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Rebecca Lappa

24th February 2023

Interview: Amy Bell

Born in San Francisco but raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Rebecca has been singing since childhood and plays multiple instruments. After watching Taylor Swift open for Brad Paisley, she decided “That’s like me. I want to do that.” Rebecca subsequently went on to be nominated five times for the Canadian Folk Music Awards, winning young Performer of the Year in 2015. In 2019, Rebecca was nominated for three titles at the Edmonton Music Awards, taking home the win for Singer-Songwriter Recording of the Year. Among her previous releases are 2016’s Reckless Heart, 2017’s Spirit EP and 2019’s Unfiltered EP.  

We chat to Lappa about her brand new single 'Blue Lips' and how excited she is about releasing her upcoming EP 'Tales of a Taurus'.

Thanks so much for talking to ReVamp, you started creating music at the age of 12, tell me a bit about the start of your music journey, and how growing up in Canada influenced your music.

I performed my original music at an open mic for the first time at the age of 12.  I started becoming part of the local music community by going to song writing circles, and performing at open mics, events and contests. Growing up in Alberta, Canada a lot of the local original music was folk, country and roots based. As I played shows around Canada I was exposed the pocket of music in each region: pop in Toronto, Indie Rock in British Columbia and the Celtic French music from the East Coast. With a lot of my local mentors (Rhea March, Rob Heath, Bill Bourne) they emphasized on writing stories were authentic to you regardless of the genre and that being a good story teller made you a good songwriter

You did rock/folk, why is this the style you wanted to choose, and who influenced you in the country/folk music industry? 

Folk matched my story telling and rock matched my vocals. Some of my early musical influences were Jade Bird, Dixie Chicks, Taylor Swift, Anais Mitchell. 

You have a new EP coming out in May, what can we expect from this?

With this EP, I’m leaning into a pop sound while keeping my storytelling at the forefront. I am coming into my own and taking a chance with driving guitars, layered synths, and hooky melodies over my organic backbone.

Your new single from the EP is out on the 24th Feb,  ‘Blue Lips’, what is this single about, and why did you decide this song would be the song, you would tease your EP with?

“Taking you into a world of frozen hearts and blinding snow, “Blue Lips” is a uniquely Canadian story about a friends-with-benefits relationship, combining heartache and excitement together like fire and ice. The winter imagery throughout the song brings forward the harsh realities of a situation where one partner is hoping the relationship will turn into more than it is.”

I wanted to tease the EP with Blue Lips because I thought it was the song with the most catchy hook.  It had a relatable story that a lot of people have gone through and experienced.

Check out the music video to 'Blue Lips' by Rebecca Lappa.

This EP has moved away from your usual sound, and taken on more of a pop sound, what made you want to change? 

This new direction emerged from working with a producer who truly listened to my influences and let me create in a way that was unhampered by my previous work. She let me explore sounds I was interested in with the gentle support and guidance that only a female mentor could provide. She also encouraged me to grow and change and take new risks.

You say that ‘Blue Lips’, is a story about friends with benefits- relationship, heartache, and excitement, all in one, what made you want to create this story in a song? 

I wrote it as a reflection of some of my own personal experiences but then opened it up to be more general and relatable to a wider audience. I was inspired by the syncopation of the lyrics in Charlotte Cardin’s song “Daddy” to give my story a more up beat pop flavour.

What was the recording/writing process like?

Writing has always been a source of therapy for me. It allows me to get my thoughts and emotions out on paper and is very cathartic. The recording process for “Blue Lips” was exciting and energizing. Working at 604 studios in Vancouver was like working in the dream factory. Louise encouraged me to experiment with new sounds like driving synths and post punk background vocals. For the rest of the EP the writing process included co-writing a few of the tracks with artists who had similar needs for telling moving stories. This includes one track “Lolita” which I co-wrote with Louise. 

You have picked up many awards such as ‘performer of the year, singer/songwriter recording of the year’, every time you achieve something, does it motivate you to create music, and what do you do to celebrate these amazing achievements?

I would be creating and writing songs these songs regardless, as it is a healthy way for me to come to peace with personal experiences. Receiving awards for my music shows me that other people resonate with these stories as well.  This motivates me to continue sharing and performing. I celebrate by surrounding myself with supportive friends and family and cuddling with my cat.

How are you gearing up for the release of ‘Tales of a Taurus' EP?

I am working with a core group of female mentors including my manager, Mandy and Kate, from Tonic Records. We are creating videos, updating my website, working with a new band for the live show and applying for festivals and international showcases. I am excited to play Canada Music Week in June and building a tour for the fall.

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