Interview: Rebekah Todd

Set to release her sophomore album in February, Rebekah Todd spoke to Legendary Kids Press about the release, as well as her beginnings in music.

Rebekah Todd is blues and soul artist from North Carolina. After a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund her sophomore album Crooked Lines, the singer-songwriter is set to have a busy 2017 – and from the looks of it, it’ll result in big things.

How would you describe your sound to those who have never listened to your music before?

Rebekah Todd: My sound is a bluesy soul; a blend of whiskey and honey. I began as a folk songwriter, but always loved big vocals. As things grew and I gained a band, we really started adding quite a bit of blues. Our live performance leans heavily to the Muscle Shoals sound.

Did you have any musical influences growing up, and how have they impacted the music you’re making now?

RT: Growing up, my dad played a lot of music around the house, including Pink Floyd, [Led] Zeppelin, [Janis] Joplin, [Jimi] Hendrix and so much more. My personal taste was Lauryn Hill and things like that. In high school, I had a brief time where I loved heavy metal – that faded quickly.

These days, I’ve been listening to a lot of jazz and trying my hand at it here and there. My heart will always be in blues and soul!

How did you first get involved in music?

RT: I honestly feel that I have always been a musician. Even in diapers, I would sing and dance. I would drool on harmonicas and pretend to play them. We always had instruments in the house, including an old, broken down piano, which I was quickly drawn to. I had piano lessons at the age of eight, which I hated because I did much better with my ear than I did at reading music. It got me in trouble with my teachers, who wanted me to learn to read more than hear.

All throughout my life, I entered into any choir that I could find. Church, school, show choir, musicals, you name it. If I was allowed to sing, I joined. Eventually, I got serious about learning guitar and in college, I found out that I could play gigs here and there to make some extra cash. I’ve been doing it full time ever since.

You’re set to release your sophomore album Crooked Lines in February. What can listeners expect?

RT: Listeners can expect a clean sound that represents exactly where I am right now. Everything on the album is 100% intentional, down to every shake and fade and pan. I had my hands on every part of it and am grateful to Dick Hodgin of Osceola Studios for being so easy to work with (I can be a bit of a control freak).

I am very pleased with the album. It feels good to have something that I’m proud of representing me.

How does it differ from your debut album? Did you approach anything differently this time around?

RT: Absolutely. The first full length Roots Bury Deep had no electric guitar. That’s the main difference. This new albums is very guitar driven. The last was mostly organ and horns.

You set up a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund Crooked Lines, with lots of perks for backers. How does it feel knowing that the campaign surpassed its target?

RT: It feels so great! Not only did it surpass its goal, it reached its goal with 48 hours to spare. It was such a relief to see all of my hard work pay off and to know that I have a strong backing of people who really care and want to see me succeed. I am so thankful to everyone for supporting me!

You’ve given us a teaser with ‘Hustle’. How has the fan reaction been?

RT: It’s been a really great feeling to get the reaction of the fans. They gave me so much with the Kickstarter and it was very important to me that everyone be happy. The Kickstarter supporters received their copy of the album early and the response so far has been great. I think it goes to show that if you are confident and happy with what you are putting out, people will be able to tell and hear it in the tunes.

What made you opt to have ‘Hustle’ be the album’s lead single?

RT: It’s one of the most fun songs on the album. I had several “higher ups” tell me that we needed to put that one out first. We will soon be featuring another tune that I’m really excited about. It’s quite a contrast to ‘Hustle’, as it’s a nice love ballad, but it really features and shows the strengths of my voice. I can’t wait for the public to hear it.

What do you hope to get out of music? Do you have a specific goal in mind?

RT: I will be playing music for the rest of my life in some capacity. I want to continue to be inspired and hopefully to inspire others. I had no end goal in sight. I just want to stay true to myself and the people that support me. If I can make a living doing that, I will consider myself a lucky lady.

What are your hopes for 2017?

RT: Tour, tour, tour! And start working on the next album. And get more comfortable with the electric guitar. Ready to grit it up on stage!

Crooked Lines is available February 17th.

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