Rebekah Fitch | Interview
Tracey Hanby | Photography: Tremaine Gregg
Interview with Belfast-born alternative-pop songstress Rebekah Fitch, This enigmatic artist that has been building solid foundations for her musical success, which has seen the singer-songwriter firmly establish herself on either side of the water, in both the Northern Irish music scene and the North East of England.
Hi Rebekah, great to meet you. Starting off, could you tell me about yourself?
I’m from Belfast and nearly 22 years in at attempting to be an adult! I was away in Durham and graduated from my Music Degree. Three years living away, independent living, with great friends, I really enjoyed it.
Do you feel that it’s now time to start your own musical career? Do you feel perhaps, that you already started that long before going to college?
I don’t think I started before I went away, but I did record the best songs I have written to date. Whereas now, I have a consistent idea of the musical style and image I want to have. This definitely came through whilst doing my music degree.
It’s not all about music all the time, what do you do in your downtime?
Well, I don’t have a lot of free time. I used to play Hockey, so I’d love to get back to that. I’ve recently joined a new church, playing music and participating in church activities.
Can you give me an interesting fact?
Nobody used to know I played the flute, my primary instrument for my degree until I started playing gigs.
Which international artists would you like to be aligned with?
My influences would be great, strong female artists: Florence and the Machine, Lana Del Ray, Lorde, Sia and Lady Gaga. It’s kind of pop, with really, creative new ideas. I just love that.
And local, Northern Ireland artists?
Roo – for her cool live shows; Beauty Sleep have great energy and Jealous of the Birds [Naomi Hamilton] is a great songwriter.
What are your aspirations for your future?
A fulltime sustainable music career, but at the same time, to have a balance. There are a lot of the compromises I will have to make to reach the point of where I want to go. You need to have that balance; I’ve seen people’s relationships that have suffered. What’s the point of having it all if you end up alone?
Do you ‘people watch’ for your songwriting?
Naturally, I would say no. It’s usually personal, but I think that’s the interesting aspect. I want to broaden and improve my own songwriting; melodies come to me really easily. Sometimes, I have to work really hard to concisely write the lyrics, in order to express my thoughts.
How do you find performing in different venues?
When it’s my own material, I would have the stage presence I normally would, as people are coming to watch me. When it’s a cover gig, it depends on the audience there. It’s very much about fitting in and how the audience is feeding back.
It’s a very male-dominated industry, what ideas would suggest to help change that?
Shannon Delores O’Neill runs the ‘Girls Rock School’ putting on music sessions to teach girls how to play instruments. It encourages younger girls to play the guitar and look at female artists, at influences; it helps in bringing up a new generation of women.
Another important topic which used to be a taboo subject is mental health. You have a song ‘Not Myself’, tell me about it?
I have written quite a few songs about my own experience. From wearing a mask for people, pretending to be normal, to a having a nightmare type fantasy of what it’s really like. It’s cool that this is being focused on now, as I totally felt the stigma. People are becoming more open and brave about their own experience.
What other interests or concerns you would like to see yourself involved in?
In my songwriting, I like to write lyrics that challenge people to think, some of those have been more through the lens of my faith, from a Christian perspective. I allude to or bring in biblical references and do not shy away from bigger questions. That’s something I am extremely passionate about and it influences my songwriting.
What are your career achievements to date?
Getting playlisted and played regularly on Cool FM and FM104, that was a top one for me; not just a spot play. Having my friends contact me to tell me they just heard me in the taxi. That was really cool!
Have you had any obstacles in your music career?
Getting more festival and support slots for bigger artists. Also, getting on Spotify playlists, but is something I am working on.
How do you manage promotion?
Facebook is my main one. Although I am on Twitter and Instagram as well. I should be everywhere. Social media is hard, you have to try just posting and not get stuck in scrolling the timeline. It’s important to find the balance and not get sucked into spending the whole day on it.
BROKEN MIND EP (release date 23 February)
“The release of my first EP can’t come soon enough. I feel like this one has been in the works for a while, summing up these past few years. Questioning, but also battling – I’m sure a lot of you can relate – yet there will be a triumph over it all.”
Issue 12 – feat interview with Rebekah Fitch