'There's a lot of lasses out there fighting the good fight' - Becca Starr Interview
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the incredible Becca Starr on her career, influences and being a women working within the music industries! I have known Becca for a couple of years now and it was great to find out more about her extensive career and views on how we can work together in society to create a more equal and diverse community and influence positive changes.
Let's get into it!...
Q - From my research and just being a fan in general of you and your music for a while now, I know that you have been involved in many different styles and genres of music, from synthwave with The Van Dammage to Hip-hop. When you were first starting out within your career, was there a certain genre that you were originally drawn to?
A - You know your stuff! How humbling! When I first started out gigging, I primarily wrote my songs on a piano or acoustic guitar. I had a natural folky flare to my sound, which I attribute to years of participation in Burns Festivals as a child. I loved Robert Burns' work.
I always had a pop/rock undertone. I think that sensibility has followed me through all the genres I've worked within! My parents wide and varied music taste leaned more towards rock and pop choices, so I think it made a massive impression on my style and music taste.
Q - Something that I found really interesting and inspiring about you, is that you became the Togo Fam’s first female crew member back in 2018, which is an incredible achievement! When did you first get involved within the Scottish Hip-Hop scene and was this always an ambition of yours?
A - I first got involved in Scottish Hip Hop in 2008. I originally worked with my dear friend Tank, our project was called 'The Agents'. He produced incredible funk-driven hip hop masterpieces.
Our music was soulful, uplifting and raw. We gigged a lot that first few years and subsequently I got offered a lot of session work as a vocalist by many other hip hop artists as a result, looking for hooks and such.
Tank really brought me into the world, as he had been well established within the urban underground scene for years.
I started releasing my rap music in 2018, so for ten years I was only known for singing. I was anxious it may not be enthusiastically recieved, but thankfully I've had more support than ever!
And I'm just really ambitious to make as much music as possible with as many like-minded people as possible, whatever the genre!
But i love hip hop, to my core. So to be accepted and supported, is the best.
Q - I understand that you have been involved within the Scottish music scene for a number of years and was wondering how the scene has changed over time in your experience in regards to the amount of and treatment of women in music and do you feel that we are heading in the right direction?
A - I'm not unique that over the years I've felt it necessary to become a jack-of-all-entertainment-trades to maintain relevancy in the music scene.
I think most women in music or arts will relate.
I'm a singer, rapper and producer, yes. At face value.
But I'm also an event manager, promoter, video editor, audio engineer, social media manager and host. And let me tell you, it was not entirely out of choice, but out of frickin' necessity.
The gender gap absolutely played a part in my development, self-sufficient attributes seemed to be a selling point.
When i started gigging in my teens in Dumfries, gigs were regular and busy, but often unpaid. The same applied when I moved to Glasgow! In fact, pay to play was still rife! Terrible...
I get slightly annoyed by 'Ladies Nights'.
Intentional all-female gigs.
I worry that may continue to further the gap.
It's good, in intention. But, i reckon it's also bad, in result.
Gig line-ups universally are still not equal. Most gigs, in most genres (cos I'm not just talking about hip hop here!) are male dominant.
So, there's work still to be done. Balance and fairness to be achieved.
Q - How do you think that we can improve the gender split within the music industries as a society and a community and influence positive changes?
A - By more men in the position to make a difference, making a difference, primarily.
And women like myself and yourselves making a concerted effort to bring the flaws we experience to light and question.
Until there is more equality in the industry, my spotlight is on the guys.
More proactive male support for gender equality is needed across the board.
For instance - Matty Healy from The 1975 refusing to play festivals where the line-up is not equally female, what a belter.
More like this please, chaps.
Q - Who are some of your past and present influences?
A - Past influences are Aerosmith, Jeff Buckley, Jurassic 5, Gorillaz, Gotye, Unkle and The Prodigy. Present influences are pretty much the same except I discovered Twenty One Pilots in recent years. Think Tyler Joseph is an excellent writer and composer.
Also became a big fan of Rival Sons in recent years. In my opinion, Jay Buchanan may be the best male vocalist alive today. So talented.
Q - Is there a moment within your career that you would say was your most rewarding experience or something that you are significantly proud of out of all your achievements?
A - Without a doubt signing a record and publishing deal with In Black Records last year! It was such a scary and harrowing time with adjustments to lockdowns and social distancing measures killing the music scene in Scotland.
So to be so lucky to have the label take me and help me throughout this time, has been the biggest blessing, for so many reasons.
It's totally utterly dream come true kinda stuff!
Q - Lastly, I was wondering what female or non-binary Scottish artists are you most excited about right now?
A - There's a lot of lasses out there fighting the good fight. I've got a lot of love and respect for Melisa Kelly. We've never had a chance to work together yet, but she's high up on that list of folk I admire!
She brings a really powerful, feminine energy. Top class.
A great example of exemplary skills and dedication. Some lass.
Thank you so much to Becca for participating in the interview and make sure to go and check her out and give her a follow over on her social media!!
Facebook - facebook.com/thebeccastarr
Instagram - @beccastarrbird
All streaming services - Becca Starr