Having recently launched her brand new single, rising songwriter and artist Rebecca Turmel kindly stopped by to talk all things music. We get into the stories behind her releases, her journey as a live vocalist, and plenty more. Here’s the conversation in full.
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Hi Rebecca – a real pleasure to talk music with you, thanks for the opportunity! For those who don’t know, what first inspired you to make original music?
The pleasure is all mine. Thank you for having me!
I started my career as a cover artist and spent a few years singing and playing guitar at local venues. I had a lot of success with this and got to a point where I needed to think about next steps. I had tried writing before, but it was honestly all too intimidating to me. I didn’t have much faith in myself at that point.
Then, the pandemic happened and I went through a really challenging time in my life. The combination of the two inspired me to face my fears and try to write again. What did I have to lose? I realized life is too short and unpredictable to not give it a shot. I’m so glad I did.
Your sophomore single was recently released, a wonderful song. Was there much pressure for you to follow-up your debut on a high, or does the process remain the same regardless?
I’m so glad you like it! I definitely felt some pressure with this new song because Am I Missing Something set the bar high. I had no idea what was going to happen with my first release. It was a great success and I knew I had to follow up with something at the same level.
I am honestly still finding what my songwriting process is, but it did feel similar to how I approached my first song. Wish You Well ended up becoming part two to Am I Missing Something. I was writing from a completely different mindset but the inspiration came from the same experience. It shows a whole other side to the heartbreak.
Your voice is beautifully unique and emotive, were you professionally trained or is it just something you’ve honed over time?
Thank you! My vocal training comes from my experience growing up in the theatre. I started performing in stage shows when I was eight years old and continued all the way through college.
I would say I performed over 100 shows which were mostly community plays, but I had the chance to perform professionally as well. I was trained in a theatrical sense, but it has certainly helped me learn about my voice and develop my vocal skills over time.
Tell us about Wish You Well – how did the song come to be, and how does it feel to sing it now in hindsight?
As I mentioned earlier, Wish You Well came to be part two of my first single Am I Missing Something. I went through a really difficult break-up earlier this year and it took me a long time to heal. When I wrote Wish You Well, I was so close to being “over it” and I was trying to find that final step of healing.
I wrote down everything I was feeling at the time and realized I had to let go of it all. It was up to me to accept what happened and to make peace with it. But it needed to come from a place of positivity. I was way too focused on the negative and that was the issue.
It was hard to perform this song at first because I don’t think I was truly feeling what I wrote. I think it was more of me trying to convince myself to feel those lyrics I was singing because it’s where I wanted to be. Now, I am at that place, so singing this song has a different feeling to it now. It’s more genuine. I’m definitely learning a lot about myself and my emotions through the process of songwriting.
Do you remember the first song you ever wrote, and if so, how has your approach changed since then?
Oh goodness, I don’t even wanna think about the first song that I wrote. I’m cringing at the thought of it. But we all gotta start somewhere, right?
I remember it being before I really had the hang of playing guitar as I am self-taught. I believe I used a ukulele instead. I don’t know how I did it, but I wrote the lyrics first and then strummed a couple of chords I thought worked together while I tried to find a melody that fit the lyrics.
This is not how I do things now – that was more of an experiment for me. I had no idea what I was doing! I am much more organized with my approach now, but again, I feel like I’m still finding a process that works for me because I’m still new to it.
What’s next for you?
Some very exciting things are happening next. I’ve got the biggest smile on my face just thinking about it! I’m actually headed down to Nashville in November to record my next single at Blackbird Studios – it is a dream come true. It won’t be long before I release my next song. This tune is unlike anything I’ve written before. I cannot wait to see what it turns into and to share it with you.
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