Taking Advice from Strangers
Rebecca Haviland has been surrounded by music her entire life. Her grandmother was a piano player and teacher, her grandfather was a swing drummer, so it's no surprise that music was a very important part of her childhood. Everyone in the family was taught how to play piano; it came hand in hand with visiting her grandparents. Rebecca began taking lessons at the age of four, learning both classical music as well as a lot of the favorites from the 30's, 40's and 50's. She began to write her own music at the age of twelve as a release from the stresses of being a kid, and her writing would continue to play a prominent roll in her life. In high school she was very active in every available music program, playing flute in the band, piano in the jazz band, singing in all the vocal groups, as well as singing in many high school rock bands. Also around this time Rebecca's father started to take her out to see her uncles play in a rock and roll/ blues band. Here Rebecca would become familiar with the blues style that would have the biggest impact on her songwriting. She also started to teach herself how to play guitar at the age of fifteen, and began to sing in church. She took her first vocal lesson in her senior year of high school to help her prepare for college auditions. However, in the fall of her senior year she would be rejected from the top classical conservatories in the United States, including Juilliard and Peabody Conservatory, causing her to seriously question her abilities as a classical singer. Rebecca began her first year of college at the State University of New York at New Paltz as an Opera major, and by October became a Jazz Studies major, singing the music she used to hear her grandparents play. Her year at New Paltz helped her to develop her own vocal and songwriting style. With a desire to learn more about recording and songwriting, Rebecca transferred to the State University of New York at Purchase that summer to pursue a major in Studio Composition and start an internship at Acme Recording Studios. Six months into her internship Rebecca would meet a wonderful folk singer named Sloan Wainwright who pushed for producers Peter Denenberg (Rebecca's boss) and Joe Bonadio (Wainwright's drummer/ producer) to hear the music of this talented girl who had been taking out the garbage and making the coffee. The two producers fell in love with her voice and her songs, and gave her the opportunity to record her music professionally at the recording studio where she had been working as an intern. Rebecca is a 21 year old up-and-coming singer/songwriter whose voice is most often compared to Norah Jones and Fiona Apple. Her songs combine many different genres of music, including folk, rock, pop, and jazz. She has performed extensively around the Westchester area, and has performed in the city at such famed places as The Bitter End. Her debut CD 'Taking Advice From Strangers' was independently released in February of 2005.