Everyone is down when things are good, but it’s interesting how many can shy away when things take a turn. Not Becca Stevens. She takes those negatives head on and brings them into the limelight to start a conversation. At least that’s what she did with her single “Queen Mab” off her new album, Regina. An album she says mirrors New York City’s Queens – likely because it’s an eclectic array of styles poured into one. We talked of that, the video, her tour she’s on right now and more.
Kendra: Hailing from New York City, were you ever interested in being on Broadway or were you focused on music always?
Becca Stevens: When I was a kid, yeah. Growing up I did a lot of musical theater and stage productions. It wasn’t until I was about 15 or 16 that I knew I wanted to focus all my energy on just music.
Kendra: When you were studying various styles, what about Appalachian folk music stuck out to you? And did you manage to place some of that in your own music when recording Regina?
Becca: I was raised on Appalachian folk music. My dad was part folkie, part classical singer/composer so there were all kinds of folk instruments around the house, from fiddles, to hammer dulcimers, load of guitars, banjos, and even a hurdy gurdy. We cleaned the kitchen to Irish and Appalachian folk music, and listened to all kinds of folk, world, classical, and other hard to categorize music. My music was very much influenced by this upbringing.
Kendra: On a global scale your video for “Queen Mab” shines a light on a very serious issue going on in Tanzania. What drew you to the struggle of albino children in that country?
Becca: The inspiration originally came through the video’s director Damian Weilers who is South African and very passionate about and involved in this topic. When he told me about the idea for the video my heart leapt out of my chest and I knew it was the right choice. Since making the video I have become more involved with organizations that support albinos in Africa as well.
Kendra: On a lighter note, you will be touring here in the states soon and overseas soon after that in May. Will the tours vary at all?
Becca: Indeed! Some tours I will be opening for my dear friends in Snarky Puppy, others I will be playing with my bandmates, and there’s also a show or two that will be me and Jacob Collier duo.
Kendra: Do you toss any covers into the set?
Becca: Not as much as in the Perfect Animal era, but yes, here and there, depending on the length of the set and the vibe of the room and crowd!
Kendra: Heading out on the road overseas, if you had to make a mixtape that would be a constant reminder of home – what five songs would have to be on it?
Björk – “Jóga”
Anything from Bothy Band
Bartok – “Romanian Folk Dances”
Bach – “Goldberg Variations”
“The Kid on the Mountain” (Irish folk tune my dad played on the fiddle in the delivery room after I was born.)