By Brittany Rudyck
EDMONTON – It was hard not to be impressed by the degree of professionalism and heart Edmonton’s folk sweetheart Rebecca Lappa displayed during BeatRoute’s interview with her. She walked in with not only a pile of CDs to reference but an impactful resume highlighting her career achievements, none of which she presented with any illusion of grandeur. Lappa’s earnest approach to her craft is undoubtedly one of the reasons she’s been flown to Vimy Ridge for winning the Spirit of Vimy song writing contest, won a Canadian Folk Music Award (nominated five times total) and shared the stage with several notable artists including Basia Bulat, Scenic Route to Alaska and more.
She has been releasing music since she was in grade eight, ranging from folk to twangier alt country and even a little bit of rock n roll. The constant has always been her passion for songwriting.
“It’s my dream to write songs for other people for a living,” she explains, beaming. “That’s why I went to MacEwan to learn more about the instrumental side of writing. I’ve been writing lyrics since I was nine years old. Since then I’ve noticed my stories have gotten more concise and relatable. I used to write a lot about mythological creatures but now I have more personal experiences to draw from. I’ve always loved telling stories.”
Her upcoming EP Spirit showcases her growth as a songwriter, namely in the first track “Valiant of Vimy,” which is the song that won the Spirit of Vimy contest. Her love of storytelling is supplemented by her approach to researching her subjects and bringing them to life in such deeply emotional ways.
“When I first heard about the contest, I didn’t know much about Vimy,” Lappa reveals. “I knew that it happened and many Canadians lost their lives there. So I started looking for a story to write about. I did some research about the Victoria Cross and learned Private John Pattison’s story. It took me about a week to write that song and then I got to go see the Memorial in France. It was sobering.”
The 20 year old also infuses this degree of passion for storytelling into the other three tracks on the album, drawing inspiration from Amelia Earhart, who was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
“When I was a kid I thought she was a superhero and I used to watch documentaries about her,” Lappa says. “The concept of being brave and trying new things was what I was trying to capture with the song ‘Looking for Amelia.’ Finding those qualities within yourself.”
Once Spirit is officially out, Lappa plans on continuing to seek out opportunities to collaborate with other writers, attend song circles around Edmonton and work on new material. As she’s always quite busy performing around Edmonton, she also hopes to take on a more extensive tour schedule in 2018 to see more of Canada and draw inspiration from more life experience.
“I just want to continue writing, performing and touring,” she says, simply. “If that could be the way I earn a living instead of teaching gymnastics or teaching four-year-olds how to play the piano, that would be really great!”
With a disposition inclined toward positivity and a strong work ethic like Lappa’s, there is little doubt she’s one to watch as she continues on her journey to become a full time artist.
Rebecca Lappa’s EP Spirit releases on iTunes Dec. 13 and her free album release party is on Dec. 14 at Brick and Whiskey Public House (Edmonton).Brick and Whiskey Public House, iTunes, New EP, Rebecca Lappa