Birthday: May 9, 1989
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon
Favorite collectable: Ladybugs
I'm ALIVE! song sample
Turn to Stone
Kickin' & Screamin' (9-29-09)
1. I'm ALIVE!
2. Guilty Pleasure
3. Kickin' & Screamin'
4. Lose You Now
(+ Bonus Video)
ALIVE!! (11-5-2008 JP)
1. I'm ALIVE!
2. Better Off Alone
3. Turn to Stone
4. Lose You Now
5. Guilty Pleasure
6. Turn Up the Stereo
7. Outside of You
9. Without You
10. Make You Mad
11. Perfect Me (Album Version)
12. Falling Down
13. I Drove All Night
Where to buy
Order from CD Japan
Order from YesAsia
Becca's song "I'm ALIVE!" is also available for digital download at iTunes.
Meredith Brooks on Becca:
"When I first met Becca, she was a pure, raw talent. It was so fun to play and experiment with her. At times I think it was hard for her, because like most artists, she wanted to, "Get out there, play live and show the world what she's got!" It was tempting to show her off because she was so talented at every stage of her development.
The key for me, working with her at such a young age, was to guide that raw talent and stay out of the way of the gestation process at the same time. In other words "don't open the oven to soon"!
Now, every time we get together, I am amazed at how she continues to evolve as an artist. She is beginning to create a fan base that will love her and follow her music for years." - Meredith Brooks
Leave your comments about this interview and read what others had to say at the following link:
"This song was written as a thank you to Japan for all my wonderful experiences there. I wanted to try to explain Japan through my eyes and how I, as well as many other Americans, wish to live in the Tokyo way. There is a term in the song "Tokyo-oing" which means just that." - Becca
That song would be Shibuya from Becca's latest single release in Japan. Born and raised in the USA, Becca developed her musical craft playing in clubs like the Knitting Factory and House of Blues. But when some talent scouts from Sony Music took a look at her act they knew where her sound and fashion would find a market to take her musical career to the next level: Japan.
Becca has released four singles and a full length album "ALIVE!!" in the land of the rising sun and is about to make her official US debut with the digital release of "Kickin' & Screamin'" on September 29. So come learn the story of this rising talent from Portland, Oregon who describes the day "ALIVE!!" came out with words as passionate as her music: "It felt like a true blessing and all I wanted to do was scream out in joy and celebrate!"
On September 8, 2009 Becca was kind enough to give an interview to Andrew from J-Pop World. All photos courtesy of Becca with credits to Sony Music Japan International Inc. and Dave Wujcik (© 2009 Otakorp Inc).
Let's begin with a look back at how your love of music got started. Can you tell us some of your earliest memories involving music?
Music has always had a strong impact on me. I was really shy, but anytime I heard music, no matter where I was, I would start dancing. At every family get together, starting from when I was just out of preschool, my family would ask me to sing for them and I would make them all turn around and close their eyes or else I wouldn't do it!
Did your family have a musical background?
My dad's side of the family was always into musical theatre and they inspired me a lot.
When not involved in music, what kind of kid were you growing up?
I was painfully shy around people I didn't know, but I was always the outgoing goofy one in my group of friends. I took all the dance classes I could, played soccer, and loved to read and write stories.
Tell us about meeting Meredith Brooks and the importance she has played in your career.
Meeting her was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life, mainly because I was a fan of hers as well. I consider her my "music mother." She has been an amazing mentor for me. She has a way of pushing me to a level that I never knew existed within me and she taught me a great work ethic. Outside of her being my producer, we also love writing together.
What do you remember most from those early days playing at clubs like the Knitting Factory and House of Blues?
I remember always being terribly nervous before every show and hoping that no one would notice.
How important was the support of your family to you?
The most important thing in the world. Family is everything to me and without their support, I don't think I could have done it.
How did you eventually hook up with Sony Music?
A couple of scouts for Sony came to see a showcase of mine!
Had you ever imagined you'd release a single in, of all places, Japan?
Oddly enough, the thought never occurred to me. I was always so focused on the U.S. so the opportunity came as a surprise.
When did Rebecca Hollcraft officially become "Becca"? Was this a nickname you were already known as by your friends and family?
I went by Beckie until I moved out to Los Angeles and decided Bec was cooler. Then when I went to Japan, I became Becca because it's much easier to pronounce out there and because all the other names I have were taken. Not sure how to introduce myself sometimes.
How did you feel when your first single, "Perfect Me," was released in Japan on April 8, 2008?
I felt like I was dreaming. I was so happy that song was chosen as the debut single because it was one of the first songs I ever wrote and I've always liked the message it conveys.
Perfect Me was also featured in the American television lawyer drama, "Damages." Do you remember your reaction when you first found out?
My reaction was somewhere along the lines of "WHOA that is so rad!" It's a brilliant show and one of my favorites!
Your first full album "ALIVE!!" came out in Japan later that year. After all the work you'd put in over the years, how big of a moment was that for you?
It was a monumental moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life. It felt like a true blessing and all I wanted to do was scream out in joy and celebrate!
I'm Alive is a great example of the strength of your vocals. Can you tell us more about the song and its creation?
The song was inspired when a friend of mine passed away and I wanted to write a tribute to him. His passing made me realize how fragile life is and I came to the conclusion that no matter what bad things can happen to us on a daily basis, we're still alive and can make up for it.
The emotive passion of your singing really comes through in the video. Can you tell us about shooting it? How much input did you get?
My input was in my performance. The shoot was crazy because there were a whole bunch of balloons flying at my head at one point and I was trying not to laugh. Also there was a group of amazingly diverse people who I got to watch express themselves. It felt like a circus.
Your video for Perfect Me is more on the dark side. How did that shoot compare to your other ones?
That shoot was the longest and spanned over two days, all day. It was the most complicated because there were many different shots and because it was my first real music video! Also, it was the only video with an American crew. I had an amazing time.
Btw what is the manga we see in the background? Whose idea was it?
The manga is from my comic series "Lady B"! My label thought it would be great if we could tie it in and I'm glad we could.
Tell us about the first couple of trips you took to Japan. How prepared were you for the experience?
I read every Japanese culture book I could find, bought my first manga, and had been studying the fashion for some time before heading out there. Even with all that, I could not have truly known what to expect until I got there. I couldn't believe how kind everyone was, how yummy the food was, and how clean Japan was! I was in awe of the people and the culture and felt so at peace.
So its true that you went to a comic book store to buy some mangas to better prepare yourself?
This is true. And now I am a huge fan!
What were your first performances like in Japan?
The first big shows I played were during Summer Sonic. That was a huge step as a new artist. I was surrounded by all these well-known musicians and couldn't believe it. It was so humid that I felt like I was melting on stage. I was not expecting the audience to be so perceptive to my music and to rock out so hard! I loved it.
How do you prepare for a show? Do you still get nervous?
I'm basically always nervous but have found ways to calm myself. To prepare for a show, I drink lots of tea and water, warm up my voice, and try to have some calm time alone to center myself. Right before I go on, I jump around to loosen up my body and give all my band mates high fives.
Did you get a chance to checkout the fashion on display in places like Harajuku?
Oh yes. My mouth was practically watering. I've been obsessed with fashion my entire life and I couldn't believe the creative outfits that some of the people were wearing. It was really inspiring for my own personal fashion tastes.
Your fashion sense is an obvious match with Japanese culture. For those who wish to emulate you, can you give us "Three Principles to Dressing like Becca"?
That would be such an honor if people dressed like me!
Three Principles to Dressing like Becca:
1) The more layers, the more interesting the outfit.
2) Wear something that could be worn during any era, not something that is just in season now.
3) When searching for pieces, look for colorful shirts, vests, skirts, tights, and Doc Martens. Put an outfit together and you'll have what I would wear on stage!
On August 26 you released your latest single "Shibuya" in Japan. (Shibuya is one of our favorite new songs of the year btw.) Can you tell us the story behind the song and what it means to you?
Wow... thank you so much! This song was written as a thank you to Japan for all my wonderful experiences there. I wanted to try to explain Japan through my eyes and how I, as well as many other Americans, wish to live in the Tokyo way. There is a term in the song "Tokyo-oing" which means just that.
You also have a release date for "Alive!! +5" on September 23. What is that exactly?
That is a special release that will come out just before I play at the "Live for Love" festival in Tokyo.
Can you give us a peak on what to expect for the video for Shibuya?
So far I've done an animated video for the song, and one of the versions is featuring a very famous animated singer named MIKU as well!
Because the song includes some Japanese we're going to give you a quick pop quiz. Ready? How do you say "ladybug" in Japanese?
Tento mushi!! Kawaii!!
We ask because there are rumors on the internet that... you collect ladybug items? Is this true?
Yes, the rumors are true. I'm addicted to ladybugs. My collection is massive. I think they are the cutest things in the world and I love the color scheme red and black.
On a more serious note, can you give us some insight into how you usually write music? Do you have a set process or is each song different?
I have many different writing processes, but lately I have been writing lyrics and melodies first and then sussing them out on the guitar. It can take an hour or it can take a few days.
Are there any particular songwriters you'd like to work with in the future, or anyone you‘d like to write music for?
I would benefit so much from writing with people like Shelly Pieken or Diane Warren. This is a hard question, because there is an endless amount of musicians I would love to write with such as Ben Moody or Butch Walker to name a couple. I love to write more than anything else in life and it would be amazing to write songs that other people would want to sing too.
Btw, you got to see a performance by VAMPS recently. What did you think of them?
The show was a blast. I loved all the quirky moves that Hyde would do. He has such an awesome voice. They are really cool performers.
Can we get a quick peak into the romantic life of Becca? Do you have a favorite type of place to got to on a date?
The best place to take me would be to a vegan or Japanese restaurant then to a movie. :O) I also love nature, so hiking or kayaking would be amazing!
What traits do you look for in someone you would date?
Kindness, intelligence, and someone who has a similar sense of humor as me.
Any thoughts on marriage and kids in the future?
At this point in my life, I don't really believe in marriage for myself but I'm sure that the right guy could change my mind. Same goes for children!
As you look back over the whirlwind of the last few years, what have been the most important things in your life?
Debuting in Japan, doing voiceovers for the anime UltraViolet Code 044, my dog, and my family.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Debuting in the US, some acting gigs, collaborations with amazing Japanese artists, and hopefully touring!
Do you have anything else you want to bring up or comment on?
Thank you for all your wonderful questions!
Do you have a final message to all your fans?
You all make my world go round, thank you so much for all of your support and I hope to play a show near you soon!!
For more info checkout Becca's official site and MySpace page. Leave your comments about this interview and read what others had to say at the following link: Interview Comments