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Becca Stevens

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Always reaching, always expanding, Becca Stevens reinvents herself once again with Regina. In the years since the release of her critically acclaimed third album, Perfect Animal , Stevens has undertaken a journey that began with a study of Queen Elizabeth I. This expanded into tributes to various queens from history, literature, folklore, and her own imagination, to songs inspired by the regal and divine, and finally to Regina as a voice, like a trusted friend or an alter ego.

“I’ve found that by removing my plots from the storylines I’ve accessed more of my artistry than in my writing before,” says Stevens. “Even though my writing for Regina was inspired by other characters, I told their stories by means of relating to them on a personal level, which made them my stories too. Writing with Regina as my muse has allowed my art free rein to dance in new and unexpected directions.”

As for her muse for the album, Stevens explains, “Regina has become an alter ego, or an imaginary friend. Like a dream, she exists separate from me but is reliant upon my consciousness to exist. I carry her with me in everything now. So I guess you could say that neither ends ; in Becca, there is always Regina, and in Regina, there is always Becca.”

Stevens’ style has always evaded categorization, and with Regina, even more so. One hears pop, rock, R&B and funk side-by-side with traditional Appalachian and British folk, classical, world music, and jazz. Intricate instrumentation and rhythms seamlessly intertwine with vocals and melodies that draw you in and stay with you. When asked how so many different influences worked their way into her music Stevens laughed, “Story of my life. I grew up in a house filled with opera and banjo tunes, majored in classical guitar in high school, studied composition in college in a jazz school, and in New York City I am surrounded by every musical sound you could possibly imagine. I love and am inspired by good music, no matter the genre or where it came from.”

Regina, her first release on GroundUP Music, also marks the first time Stevens has recorded solely under her own name, instead of as the Becca Stevens Band. “I’ve been inspired for a few years now to make a record as ‘Becca Stevens’ as opposed to ‘Becca Stevens Band,’” Stevens explains. “It’s by no means a departure from my bandmates, as they are still all featured and essential parts of this album and will be the ones touring the music with me, but more so inspired by a desire to open the floodgates of artistic collaboration. There are so many artists I’ve come across lately who inspire me and whom I have the desire to write for and collaborate with. Bringing this energy of collaboration into my writing and record making process has given my music more direction, and clarity of artistic vision and self-expression. I feel like a painter finally painting her muse after a lifetime of painting landscapes and self-portraits.”

Produced by Troy Miller, Regina features creative and performance collaborations with Snarky Puppy’s Michael League, Jacob Collier, Laura Mvula, and the legendary David Crosby. The album was recorded in several phases – in London with Miller, a second London session with Collier (a co-producer on the album along with Stevens and League), and alternating sessions with Miller and League in Brooklyn. During the Brooklyn sessions, Stevens reunited with her trusted band members ; Liam Robinson, Chris Tordini, and Jordan Perlson. Additional collaborations included Alan Hampton, Jo Lawry, and string arrangements by Nathan Schram with Hamilton Berry, and the award-winning Attacca Quartet.

It’s a rich tapestry on which to work, and Stevens does so with aplomb, playing an array of stringed instruments, singing her own backing vocals, letting her luxurious voice curl around lyrics inspired by history and literature ; the single Queen Mab, a take on Shakespeare’s fairy midwife, is dizzying, ye olde fabulous." The Evening Standard, 4 star review, Regina, March 2017

For three albums Becca Stevens has fashioned an idiosyncratic, complex world which nods to mavericks such as Joanna newsom and Enya. On her fourth… she’s layered her vocals more than ever and covers Stevie Wonder’s As with the right balance of reverence and impishness......Throughout, Stevens pushes boundaries without losing her glee or discipline.” Q Magazine, 4 star review, Regina, March 2017

"Regina has an artistic, intellectual and feminist approach which reminds us very much of Tori Amos of whom Stevens admits to being a big fan. ...Majestic, delicate pop arrangements in perfect harmony with the royal theme." Rolling Stone France, 4.5 star review, Regina, June 2017

"Becca Stevens’ Regina is the most spectacular of the albums. The long-awaited follow-up to 2015’s Perfect Animal, it is a fully realized, rapturous meditation on queens in history, myth, literature and her own fertile imagination." DownBeat Magazine, 5 star review, Regina, May 2017