Interview With: Rebekah Hawker

NEW LEASE MUSIC has caught up with REBEKAH HAWKER, whose single ‘Kempenfelt Bay’ was named Song of the Month by the blog back in August.

Stick around to find out what’s she has been up since the release of the single (taken from her EP, ‘Careful Women’) plus her general views of the music industry of today.


NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC.

So what have you been up to in the music circuit?

RH: I feel so honoured you would ask me, it means a lot to be able to share with you so thank you! I’ve mostly been focused lately on touring, specifically in Ontario to support the release of my EP ‘Careful Women’. I have some songwriter showcases coming up in November and more shows planned for the new year as well. I’m excited to showcase these songs in front of people who might connect with them.

NLM: Back in August, you released your single, ‘Kempenfelt Bay’. What was the public reception of the single so far?

RH: So far listeners have been so generous and kind with their responses to ‘Kempenfelt Bay’. I feel really grateful to those who have reached out to me to share how the song has impacted them. So many people I know have moved away from their hometowns and share the same nostalgic feeling I’ve written about in the song.

NLM: What’s your inspiration behind the single?

RH: I wrote Kempenfelt Bay when I moved away from home for the first time and was renting a single room in a boarding house in downtown Toronto. It was the most isolated and lonely I had ever felt up to that point in my life. I was terrified at the overwhelming weight of the future, and having to move forward into it. All I could do in that moment was look back and remember my home, and an old relationship that made me feel so comfortable and safe, it had me longing for home.

NLM: You also released your four-track EP, ‘Careful Woman’, back in August. What’s your proudest single on the project and why?

RH: What a tough question! That’s the musical equivalent of asking a mother to choose her favourite child. It’s really hard to choose one, although I will say ‘Round of Fools’ will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first single I released from the EP. I felt a lot of pressure riding on that first song and its reception. I was really joyed to learn after its release how much it was resonating with people , it carried itself so much further than I could’ve anticipated.

NLM: So how would you describe your sound to potential fans?

RH: I would say it’s this country folk hybrid that focuses on storytelling, both through the lyrics and the melodies I write. There are also some traditional, more vintage country sounds woven in.

NLM: If you had to collaborate with ONE mainstream artist, who would it be?

RH: Maybe this is super expected but it would be so fun to collaborate with Kacey Musgraves. She’s an incredible writer, so honest and such a powerhouse. I feel like I could write the most badass songs with her.

NLM: If you had three wishes to change the music industry today, what would they be?

RH: 1. I think I’d try to make mentorship more accessible to artists (especially female) of varying success levels. To create a community where we can share more freely across levels and can better instil knowledge of both the business and creative side of music for artists in the beginning stages of learning and playing.
2. I would take over the country radio stations and change the old model of the boys club, more women on the country charts!!
3. I would change the vibe of ‘there can only be one’ that plagues so many artists. That mentality, especially for women (even more so for women of colour) who see there are only so many females allowed in that space is so damaging and leads to this insane competition that pits women against each other in a very unhealthy way. Collaboration and community always wins.

NLM: So what are your plans for this year?

I’ll be continuing my touring, hoping to make some new friends across the way and collect some new experiences. I’m applying to some festivals domestically (in Canada) so hopefully most of next summer I’ll be on the road. I also have a few music videos planned in the next couple months so that is something to be looking forward to…

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

RH: You can find me most active on instagram and facebook! @rebekahhawker as well as through my website http://www.rebekahhawker.com. I’m very friendly so they can reach me on those platforms and I’d love to chat with them 🙂

NLM: Finally, if music didn’t exist, what profession would you do?

RH: I’ve always been so interested in the minds of those people around me, how they work and how I can understand them more clearly and understand how to navigate those relationships effectively and positively. I totally would have worked in the psychology world, as a therapist but probably also as a researcher of a sort. Being a couples therapist as well could be so interesting!

Rebekah Hawker Shares Emotive Track ‘Kempenfelt Bay’, Taken From Her Brand New EP

REBEKAH HAWKER‘s brand new single,’Kempenfelt Bay’, displays the Canadian singer/songwriter’s ability to immediately command an audience’s undivided attention without any gimmicks – but with straight up, powerfully emotive folkore storytelling against an intimate acoustic setting.

‘Kempenfelt Bay’ is taken from Rebekah’s new EP entitled ‘Careful Woman’ – check out the four-track set sometime via SoundCloud, Spotify and Apple Music…but for now, listen to the stunning piece below…

EP Review: Nothing Is Forever – Shon Jay

SHON JAY is that guy who set the bar high – and I mean unobtainably high among his music contemporaries.

His latest EP, ‘Nothing Is Forever’ may be only eight – tracks long, but there’s an electric mix of genres – from funk, old school soul and even an expected appearance of a little country – all of which oozes undisputed class.

Among a crowded industry that’s filled with quick-fix hits that’s easily forgotten, SHON JAY‘s ‘Nothing Is Forever’ is a true testament that there’s still GOOD and MEANINGFUL MUSIC out there and it’s definitely a collection that can be enjoyed from five or even ten years from now – I guess some things last forever.

Check him out below – it’s like listening to soul idols Stevie Wonder, Al Jarreau and George Benson, all wrapped up in one.

Must Listens: Dreamin’, Best Part (Daniel Caesar Cover), If You Leave Me Now, Treat Me Like Dis  

Song of the Day: Lucky One – Gena Perala

GENA PERALA rallied some of the finest musicians together for the live recording of her new single ‘Lucky One’.

Recorded at Monarch Studios in Gena’s hometown Vancouver BC, ‘Lucky One’ is a little bit Rock and Roll and a little bit Country with her signature lyrical style: Honest and unapologetic sprinkled with a bit of sass. “I wanted to show all the moving pieces of a song so I brought in a good friend and filmmaker to shoot us while we played the track live off the floor.” Perala explains.

The video captures a fun and playful day in the Studio without any real plan or rehearsal. “I mean I probably should have done a wee bit of planning and rehearsing but hindsight is 20/20 plus I wanted it to be spontaneous. I really wanted to give people an idea of all the instrumentation and players behind a song,” Perala says, explaining the concept of the video.

‘Lucky One’ is part of a side project for Perala right now. She is currently in the process of recording and releasing a down tempo electronic synth album but with so much material the artist feels the need to release music in many forms. “I just need to start getting my music out and I thought this would be a fun way to release a song,” she says.

Watch the video for ‘Lucky One’:

Song of the Day: In All Honesty – JJ McGuigan

JJ McGUIGAN caught the attention of radio programmers and music journalists with the first two singles from his EP, Dissociative. ‘Letter’ and ‘Home’ received both critical praise and airplay chart success, reaching the New Music Weekly country chart Top 80, as well as the Top 40 Roots Music Report Americana chart. ‘Letter’ earned McGuigan an Akademia Award for Best Alternative Song in January 2017.

Now, McGuigan returns with his latest single and lyric video for ‘In All Honesty,’ another track on Dissociative. Written by McGuigan and Garrett Crow, the song features vocals from Scott Spriggs.

Have a listen.