Kristin Rebecca Interview
When did you decide that a career in music was for you?
I was about 16 when I knew I wanted to be a full-time performer.
Who are your musical inspirations and why?
Rich Mullins was my musical inspiration for incorporating the harp into modern music. While our genres are different he did something unique by adding in the hammer dulcimer to his music. Seeing that made me think something similar could be done with the harp.
Lyrically, I’m inspired by artists who tell stories through their songs. Artists such as Elton John, the Beatles, Joan Baez, John Denver, Dolly Parton and Joni Mitchell. Also other folk artists, Broadway musicals, and traditional Celtic songs have inspired me.
Can you tell me 3 things about yourself that people might not already know?
I love Scooby Doo and still watch the movies and tv series to this day.
When I was entering into a Washington, DC hotel to play music for an event being held there, my musical gear and instrument was searched by Secret Service. It turned out a very high profile diplomat from another country was staying as a guest at the hotel.
I like to support artisans and buy their work whether it’s jewelry, mugs, shawls or visual art.
What song of yours best describes you and why?
“Reach for the Sky” is currently the song that describes me best. I wrote the lyrics about trying to go for a dream that seems out of reach, but after working hard you can achieve what you set out to do. It’s how I feel about the choice I’ve made to play music for a living.
What has been the best gig you have done to date and why?
It’s hard to choose which gig is the best as they all have been fun and create great memories. One of the last gigs I did this year, before the country shut-down due to coronavirus, was really enjoyable. I played a house concert/listening room in Cottonwood, California. The community is very supportive of live music and the venue owners made dinner beforehand for everyone who attended. It was great to sit around and eat and talk with audience members before the show started. Playing intimate shows like the one in Cottonwood allows a very personal connection with audience that isn’t always as easy to do in large venues.
If you could perform a gig at any venue where would it be and why?
It has been a dream of mine to perform a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion. It’s a large venue near where I live, and I’ve attended events hosted on the grounds before, but it would be amazing to one day be able to play on its stage.
What has been your best achievement to date and what would you like to achieve in the future?
There’s been several really exciting achievements that have happened over the past couple years, but one that stands out is getting an endorsement deal with Custom Imprinted Guitar Picks by Clayton, Inc. I have used their picks for years and to get a deal with them was really exciting.
In the future I would like to achieve getting a record deal and team together.
Tell me a story from backstage or after a gig?
There was a festival I played at that had an area where performers could camp. One of the performers there owned a pet duck. Every day I would pass the duck on my way to the check-in location. This animal had such a personality. He would watch and talk to the people walking past his enclosure. If there was something he didn’t like he would march/waddle as close as he could get to what annoyed him, give it an angry stare, stretch his neck out, and quack loudly at it. The duck became a favorite among the performers at the festival.
What do you like best about being a musician and why?
Watching the way music connects with people is the best part about being a musician. Seeing how a song can uplift people or make them think of a special memory or moment in their life is the reason I love this job so much.
If you were not in the job you are now what would you be doing?
I would be working for a marketing firm.
What has been the best gig you have been too as a fan and can you tell us about it?
I went to see Drum Tao at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, Maryland. They had every element needed for a wonderful show: skilled musicians/dancers, high energy, dynamic performers, emotion in every note/beat and a little humor added in to some of their pieces. It is a group I would love to see again.
What would your ideal festival lineup be and why?
This is a hard question because there are so many artists I would love to see at a festival. But my current ideal festival lineup would be: The High Kings, Brandi Carlile, Rhiannon Giddens, Eileen Ivers, Elton John, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Dolly Parton, Piper Jones, Ceili Rain, Lindsey Stirling. I would pick this lineup because it represents many of the different genres I currently listen to as well artists who are wonderful performers and skilled musicians.
What would you say is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
The best piece of advice I was given was by my parents and music teachers. When I first started in music I use to want to sound like musicians I admired. And every time I would tell my parents or teachers I wanted to sound like certain musician they would encourage me to figure out what my sound would be for music rather than base it on someone else’s sound.
What things make you happy and what things annoy you?
Some things that make me happy are sunshine, music, being around close friends and family, and cute animal videos, especially videos with Chinchillas, guinea pigs and dogs.
Several years back we had a year where most days were overcast and/or rainy. That got annoying after a while.
What things do you like to do when you are away from music?
When I’m not doing music or music related activities I like to volunteer in my community, write stories, read, and spend time with friends.
Do you think social media and the internet are a good thing in the music industry?
The internet and social media are an asset to the music industry because it helps musicians and their fans be able to connect on a more personal level. Also, it allows artists to release new projects at a moment’s notice.
How important do you think your look and image is when it comes to being in the music industry?
I think like any job it can help to look professional and in the music world developing a specific look can help a musician’s brand. Depending on the genre that can mean different things. In Folk/Americana music, where jeans and t-shirts are normal performance attire, the main expectation I’ve experienced is to wear clothes that look nice.
Can you tell us about any tattoos you have and the significance of them to you?
I don’t have any tattoos
If you run the country for a day what would you change about it and why?
I would focus heavily on people and animals. I would work to get everyone access to the basic needs and necessities such as food, clothing, shelter and medical care. I would also make programs that would allow for the preservation of animals and programs to help repopulated endangered species such as wolves, bats, turtles, bighorn sheep, as well as other mammals and birds.
What would your ideal day consist of?
My ideal day would consist of writing and practicing music. Getting ready for or planning a tour and talking with my team (when I get one) about current and future projects would also be a part of that day. I would also want to spend time with family and friends.
What has been your experience during the Covid 19 situations? Can you tell us how this has affected you personally, how it has affected you professionally and maybe a story from this time or a message for people out there?
Like a lot of musicians my touring schedule has shut down for the time being. So, I’m out of work until further notice, but I know things will change and I will go out on the road again. Until that time happens I’m practicing and writing new music.
On a personal level, it’s been a bit difficult because I suffer from a neurological disorder and can no longer get the treatment I was getting before the lockdown. In a way it’s helped me try to figure out how to deal with elements of my condition on my own.
My message would be is that right now life has turned upside down and some days it’s hard to remember that there will be an end to this, but there will be an end. Until then please take care of yourself both mentally and physically.
If you could say one thing to your fans what would it be and why?
Thank you with all my heart. Your encouraging and supportive words and messages mean everything to me. I love reading your comments online and hearing about your day and life. It’s been a fantastic journey with you, and I can’t wait to see where it leads us next.
How would you answer the question Who is Kristin Rebecca and what are the differences between you as a music artist and you away from music?
I would say one of the biggest differences is that I’m naturally a much more shy, quiet, and introverted individual and as a musical artist I become more outgoing and extroverted.
What was the first record or song you purchased and why?
My parents gave me my first records as Christmas gifts. They gave me Jessica Simpson’s “Sweet Kisses” & Mandy Moore’s “So Real.” I was starting to get interested in pop music, so they encouraged my interest by buying me the albums.
What would say to someone thinking about becoming a musician and getting into the music industry?
My advice would be directly from a book I read about the music industry. It basically said never forget that this is a business. While the art is important, it also is about the revenue made from your art. Also, like a lot of jobs in takes a lot of drive and self-motivation to get ahead.
If you could collaborate with any other band/singer or musician who would you choose and why?
I would love to do a collaboration with Lindsey Stirling. Between her violin and my harp, I think we could create a really fun pieces of music.
If you could have written one song from history which would it have been and why?
If I could have written one song in history it probably would be “Lucky Man” by Emerson, Lake & Palmer. My dad played this song for me when I was a teenager and the message and imagery of the lyrics have stuck in my head ever since. It’s a timeless narrative saying that you can have all the money and possessions in the world, but ultimately death comes and there’s nothing you can do about that.
What things make you uncomfortable?
If my medical condition is acting up, tight fitting cloths can make my muscles feel uncomfortable.
If you wrote a book about yourself what would it have in it?
My autobiography would include what my life was like growing up, personal anecdotes from my adult years, funny/interesting stories from touring, behind the scenes photos and my musical journey from its start to its current form.
What has the rest of the year got in store for you?
The one certainty I have for this year is that I’m planning on releasing a new album. Depending on when the lockdowns are lifted I may go out and play shows again in 2020, but it really depends on what is going on.