What makes you come alive or inspires you?
Rachael Yamagata: Beauty and heartache.
What makes you feel vulnerable?
RY: My own brain. When I get it out of the way, I’m fine.
If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?
RY: “Love everything.”
How do you handle emotional pain?
RY: I face it, write about it, and then sing.
How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?
RY: I treasure my mornings. I get up early and ignore everything work-related for the first few hours. It’s just me and my coffee addiction.
What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life?
RY: Follow your instincts, and handle all with respect and diplomacy.
What truth do you know for sure?
RY: That we all are trying—everyone is more than what you see on the cover; we all run deep and have our story. That my mother would jump in front of a train for me. That love could solve everything.
What causes or organizations are you passionate about?
RY: Anything to do with animals and stopping violence.
Tell me about your latest projects.
RY: I just finished a seven-week run in the U.S. I’m running a pledge campaign in support of a new record out early next year. Going on tour with Josh Radin in February and also doing some dates in Germany. Asia tour for the spring. Also, desperate to install flooring in the top floor of my house.
Why are these important to you?
RY: Writing and performing are to me what water and movement are to sharks.
What is love for you?
RY: Knowing what someone needs and then helping them find it.
What is the most important thing for us to do as beings?
PHOTO: LAURA CROSTA
Interview: Maranda Pleasant