BOW VALLEY – Rebecca Reid is opening up about her relationships, for better or worse, in the Edmonton-based artist’s tell-all approach to music-making that burns its brightest when passions run high.
With a newly released debut single, an upcoming summer followup single and EP coming out later in 2020, the former Canmore-based cross-country skier has discovered that life often imitates art.
“I find music incredibly therapeutic and it’s just a beautiful byproduct of challenging emotional circumstances of these songs that come out,” Reid said.
On May 8, the single "What About Us" dropped, chronicling doubts about a break up with Reid on vocals and piano, accompanied by Brad Simons (guitar, bass, drums) and Randor Lin (guitar, bass) at Velveteen Audio. The song was penned last year during a reflective period for Reid, and in real life, her and the ex the song is written about briefly reunited as a couple before calling it off completely.
“My ex-partner does know about this song. He liked the song, but it’s strange for anyone to have a song written about you, especially to have it out in a public forum, but he’s OK with it though,” Reid said, with a laugh.
Now a medical student studying at the University of Alberta, the recent COVID-19 crisis has given the “massive gift” of time to the alternative pop/modern Motown artist to focus on recording original music.
Like many writers and artists, relationships are often drawn from to capture the right emotion from fiery passion to bitter lows. For Reid, debuting "What About Us" as her showcase to the world was all the motivation needed to get her creative juices flowing.
“It’s a song that I love the lyrics, I love the music, and it was born out of a time that was really challenging, but it was such a beautiful byproduct of a really challenging time and that made me love the song a lot,” she said.
This summer, Reid is releasing a follow single "The Idea" and later this year plans are in place to debut a five-track EP. The EP will be a snapshot of the past year of her life.
“All the songs are centred around relationship-conflict, all five of them, but not all the same one [relationship],” Reid said. “It’s a very easy place to go to for strong emotions and for me those experiences really dredge up really strong powerful songs, the relationship ones, which has been demonstrated throughout time by many, many artists.”
As an up-and-coming cross-country skier in Canmore who had three world cup starts, Reid struggled as a young soul in the “pressure cooker” of being an elite athlete. At age 17, she left for Canmore and quickly she began writing songs as a means of therapy.
“It was a place I figured out I could write music. Before I lived in Canmore, I had never written a song, but it happened in Canmore,” Reid said.
“It was a lot of emotional stuff to work through. Just struggles around loneliness, at that time struggles around relationships and a lot of the music I wrote at that time was soul-searching, existential crisis type songs.
“I’d sometimes write music about things I didn’t even know I was feeling yet. It would come out in song and then I’d realize what was going on in my own head and that still happens today.”
She spent five years in Canmore, an important part of her life, she added, before moving on to pursue medical studies and music.
Released last week, "What About Us" is Reid's first major project in the biz, and it even came with a few hiccups prior to going public.
"I got a copyright infringement from Facebook on my own song," Reid said. "I'm supposed to be able to post my own music, so we’ve been quickly trying to sort that, but otherwise everything should be fine."
"What About Us" is available at rebeccareidmusic.com and on all major streaming and distribution platforms.