Rachel Alexandra Mercaldo (born March 4, 1977 in Long Island, New York), better known as Rockell, is a Freestyle music, Club/Dance, Hi-NRG and Pop singer-songwriter.
In the late 1990s, she had major dance hits with the songs "In A Dream," "When I'm Gone," and "Can't We Try" (a duet with Collage
and remake of the Dan Hill
and Vonda Shepard
1987 hit song). All of these tracks appeared on her 1998 debut album entitled What Are You Lookin' At?
. She released a second album, Instant Pleasure
, in 2000. Instant Pleasure
included the single "What U Did 2 Me" which reached #101 on the Billboard Hot 100
chart in 2001. Her best charting success is in Canada, where she is still active performing shows at clubs. Her debut single "I Fell in Love" distributed by the then BMG
Canada hit #1 on the Canadian Singles Chart
while the follow-up mega hit "In a Dream" was at #6 and is still a dance club anthem and a favourite amongst freestyle music enthusiasts nationwide.
In 1996, "I Fell In Love" peaked at #61 on the Billboard Hot 100
in early 1997. It hit the #1 spot on the Canadian Singles Chart
singles chart during that year, making it the most successful freestyle dance music single of the decade in Canada
. The single also peaked at #9 on the Hot Dance Singles Sales
chart in the USA.
"In A Dream," the follow-up to "I Fell In Love," peaked at #72 on the Billboard Hot 100 in late 1997. It was #6 on the Hot 100 Canadian Singles Chart and solidified Rockell's position on the artist roster of the then BMG Music Canada. It also peaked at #13 on the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart.
"Can't We Try" with Collage peaked at #59 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1998. The single peaked at #11 on the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart.
"When I'm Gone" bubbled under the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999, whereas it made a huge smash on both the Hot Dance Airplay and Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts. It also peaked at #21 on the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart.
Rockell's lead-off single to her second album Instant Pleasure, "What U Did 2 Me," bubbled under the Billboard Hot 100 at #101; however, it was her best selling (and arguably biggest hit) single and it garnered her a music video. It fared much better on Hot Dance Airplay and Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts.
She also released "The Dance" (a cover of the Garth Brooks hit) and "Tears," but neither of these singles charted on the Hot 100. Both singles performed well on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play and Hot Dance Airplay charts. "The Dance" peaked at #27 on the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart and "Tears" peaked at #16 on the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart.
In 2005, she came back with "L.O.V.E.", produced by DJ Mickey Bono
. A limited independent release that had a trance remix by Lenny "Linus" Douglas and freestyle remixes by Russ Castella
and Randy Weber Taylor, the original writer/producer of "In a Dream". It became a modest Hot Dance Music/Club Play
chart hit. It also received some dance radio airplay.
Spring 2007, saw Rockell back in the studio recording a new single, "Playing My Love." It was released to Dance/Rhythmic format radio in July 2007. A long awaited freestyle remix by Salsation 3 was released just in time for the holidays in November 2007, giving "Playing My Love" longevity through 2008. A nationwide tour with several dance artists including Joe Zangie was announced as well.
In November 2007, Rockell released a new dance single with Canada's Odeon Records, "You Keep Me Hanging On," a remake of the Supremes' original and Kim Wilde's 1987 mega hit.
- Her song "In a Dream" samples Planet Patrol's "Play At Your Own Risk".
- Her latest dance single, "You Keep Me Hanging On" (November 2007), is released on Canada's freestyle/dance music label Odeon Records headed by Gus and Chris Phillips.
- Instrumentally, Rockell and Collage's rendition of "Dreamboy, Dreamboy" from her debut album is favored over the Cynthia/Johnny O original in Canada, Germany and Brazil freestyle dance music markets.