The Secret Lives of Rachel Zeffira


Identity 1: “Rachel Zeffira”

To begin, I owe an apology for the silence since my last post.  Let me make it up to you with a longer post this month… this story gets pretty weird – fans of either the Leonardo Di Caprio film “Catch Me if You Can” or “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” will love this.  I’ll cut to the chase and get right to our subject:  Rachel Zeffira.

As of today (17 January 2016) – if you do a quick google search of Rachel Zeffira, you will learn that she is involved in the British Indie Rock scene.  One half of the duo “Cat’s Eyes” and a virtuoso solo artist signed to Universal Music.

You will find pages of teen fan forums discussing her hair and her boyfriend, Horrors frontman Faris Badwan.  She recently won the European Film Award for Best Composer. I found that information in the  Hollywood Reporter…and on the Rachel Zeffira Wikipedia page…and on Rachel Zeffira fan forums.

Anyway, you get the picture, right?  Rachel Zeffira is….

…Rachel Zeffira.

Well, no. She’s not.

Let me explain:

I was first introduced to the name Rachel Zeffira when I was looking for ideas for this blog… I saw an article online called “Catch Her if You Can”, and as you already know I’m a sucker for con-artists so I had to have a look.

It turned out to be an article on Zeffira for the Vancouver Sun, and began, “You can’t always tell if Rachel Zeffira is telling the truth”. The whole piece was filled with evasive answers and strange stories – how Zeffira had lied her way into singing at the Vatican, had forged her teaching qualifications, even how she had been deported from the UK. When I finished reading I had heard plenty of memorable anecdotes but knew very little about the singer herself.

By all accounts she has had an unusual life, but how unusual? How much can a person hide their background? In an age where everyone willingly shares every detail about their mundane lives; I wondered, is it even possible for someone to have mystery? How much can someone really hide with the Internet aware of every move?

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 00.38.24
The article that started it all, by Francois Marchand


Turns out…Rachel Zeffira can hide a lot.   And in plain sight.
Once I dug, I discovered, and kept discovering. It’s the reason I’ve delayed posting:  one day I’d find something, the next day it would no longer be online.  And I wasn’t alone in this cat and mouse chase. Some of her more dedicated fans had started hunting down clues and posting them on tumblr.

They called it “The Rachel Conspiracy”.

What we know so far is that Rachel Zeffira has at least 3 significant identities. Now, we all might know someone with a fake name, I will admit to having a fake name myself, which I frequently use on Reddit. This is not the same thing.  I’m talking about 3 separate IDENTITIES – and even more confounding is that each of her identities is in the public eye, has a career or following, and has achieved enough success or fame to merit its own Wikipedia page.

I found an unprecedented three separate Wikipedia pages for three different successful people who are all, in fact, the same person- Rachel.  Has that happened before?

So, we’ve established part one of The Rachel Conspiracy by introducing you to her first identity: Rachel Zeffira. Let’s now go to her next identity…



Identity 2: “Rachel Santesso”



I’ll come clean and admit that it was a Rachel Zeffira fan on tumblr that first linked me to the name “Rachel Santesso” and pointed out the totally different Wikipedia pages. Her original post is here and worth reading. Amazingly, this particular fan discovered the first alter ego because she recognized Rachel’s singing voice in the background on an obscure 7″ record.

Rachel Santesso was born in a remote, working class town in Canada called “Trail”.  Population 7,000. Looks like it’s in the middle of nowhere. Think Twin Peaks.  Nothing surrounding it but wilderness…and one giant motherfucker of a lead smelter, smack in the middle of the tiny town. It’s a rough place – there doesn’t seem to be much national pride when it comes to Trail, if you pay attention to YouTube comments.  On an NPR interview Rachel mentioned her dad was born in Italy and it seems like there is also a population of Italian immigrants in the town.

Once you discover the name Rachel Santesso, it’s easy to find out quite a bit. First stop – Wikipedia. And according to that Wikipedia profile, Rachel Santesso is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a critically acclaimed soprano (ref: American Record Guide, International Record Review, BBC, Fanfare Magazine). She had already released several classical albums as a soprano and conductor before secretly starting her band Cat’s Eyes under her other name.

We’re only halfway to the weird part, so stay with me- there’s more to come…

Rachel is also the founder and director of one of the most famous choirs in the world:  The Capital Children’s Choir.

Rihanna Switches On Westfield Stratford City Christmas Lights


Now, the chances are you’ve already come across Rachel’s choir without even realizing it. She tries to stay well hidden in this role as well, pointing all attention to the kiddies. Her  YouTube videos have millions of views.  The choir have sung with many of the world’s biggest pop acts, from Rihanna to the Spice Girls, and interestingly, they’ve been featured in Pitchfork and talked about in NME with the same journalists never making the connection to their regular indie fodder Rachel Zeffira or Cat’s Eyes.



Oh yeah, and they’ve sung with Lily Allen. More on Lily Allen in a moment- this one took me by surprise.

It took me a long time to find out Rachel Zeffira was also Rachel Santesso.  That’s because she leaves red herrings to confuse people…the first time I looked at the choir website, the photo under “Rachel Santesso, Director”, was this:


 That’s not Rachel.

Looking for public appearances linking Zeffira to the choir, I saw another eagle-eyed fan’s tumblr post which mentioned that Rachel had been spotted singing as part of a group of kids, backing up Vanessa Carlton on The Conan Show in America.

There she is, actually in the children’s choir uniform, in plain sight. Clapping her hands.  Just another fourteen-year-old in the children’s choir, then.

Rachel blending in with the kids on American television


Now then, this is where things start to get truly bizarre.

In some of Rachel Zeffira’s music interviews, she has spoken about the time she was accidentally deported -which led to her forging a doctorate degree to get a job as a French professor. The story is unbelievable. However, I’ve discovered that at age 17 Rachel Santesso was indeed teaching French, Maths and Music…first in state schools, then in some of London’s most prestigious private schools.

What she definitely did NOT say, was that during the time she was pretending to be a real teacher, she taught a 12 year old  Lily Allen.

I’ll save myself from explaining and just let you read this segment from a book about Lily Allen, then watch this gif, below.  Here is Lily Allen on tv with Rachel (Santesso) … reunited, 10 years after Rachel mentored Lily.


Lily Allen has frequently spoken about Rachel in interviews, concerts and even on “Desert Island Discs” as the person who discovered her and taught her to sing.
So she came to London age 17, faked her way into a school teaching job, mentored a major pop star, had a career in classical music at some point along the way, started a world-famous choir… and then started an indie band? How many lives has she lived??

There seem to be very few people who know about the link between these first two Rachels.  Incredibly, she’s successfully maintained these first two alter-egos for at least 6 years.  Well, until now.  I almost feel guilty.


And now onto her next identity…

Identity 3:  Rachel Chiara Leone
“Interpol, Mafia, or the CIA?” 


You think you know who someone is- then one day, you learn that person has another name, another career, another group of friends and another life.  Maybe you find out that the person you knew is actually an opera singer/choir director/ mentor who discovered Lily Allen and toured with the Spice Girls.  And you had no idea. Needless to say, many of Rachel Zeffira’s fans have been consumed by these revelations, and I can only guess what her friends and colleagues will make of it.   And now things are about to get so much weirder.

Once I’d linked Rachel no. 1 to Rachel no. 2:  Zeffira to Santesso,  I eventually came across a third Rachel.  Rachel “Chiara” Leone.

At first it appeared as though Rachel Chiara Leone was a radio presenter in Italy – and this was already surprising.  After all, I’d only just discovered all the other stuff. Now she’s a radio presenter? But suddenly my search became more complicated.  Everything I discovered online would disappear almost as soon as I found it,  to the point where I wondered if someone was getting notifications every time I clicked on an image. Then I went away during the Christmas break…
Upon my return, I hit the jackpot.
I found an Italian website – and there she was… Chiara Leone.  I started taking screen grabs before the inevitable happened and I found myself blocked again. Here is one of the screen grabs:

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 22.48.30

Why this photo?  Well, let me tell you:

In the above photo,  Chiara Leone (Rachel) is seen with Fedele Confalonieri and  R. James Woolsey Jr (Sic).   It makes no senseWoolsey is the former director of the CIA… and the man next to him,  with his arm around “Chiara” (Rachel), is Confalonieri.  Confalonieri owns pretty much all of the Italian media, from tv channels to newspapers – which is funny because he is also the right hand man of former Italian Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.  Look up Silvio Berlusconi and you’ll soon learn that he is also a convicted mafioso. What on earth is she doing with these two?  Rachel, Confalonieri, Woolsey… seriously Wtf.  I wondered what the story was behind this photo –  it was one of several similar photos from that site.

I was then led to these photos of “Rachel C Leone” before being BLOCKED yet again:

Rachel and some extremely valuable cars.  But there’s more. Let’s take a closer look at these cars…one is an Enzo Ferrari with the license plate “Xan1”, the other is a Bugatti Veyron with the license plate “E1”. The man pictured alongside Rachel in the photo with the Bugatti Veyron is a member of Interpol.   These cars belong to a crime lord by the name of Alexander Surin. And Surin is currently on the run after having been arrested by Interpol, in Spain.  My first thought was for Rachel’s safety…is that the reason for all the secrecy?  You will see these exact same cars pictured on the National Crime Agency website (where you will also see the same Interpol man from the photo, above) – and you can find the mega story on various news sites. Now look again at the photos above…then notice the matching license plate and car in the official news story:

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 23.13.10

So…two separate locations, two cars that happen to belong to a wanted crime lord before his arrest.

I’m left with all sorts of questions.  I’m only willing to publish facts on my blog, so for now – this story is to be continued.

Do you personally know Rachel “Chiara” Leone?  Do you know the link between all three Rachels in this conspiracy?  Do you know why/how she is an acquaintance of both the head of the CIA and Fedele Confalonieri?   And Alexander Surina wanted gangster? Do you know why this is all a secret? Why would someone go to such lengths to hide so many amazing things?

If you do, please send me a message so that I can update the blog accurately.

That’s it for this month.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, which is to be continued.   I think you’ll like who I’ve chosen for next month, too.  Let me know in the comments, below!