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!

EP Review: Echo – Turya

TURYA‘s latest EP ‘Echo’ is immediately compelling thanks to the acoustic and intimate setting which, at times, is accompanied with a bed of airy electronic and folklore soundscapes, featured in title track, ‘Echo’, ‘Magical Moments’ and remixed version of her well-received 2017 single, ‘Rain’.

However what makes this South London singer/songwriter so intriguing and captivating is her stellar vocal performance in third effort, ‘There Will Be A Place’, which heavily draws influence from, what I believe it to be, the technique of Hindustani singing.

It’s great to see TURYA back on full form by pushing her Hindu beliefs/bohemian influences further into the forefront. To be honest, I didn’t think she could top her previous EP, ‘Ocean’ – but hands up, I was soooo wrong, because this mini collection is something else.

Check her out below:

Must Listen: Echo, Will There Be A Place, The Man with the Child in His Eyes

Album Review: Southwood Waltz – David Ayscue

DAVID AYSCUE‘s debut album, ‘Southwood Waltz’ offers a simplistic yet whimsical approach to his singer/songwriter folkore/Americana fusion, allowing his mellow and delicate vocal instrument to poke through as he documents his transition from youth to adulthood.

‘New York’ gives the eight-track collection a stunning introduction, where the gentle guitar melodies takes centre stage and provides that real authenic acoustic setting.

‘Sliverlake Sunday’ and ‘In My Day’ slightly switches the tone and uplifts the album; the arrangements of ldyllic overtones, the horn section and satisying guitar plucks provides that real gritty soulful rock that really hits the soul.

The hauntingly beautiful ‘Where We Land’ concludes the set with it’s stripped down, guitar/vocal combo, which then builds into an euphoric Mumford-and-Sons style, 4-on-the-floor anthem.

‘Southwood Waltz’ puts Ayscue in good standing as one of the artists to watch for this year. His debut offering is not bad, not bad at all!

Listen to Ayscue’s ‘Southwood Waltz’ below:

Must Listens: New York, Penny, Where We Land

New Track: Moving Targets: Wild Rivers

Despite being an incredible 2018 for WILD RIVERS, which saw them tour across North America as well as meeting people who share a connection to their music, the four-piece band somehow felt disconnected from all the things that provided love and comfort – home.

Recorded live off the floor with producer, Dan Hosh, their latest single, ‘Moving Target,’ encompasses all their feelings of being far away from the comfort zone, accompanied with the vulnerable guitar plucks and the irresistibly lush harmonies, which provide a rich folk/singer-songwriter affair.

Despite being disconnected from home whilst on tour, the guys are gearing up to headline some shows around their native country, Canada (see tours dates below).

Be sure to look out for more material from WILD RIVERS, as they’ve got really something special. Check out ‘Moving Targets’ below:

Tour Dates 2019
2.27 – Toronto, ON – The Opera House
2.28 – Hamilton, ON – Mills Hardware
3.01 – Guelph, ON – University of Guelph
3.02 – Burnstown, ON – Neat Coffee Shop
3.04 – Montreal, QC – Quai des Brumes
3.05 – Quebec City, QC – L’Anti Bar & Spectacles
3.06 – Kingston, ON – Ale House & Canteen
3.07 – London, ON – Rum Runners

Song of the Day: The River – Jasper’s Riddle

JASPER RIDDLE‘s journey to music is something even Hollywood would bulk at. After beginning his studies to become a brain surgeon, he switched to his current vocation, that of heart surgeon…all the while continuing to record as both a Jeff Buckley-influenced acoustic singer songwriter…and a classical composer…and an artist…and a novelist. His debut release reflects his chameleon-like ability to soak up what is happening around him and to interpret it in his own unique way, with elements of rock, neo-soul and even flamenco heralding the arrival of a true 21st Century polymath.

JASPER RIDDLE is Lukas Zeickner, a Manchester-based medical student from a Nigerian background, comfortable singing in English, Edo or Spanish. The concept of JASPER RIDDLE was to record each track as its own self-contained story, including its own artwork, taking you on a journey through different styles and narratives, each combining to become a storybook.

Influenced by beacons of talent from across the world, from Aretha Franklin to Fela Kuti to Estas Tonne, each offering subtle imprints into his own sound. With an overarching love of Schubert, his fascination for science as well as the Arts has led to Lukas performing and producing all his own music, not to mention creating the accompanying artwork and a side-line in publishing novellas. The next time you say to yourself that you haven’t got time to do something, remember to give Jasper’s Riddle a listen and remind yourself that anything is possible!

Have a listen to the stunning ‘The River’ below: