The Lives & Travels of Mizz Rebecca Harkin

Y’know when you see someone’s holiday photos and you get pangs of jealousy and wish bad things on them? Imagine that those holiday photos are their work photos and the jealousy just gets worse. As I’m talking to Rebecca Harkin she’s working on a cruise ship and is floating around the Caribbean somewhere. This is her job. It’s incredible the things some people have to put up with at work.

In her defence she doesn’t complain too much, instead she’s telling me about her new single “Fall like Me” which is out this Thursday, the 13th.

Tell me a wee bit about the recording the single and who you did it with? “I recorded this track in one of my favourite studios in Ireland, Blast Furnace studios in Derry. The track was recorded with some of the finest musicians I’ve ever had the chance to work with! Conor McAuley on drums, Jonny Nutt on bass and Rebecca O’Doherty on strings. It was a great session and I’m really happy with the overall sound! Hopefully the listeners are too ha”

Then you went on a cruise, what’s that like? “Working on a cruise ship this year has really taught me invaluable skills about performance. Singing 6 nights a week for 4 hour shows has helped me develop a strong vocal stamina and ability to throw off requests on the spot. Plus waking up in a diff country every day is beyond every dream job!”

In case you didn’t know Rebecca is Keith Harkin’s wee sister and I’m dying to know is there pressure/expectation because Keith is having a lot of success as a musician? “I’ve honestly never felt pressure having such a rock star bro, only support and encouragement from him and his fan base. I’m so thankful for the following and the doors it’s opened for me as a musician”. I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t some Noel and Liam Gallagher sibling rivalry going on.

What sort of stuff are you influenced by? “I was lucky to grow up with parents who had a great taste in music. My folks played artists like Tom Waits, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Neil Young and Glen Campbell on repeat on the way to school or in the kitchen. So respect for song writers were always a big thing in our house. I think that was my biggest influence was both my parents and anyone that could write their own music. My own influences would probably be Bon Iver, Amy Winehouse and Thin Lizzy… it’s a bit of everything really. Good lyrics and an original sound!”

Where Rebecca really stands out is that she doesn’t fall into the usual genres and there aren’t that many peers or outlets in a town like Derry so you have to ask if your music isn’t the usual kind of guitar or dance music, and stands alone are you nervous about that? “I think all songwriters are nervous putting their music out as it comes straight from the heart. I can always sing the things I can’t say. But I didn’t want it to sound like most of the current albums. I’ve always listened to people who have their own stamp and wanted to try to do the same with this track and the album. That was really important to me. I listen to a lot of new music and find it all sounds the same. Same accent, same minor key and same textures. It was important to me to make sure it didn’t go down that road and just sounded like me. Hopefully that comes across”.

Moving lazily on are there any plans while you’re back and for the future? “My plans after this single are to release my album and then tour with full band. It’s time to do the fun stuff after all the work and time it’s taken to write, record and pay for a full album which we all know isn’t easy. Then it’s back to the drawing board for the next album!” I have to admit that that last question seemed a bit serious so I quickly moved on to where and when can we get the ep? “It’s released on Sept 13th on cd, iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, amazon music”.

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