FOCUS: "YOUR OWN WORDS"- Interview to REHYA STEVENS
Award-winning independent artist Rehya Stevens releases the high-energy Dance/EDM single titled “Love Party”
Award-winning independent artist REHYA STEVENS releases the high-energy Dance/EDM single titled “Love Party”.
Hi REHYA, can you describe your music project? Sure! I just released a dance single called "Love Party" that I co-wrote with my friend Jamie Dunlap. He is the legendary composer for "South Park," and such a soulful person. While working on music one afternoon, we had a long conversation about the racial and economic divide in Los Angeles. "Love Party" grew out of that conversational mustard seed. It's all about celebrating diversity and unbridled freedom on the dance floor. I hope it's uplifting and encouraging for people. It certainly has a lot of BIG energy. It's quite spirited!
What’s been your favourite moment or achievement as an artist so far? To be at a place where I'm respected as an artist and songwriter within a community of incredible music professionals is something that I treasure above awards and placements. It took such a long time just to be taken seriously! In the first decade of my career, I had more #metoo moments than I can count. It seemed like if I wasn't encountering some funky predatory situation, I was in "situation-ships" where I was bending over backwards just trying to get my foot in the door - when I was never going to be let "in" until I had some street cred. The catch 22 - chicken or the egg thing is such a mind bend. It took a lot of hard work to get here, and I'm really proud to have earned a seat at the table.
If you could collaborate with any artist in the world, who would you choose? Ohhhhh. One artist? Goodness. Shania Twain. I would love to write a Christmas song with her! I hear she wants to make a Christmas album - so I'll just go ahead and plant that seed!
What role does technology play in your music-making process? I work in Logic Pro - so it plays a vital role in my process. Generally speaking though, when writing songs, I'm pretty old fashioned - I write on my Yamaha upright, with a strong pot of coffee on. My cat is usually fighting for my attention - meowing relentlessly while I work - running across the keys - biting my toes. It's fantastic! I have to lock him out when I'm recording though. I always feel guilty about that.
Do you have any interesting stories from being a musician that you can share with us? Life is NEVER dull in this profession! I have so many stories, I could write a book! A funny one that comes to mind is the time I was playing a swanky gig in Beverly Hills and the sax player took a stroll during his solo and walked straight into the pool. It was the deep end. I will never, ever forget that moment! I had an opportunity to meet Burt Bacharach at Steve Tyrell's studio while they were recording a song called "Walking Tall" for the Stuart Little soundtrack. Burt was gracious enough to listen to one of my songs from an EP I had just completed. When the song was over, he very quietly leaned in and said "You've got talent. You're very good. But. Focus on three note motifs. Just three notes. If you do that, I believe you'll write your hit." I'm still working on it Burt -- THANK YOU! He changed my songwriting for the better. One of the best meetings I was blessed to have was with Sophie B. Hawkins. I have endless reverence for her hit "Damn, I wish I was your lover." I was going through intense career frustration at the time, just trying to carve out a career path. In her free spirited way, she said to me, "You know... after listening to your music, looking at your photos, and now getting a REAL sense of you as a person, I think you're so much more 'street' than you're letting on. I think you should forget about looking perfect, forget about writing idyllic pop songs and tell your story." PRICELESS, sage advice.
What are your lifelong dreams? To write hit songs as an artist that will stand the test of time, and to write hit songs for other artists that will stand the test of time. I'd love to live on a ranch, with a vineyard and a state of the art recording studio. I'd love to rescue animals of all kinds, and provide a safe haven for them. I'd love to create a non-profit summer camp for kids from inner cities where they can learn to play music, make beautiful art, cook, garden, do math and science clubs - and just bloom! I want to help make this planet a better place, and have a lot of fun doing it.
If you had one message to give to your fans, what would it be? This is going to be long, but I'm so inspired by this question. Be yourself, and honor yourself - because there will never be another YOU. You are infinitely unique and worthy all that life has to offer. Invest in your education. Take care of your health. Nurture your interests and hobbies. Don't be afraid of hard work, because you're stronger than you think you are. Embrace the journey by giving it all you've got. Love others well, and allow yourself to be loved well in return.