When working, if work permits, most like to hear their favorite music playing. Background music to make time more pleasant. On this particular day of work, I was craving some Metallica music. While surfing Youtube, I happened to stumble upon Rebecca Vocal Athlete. I saw the headline to a video “Vocal Coach Reacts to METALLICA: The Thing That Should Not Be (Live – Seattle ’89)”. Naturally, being a huge James Hetfield (lead singer)/Metallica fan, I had to click play. What ensued was a lesson in vocals I was not expecting. An extremely delightful, educated, animated, beautiful, emotional Rebecca Vocal Athlete did not disappoint. A music guru! I went on to listen to another 20+ videos thereafter. With over 621,000 Youtube subscribers, Rebecca is without a doubt, a trend setter. We reached out to see if she’d like to chat with Trending Pop Culture about her amazing Youtube channel and music knowledge. Rebecca happily obliged!
Trending Pop Culture: Hi Rebecca, thank you so much for stopping by.
Rebecca Vocal Athlete: Hello!
TPC: You’re in the UK. How’s the music scene popping over there these days? Are the U.S. artist keeping up?
RVA: I am indeed, from south England. There is so much music from all over! I am still catching up from all the eras! The music scene here is alive and kicking. I think more so than ever. I would like to see more live singing. Yes, the American artists are most definitely keeping up!
TPC: So, let’s back up a bit before we hit you with the expertise questions. Did you grow up in the UK? And how old were you when you realized music was your passion?
RVA: Yes, born in England with two older brothers. I fell in love with music as soon as I could hear it. When I was 2 years old dancing in front of the TV to music (my father tells me that). Singing in front of the mirror like many young kids do, finding a most electric release when singing! Making noises and sounds, impressions from about 7 years old.
TPC: Your aura exudes a positive vibe all throughout your videos. Do you attribute this through the tough part of your life with your health issue? Explain what happened.
RVA: Yes, absolutely but I do have down days and struggle with anxiety now and again. I had a non-cancerous tumor in 2016. The docs treated me as if I did have cancer. They didn’t know until the tumor was out. The recovery stage was quite brutal, infections, not being able to walk, lost lots of weight, but it wasn’t forever. I didn’t take on the victim role. I thought that this could be it, and I asked myself have I lived life to my fullest? The answer was ‘no’, so I jumped onto Youtube and took it more seriously.
TPC: We are very happy to hear that you are healthy now. What words of comfort can you tell fans going through a rough time with their own health issues to get them through?
RVA: I tell them that it doesn’t last forever, although it may feel like it. It’s okay not to be okay and don’t pressure yourself. Love and nurture yourself, do what makes you feel good, and know it is not selfish. Look into diet, sleep, meditate, walk, go into nature and take deep breaths, write in a journal and sing more!
TPC: Music. Music evokes emotion in everyone, correct? Why do we listen then, right?
RVA: Because of that same reason, to feel, to be connected, to know we are not alone. Music connects everyone. Music is a universal language. If you open yourself up to it, it is the most beautiful thing, sometimes it is hard to put in words. I get hundreds of messages saying ‘thanks’ for the reacts of certain songs, I am unashamed of showing emotion, crying. Must be a Pisces thing! We are human, we want to feel.
TPC: You are a vocal coach. An amazing detailed, explanatory one. It’s delightful to watch you work your craft on the videos. When did it hit you that this is the path you want?
RVA: Thank you! Very kind! Yes for 11 years now. I love helping others achieve their vocal goals however big or small. I got a job locally as a vocal coach it was called ‘Clives rock and pop school!’ I fell in love with coaching. I soon went private and never looked back.
TPC: You are quite the musical talent yourself. Wonderful. When did you start singing?
RVA: Gee thanks! From about 9 years old. I was fairly shy when it came to singing so didn’t pursue anything for a long time.
TPC: Your inspiration to write music like your original pieces “Sigh”, “Keep On Moving” and so many others?
RVA: Yeah, I wrote poetry at around 14/15 years old. I started to write songs 18 and recorded them at 21. I am writing more and now. I have an album out called ‘Black and White Sunset’ currently on Spotify and itunes. Songs I wrote spanning over 15 years or so. I am currently writing a second one. I absolutely adore writing and would love to collab with other writers! It’s the perfect way to express.
TPC: Most are shy, not confident enough to go in front of a camera. How did you arrive to the idea that Youtube will be your platform to reach an audience? Can you offer some advice to some that may be on the fence about going in front of the Youtube world.
RVA: Youtube reaches everyone around the world. It connects you to people you could never dream of. My gosh, the messages of love, and people’s stories are just mind blowing. So many amazing things have happened through this medium. Very grateful. My advice just go for it, don’t live a life of regret.
TPC: Do you watch the vocal/music television shows at all?
RVA: Not really, most are contrived and usually the same kind of music. So many people recommend singers from the shows, some are phenomenal! I get pleasure watching certain Netflix series like The End of the fuc*ing world, which has immense artists, some unheard.
TPC: When searching for a Metallica Youtube playlist, I came upon your video; “Vocal Coach Reacts to METALLICA: The Thing That Should Not Be (Live – Seattle ’89)”. I clicked it and immediately fell in love with your commentary, your reactions, your emotion and everything in-between. Being a studio engineer myself (many, many years ago), I learned quickly at a very young age, there was/is a wide range of music to listen to. It wasn’t just Anthrax, Metallica for me, it was Bruce Springsteen, Depeche Mode, Run DMC and Boy George too. Knowing you have tackled Metallica, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden along with Lady Gaga, can you explain the importance of expanding one’s mind to “listen” to music as opposed to critiquing it.
RVA: Wow what a great job you had! I feel like I am only touching the surface myself. I come to realize how bloody awesome rock music is. There are so many beautiful enchanting unique vocals out there. I am a huge Queen fan, but the world is full of music and it doesn’t just consist of pop. I feel it’s hard to go against mainstream as the radio still plays the same genre of music. I adore pop too. I feel there is a place of all types of music and we should be respectful and appreciate the efforts people make. There’s such electric sounds and genre crossovers that it is hard to define a sound sometimes. I always say to clients/fans listen to as much music as possible, make no judgements, if you don’t like it move on. Just keep an open mind. A curious mind is the best mind.
TPC: The Linkin Park cover, Adele’s Rolling In The Deep was one of favorite video’s by you. Also, the Linkin Park One More Light video. Chester Bennington had a very distinctive singing voice for a rock singer as you so eloquently described. One of my personal favorites in recent memory, adored him. You shared raw emotion in those videos. Can you explain some of the brilliance Chester Bennington brought and why you felt the voice in your soul the way it did?
RVA: He bought a certain vulnerability to the performance. I think that resonates with fans and it feels like it is just you and him. He was immensely talented. Very sad he had to leave this planet.
TPC: Are there certain singers that bring goosebumps to your skin Immediately when you hear their first note?
RVA: Crikey, so so so many. Chris Stapleton gets me, Dimash, Floor Jansen, Sia, Ella Fitzgerald, Lewis Capaldi and of course Mr. Disco, and Brendon Urie! Literally I could run off 100 more names, Steve Perry, Aretha Franklin, oh George Michael- adore him..
TPC: Often at times, many friends, strangers and family say to me “who cares about the lyrics?” It’s the music, the singing. I am very perplexed by this idea that lyrics do not matter to some. Understanding everyone has their own reasoning, but aren’t lyrics a vital, essential part of a song?
RVA: Not every song! Some people just love the melody and certain hook a song has which transcends a good feeling so they can dance or sing with friends. For me the lyrics are integral, it’s fine poetry just structured differently. Sometimes lyrics can make a song and resonate through you and goes deep. Like singing it is a beautiful way to communicate.
TPC: Every era of music has its own profound affect in time. The roaring 30’s, the 50’s, the 70’s free spirit, but being a little bias here and an 80’s music guru myself, I often like to speak with others about the 80’s music scene. It was a riveting musical interlude of music that still carries on today in movies, television, commercial, etc. Why do you suppose the 80’s music has such a profound affect the way it does in the year 2019?
RVA: Yes, the 80’s were marvelous, weren’t they?! I feel a certain aspect of fun, came through in the music, or chance to be whatever, whoever, wear whatever! At the same time there was an ability to write some fantastic songs, punchy melodies. We should protect the 80’s at all costs! Haha. Some songs do seem to have a similar feel to 80’s type tracks, you can hear it. There is a great fondness listening to that era.
TPC: Do you have a favorite era in music? A favorite group? Genre? Singer? Please do tell.
RVA: I adore the 50’s, 80’s and some 90’s. I honestly listen to so many genres/crossover genres, artists every day. The belters, Whitney, Mariah, Celine, give me so much, as do Coldplay! I am loving their sounds right now. R&B, rock and roll, and then a touch of folk-pop music. I could listen to Sound of silence on repeat, the harmonies and lyrics are wonderful. I still think Queen are top for me. That is always such a hard question! I am probably going to listen to some Mexican singers now.
TPC: There are songs/music that evoke emotions in all of us. Mike & The Mechanics “In the living years” brings me directly back to my father who is no longer with us. It’s a song I listen to and it always brings up sadness of missing him. What song/music does that to you?
RVA: Oh god I love that song. Sorry to hear about your dad. I love Foreigner, I Want Know What Love Is. I know it’s a little cheesy, but whatever it’s a great song. Probably Simon and Garfunkel, Sound of Silence, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Mad World, also Buddy Holly’s ‘True love ways’….so many songs make me cry or feel so much. Oh and Myles Kennedy, more recently ‘Watch Over You’ God, I love that song…one more, Radiohead, ‘No Surprises’…goodness me.
TPC: Did you ever envision having closer to three quarters of a million subscribers to our channel? Are this many subs a motivational tool for you or something else?
RVA: Not at all and in the time frame, it is insane, I still don’t believe it. Although I try not think about the numbers, just create. There is so much more I want to do, write a book, act, more impressions, coach more.
TPC: You often say “by request” a fan asked you to listen to a song. How do request get made? Can we put in for a couple of requests? Trending Pop Culture request; Savatage: When The Crowds Are Gone. The lyrics and emotion are wow, well, would love to hear your take. And How’s It Gonna Be: Third Eye Blind.
RVA: I generally get a sense of what people want me to react to in the comments, but there are just so many my head spins! I have a place where people can request a little more formally called Patreon. Its where super fans can go and support me and get exclusive shizzle. I can’t do every react, but I do my best and try and keep up with that and my own musical and creative endeavors. Okay, thanks for the that, see what I can do!
TPC: Tell us where we can find everything Rebecca Vocal Athlete!
RVA: Okay! My website rebeccavocalathlete.com (free vocal daily blast) For exclusive content; Patreon/rebeccavocalathlete. To upload your singing to me! Wisio.com/rebeccavocalathlete
TPC: Thank you so much for stopping by Rebecca! Keep at it, we’ll be watching!
RVA: Thank you darling! You rock.
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