We had the good fortune of connecting with Rebekah Laur’en and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rebekah, what role has risk played in your life or career?
In my career its all about taking risk from the moment you wake up to the moment you lay down! The way the music sounds, the way in which you look, the clothes you wear, the way you talk, the instruments you use, the chords you play, etc. it’s all a risk cause you’re a musical artist…you create new works. Beyond just the product of being the artist it’s also the way in which you move with opportunities. In this field opportunities come everyday truly depending on how you move and many times you’re actually creating your own opportunities with who you reach out to work with and build with or simply how you do shows and brand yourself, it’s constant. Surprisingly, your biggest opportunities don’t seem that big but lead to bigger things and then there are those crazy risk like move to another country and work on your career cause the people there may very well boost your career due to them loving your sound more! Investing in yourself as an indie artist is risky but the more you risk the bigger results you get. Traveling places to perform or to simply network is a risk but you have to do it! And the results are soooooo rewarding! I’ve found myself connecting with major musicians just by simply going to Open Mics at times. That may not sound like a lot but you go out to a bar or lounge with an audience who doesn’t know you and you get on a stage and just sing and hopefully they like you…now if I get caught up in my nerves and worrying about them liking me I hold myself back…I probably won’t do it but in spite of all I feel I do it anyway, I take the risk and if I hadn’t I would’ve missed some major performance opportunities that were a result of taking the risk, putting myself out there to be seen. You never know just who’s in the audience. In times when I didn’t take the risk I wish I had but the moments I took the risk and got out of my way either I succeeded or failed in both case scenarios I walked away with something major and was fulfilled with knowing exactly what happened with me doing it and I found myself to be a step further than I was before. You aim for the moon and you’ll be surprised at just what star you’ll land on!
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Music to me is a very spiritual language, it communicates verbally but it communicates emotionally, mentally and physically. It literally pulls your entire being in. I’ve used music in much of my healing and continue to do so. When I had times of being by myself, my music was always there and it continues to be through all stages in my life. I always want my music to reflect life, love and joy…I want it to make people feel how they need to feel either that be reflective, loved, understood, hurt, etc. feeling how you feel and accepting those feelings help us move forward and also help keep us grounded. I give hope and send forth healing through my music and I simply do that by telling my truths through musical stories of the heart.
I studied Opera in under grad where I had amazing professional musical experiences and truly my college training has made me who I am as a musician. I look back at being 17 years old researching music programs and I had only been taking music lessons for a year and I was accepted into every music program I auditioned for and I chose a very intense music program, Westminster Choir College. I originally wanted to be an Opera singer but after graduating I chose to perform, write and compose more of r&b/soul, pop and hip hop but now I am venturing more into other genres such as country. I mainly chose this route for myself as it felt more freeing and authentic to me.
Many of the works in Opera have been done over and over again and well I wanted to create my own original music and I wanted to be me. While studying Opera I learned about so many composers, musical styles, creative eras, etc. and it helped me see the endless world of true creativity. I saw that music truly has no limits and as a performer you should be able to perform all styles of music. A whole new world was opened to me. I turned off the radio for years and just began to create what I felt and heard within myself and continue to do so.
I’m excited to share even more of myself through music. As you grow as a person your music also grows. I can’t wait to share much of the new music I’ve been working on during the pandemic. Some I’ve already shared but much I haven’t shared. In music when you allow yourself to remain a student you learn so much and that learning never stops. As I mentioned music is limitless there is no end to it.
Self reflection, self awareness, vulnerability and honesty with all of yourself, the good and bad parts and being in tune with the world around you causes the music to become more authentic and from the heart and causes the music to communicate truthfully which then causes people to really hear and feel you. You stop trying to create what you believe people want to hear and you realize people want to hear you. This was major for me in my lessons because it brought me to major spiritual points within myself, the concept of stepping out of yourself and to stop trying to be what you believe others want you to be and be you. When that process began my music took a great shift. I am constantly shifting and growing within myself and my music becomes reborn again every time.
“Don’t take anything personal” was one of the biggest words of advice I ever received. It’s all business which means you have to learn and understand how it works and when you do that, you realize you didn’t get “rejected” because of who you are it’s just simply sounds and styles people want and sometimes you don’t fit the sound and style and that is ok but there are a million more opportunities! Keep going! Don’t get hung up on the no there are so many grand YES that wait for you.
I believe at this point where I am in my journey the message I want the world to know is to keep going and keep bettering yourself no matter what and it will shift your reality and the world around you. I want people to see that I never gave up even when I lost hope of it all for a time and lost a sense of drive and self. I kept going. I lost myself and found myself again and began to even recreate myself and redefine life itself. Love is much more than just a four letter word or what we believe to be love but true love is in everything we do for ourselves and for others around us. What are you truly doing to love yourself and better yourself for the sake of the world around you?
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Depending on which friend
1. We would definitely find a good brunch spot where the mimosas are bottomless!
2. Definitely go see the sites!
3. Link up with some other friends locally to go to a karaoke bar!
4. Try to find something new to do that neither one of us have done
5. Binge watch a Netflix series over night
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a shout out to so many! I have a major support from my family to my instructors who are still mentors for me. First my Mother – Karen and my Sister – Sarai above all. My mother STILL keeps me going towards my goals and dreams and does not allow me to settle for less and only wants to see me happy and fulfilled in this life doing my life’s mission and my sister is the same way. My Voice Instructors/Mentors – Ms. Catania, Ms. Hylton and Ms. Douglass have also been major forces in my life to encourage me to keep going but also help equip me to keep going with my talents.
Photographers: 1. Rich Rocket 2. Sean