes. The song was a favourite to many fans and even though other singles had been released after ‘Set Me Free’, it remains in a class of its own and is enjoyed largely across South Africa, Kenya and Europe. Soon after ‘Shake Your Body’ ft Samini was released as Raquel’s triple ‘S’ saga. Raquel featured on another classic love song with ‘Trigmatic’ titled ‘Adjei’. The song has gained international recognition. Raquel added backing vocals to VIP’s ‘Follow Me’ in 2012. She also features on other hit records with the likes of D Black ‘Happy’, Okyeame Kwame ‘Woara’, EL ‘Amenaami’ and more.
Raquel’s style or brand is described as The Best of Both Worlds/Double Trouble, as she blends the African Culture with the London Culture, bringing something unique and influential both in her music and fashion. Her Aaliyah like Mary J Blige, personality is described as humble and shy yet confident and bold, the girl next door and the realest of them all. Raquel’s sense of humor and smile makes her admirers and fans melt from miles away and the young girls aspire to be like her. She incorporates her very well grounded upbringing lifestyle with matured, classy, gangster swag.
The inspirational and soulful singer is the proud winner of The Most Adorable Female of The Year 2013 at the just ended High School Entertainment Awards and The Best Female Act 2012 at the YFM Allstar Weekend Awards. Raquel has also received 8x nominations for her hit single Lovi Dovi and Woara which she was featured by Okyeami Kwame at the up and coming 4syte Music Video Awards 2013. In 2012 she received 5x nominations at the 2012 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) for 'The New Artist of the Year (Technical Award), Best Female Vocalist (Sweetio ft. Sarkodie), Afro Pop song of the Year (Sweetio ft. Sarkodie), 2x Best Collaborations of the Year Sweetio ft. Sarkodie and Adie ft. Trigmatic. Last year Raquel had 2 nominations at the Hip Hop n RnB Awards 2011 and 1 nomination at the Vodafone 4syte Music Video Awards in 2011.
Raquel is currently promoting her new single ‘Lovi Dovi’ which according to sources is a definite number one in the Ghanaian community as was ‘Sweetio’. The song has very strong elements of ‘Hi Life’ and ‘RnB’ where the video [Dir.-Pascal AKA Director] also compliments African culture and traditions in a very modern way. The Video has gained huge popularity and favoritism with the fans hitting over 30,000 views online and still rising.
In 2010 to 2011 Raquel gave a helping hand to her Aunt and Uncle who own a charity (Christ Humanitarian Foundation-CHF) in Amasaman that supports homeless and needy children. The house in where the children stay provides food, shelter, water, education and a warm family. Raquel and her team worked for the Charity in getting recognition for their contribution to society. Raquel and her family also spent occasional times with the children with basic Education such as Math, English and science and also African Culture and socialism.
Raquel’s Début Album [email protected]
is now at the final stages and set to be released early this year. The Album features hit songs Sweetio, Lovi Dovi and features top Ghanaian artists E.L, Jays0, Sarkodie, @25 also includes well known Producers such as De Genius Selection, Jay Town, E.L, JayS0, Sammy Black and Teey-Mix from Nigeria. The title was taken from Raquel’s age of which she turned last year August. Fans definitely can’t wait for the album to drop.
Ready to release her new single titled ‘I Won’t Cry’ we can say that Raquel has definitely come a long way and a true musical entertainer she is. We look forward in seeing more of her beauty personally and musically.