A little while ago, I sat down for an interview with Becky Lawrence to talk about musical theatre and guinea pigs (she has six – check out her socials at the bottom of this post to see/hear more about them!) and ask a few questions about country music…
Let’s start with a little introduction; describe yourself in three words.
Quirky, bubbly, kind.
You trained in musical theatre – how different is that to singing country music? And does being a vocal coach also have an effect when you sing?
There are quite a few similarities between musical theatre and country in the way that some of the songs are written. Musical theatre songs tell a story and most country hits do too, especially songs like Jolene and Fancy. Singing wise, I add a slight twang when I sing country and you can get away with sticking a few vocal slides in country music whereas, with MT, it’s a lot more structured and you normally have to stick to the rules!
What kind of an impact do you think one has on the other – does your theatre training help you as a country artist or as a songwriter? How?
I think my theatre training as helped massively, not just with writing country music and singing but also developing me as a person. For so many years I would sing songs as a character, not as myself so it’s taken a good few years to find my own voice and style and country music is where it sits best.
With a background in theatre and storytelling, do you think you’d ever write songs for a musical (even a short one)?
Oh I’d love to yes! I do have a musical I’d like to write one day, it’s on my never-ending ‘to-do’ list!<br
Do you have a specific creative process that you follow?
Not really no, it’s quite sporadic ha! There are some days when I just sit and watch Netflix and then there are days where songs can just flood out of me so I tend to just go with the flow and not force anything.
Let’s talk about performing. How do you prepare for a show, and how do you unwind afterwards? Do you have set preparation routines or do you play by ear on the day?
I find I prepare differently for different shows and gigs. If it’s a stage production I’m in, I’ll take myself off to a quiet spot and do some deep breathing, some steaming and pop a few Vocal Zones! With music gigs, I’ll have a good old chin wag with Dave, maybe a little drink to calm the nerves but I think I get more nervous doing a stage show than a gig. With a stage show, you have lines and cues to get right whereas, with a live gig, the audience is more forgiving because you have already broken that fourth wall and you’re chatting to them along the way.
What’s your favourite song(s) to perform?
That Guy is still one of my favourites to perform even after 3 years of singing it! I also love singing Leanne Rimes’ Blue, Cam’s Diane and I also love singing I Will Always Love You by Dolly Parton.<
Song you’d most like to perform?
I’d love to sing Keith Urban’s We Were because I’m obsessed with the song but it’s in a key that I just can’t sing in!
Dream collaboration – as a writer and as a singer?
Oh wow, well I’d love to write with Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire, also Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban. I’d also happily sing with any of them too!
Tell me more about your new project, Grateful Gang. How did it come about?
The grateful gang came about through many years of struggling with anxiety and mental health problems. Whilst doing CBT, I was advised to keep a journal, specifically a gratitude one. I started writing down maybe one or two things I was grateful for in my life and after a few days, the list just kept growing! It also started to have a great impact on my mental wellbeing. I wanted to share my experiences so I took to my social media and started to share my list using the hashtag #GratefulGang and I was surprised to see how many others started to jump on board. Since then I’ve created a shop to try and encourage others to be proud to be grateful.
– Favourite kind of tea? Green Tea and Jasmine
– What colour is your toothbrush? Blue
– 3 things you couldn’t leave the house without?My phone, purse and a spare tea bag
– Favourite comfort food? Popcorn!
– What was the last book you read? I read a beautiful book called Love For Imperfect Things by Haemin Sunim. It’s about how to accept yourself in a world striving for perfection and I devoured it!