Artist You Should Know: Beca

Dance-pop diva Beca just released “Future Foreigner,” the magical first taste of her forthcoming EP ‘Precious Gold.’ We caught up with Beca to learn about her musical background, collaborative recording process, recent sync placement, and more.

Hi Beca! Thanks for being part of our series! How are you doing today?
Hi there! Thanks for having me. I’m great and about to rehearse with my dancers for a show. We’ll be getting everyone dancing and having a good time!

We read that you graduated from The Juilliard School. What was your experience like there?
It was pretty incredible. The program and teachers really challenged me and pushed me to my musical edge, while inspiring me to explore different genres and try different sonic spheres. My goal was to gain as big a sound palette as possible. That was my main focus there. Not to mention the students could easily sight read nearly all of my scores.

At what age did you know music was your path?  
I wanted to do music for as long as I can remember. Around age 5, I picked up songs on the piano at friends’ houses then my parents got me a piano and signed me up for lessons. I was always singing, dancing, playing, and getting my sister and friends to harmonize with me. I also liked to pretend I was the snow queen in the wintertime, just to throw that in.

How did you get into music production? How would you describe your style?
I saw Elliott Sharpe playing some crazy avant garde electronic jazzy music with guitar and an ebow (which creates otherworldly synth-y effects) during a school concert. I was completely mesmerized and asked him after his performance if he’d work with me outside of class. Around that time, I was dating someone who had a recording studio in a Long Island City warehouse basement. I had my first crash course in audio recording there and wrote my first song using analog synths. That was it for me.

What is your favorite piece of equipment?
My Juno 106, I’ve had it forever. And a Poly 800 one of my previous bandmates gave to me.

PopCrush recently premiered your new single “Future Foreigner” in which they said, “The music of dance-pop diva Beca is a dreamy, magical concoction: Combine a dash of Kylie Minogue, a sprinkling of Little Boots and a dollop of Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and you’ve got some seriously spaced-out cosmic disco on your hands.” Can you walk us through the creative process for the track?
Future Foreigner was actually the working track title and I thought it was a pretty cool idea, since I was going through a breakup at the time. The lyrics were inspired by a conversation I had with my ex, who was afraid we’d eventually lose touch and be like strangers to each other. That was a pretty scary thought since we were so close. The song grew out of that sense of loss.

“Future Foreigner” gave us the first taste of what you’ve been working on with producer Blake Robin of LUXXURY. How did this collaboration come about and what has the recording process been like?
Blake and I were introduced by a mutual friend/music colleague and started working on the tracks remotely while I was still living in NY and he was in LA. He sent me a bunch of tracks and I wrote the melodies and lyrics over the ones that resonated with me. When I moved to LA, I was working on releasing another album called ‘Ecliptic,’ so these tracks were put on hold for a bit. As soon as we were both available again, we picked up where we left off. Blake’s a lot of fun to work with and has encouraged me to do some of the production, so I’ve worked on the vocal producing and have collaborated with him on the arrangements.

Congratulations on landing a sync placement on UK show Made In Chelsea for “Ice Cream” via CONNECT Songs! How does it feel to hear your music on a TV show? Have you had prior experience with sync placements?
Thank you! Feels great, I can’t wait to see/hear it when it airs, even though I’ll probably have to stream it online as I’m not sure it airs in America. I’ve had a few placements on shows like Bones, One Life To Live, and Dance Moms. Finding out my track is on a show is always a nice surprise when it happens.

You recently played at Echo Park Rising in LA, tell us about your festival experience.
I love playing festivals since you can see so many other bands and performed in front of people you’d never meet otherwise. At Echo Park Rising I performed in a small venue called Trencher. It’s pretty amazing how close knit and supportive the LA music scene is, and it was nice to be included in that. I also played at POP Montreal last month, it’s such a beautiful place and the people I met were amazing. My favorite overall festival experience so far was probably NXNE. I got to open for Sleigh Bells, and saw as many bands as I could. Toronto’s a great music town and reminds me a bit of NY.

What can we expect from your forthcoming EP Precious Gold?
It’s a collection of songs I wrote about the ending of a relationship and trying to capture all of the big conflicting emotions I was feeling. There’s a sense of longing to stay in the relationship while at the same time recognizing it’s over, a longing for freedom, and the intention to end things in a beautiful way.

Lastly, what advice do you have for someone trying to get into music production?
Learn as much as you can. The more you know how to do, the better and easier it will be. Even if you don’t want to do every aspect of production, it helps with communicating what you want to your colleagues in the studio and on stage. Also, learn what you’re good at and what comes most easily to you so it feels like you’re in the flow, or as they say in jazz terms “in the pocket.” And of course, have fun!

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MikeArtist You Should Know: Beca

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