Hi, I'm Rebecca ...
I grew up in a small town in Ontario, Canada but see myself more as a child of the world. I love to travel, educate, and learn. But for most of my life, I've been performing. When Grandpa saw me dancing at 3 years of age and he said, "all that girl needs is a stage".
I guess he was right. At 18 I began singing professionally. But, it didn't always come easy. My dream was to study theatre. You know -- good ol' triple threat. But, fear got in the way of that dream and instead, I opted to study classical voice and music therapy. In my final year, right when I should have been practicing like mad for my jury exams, I was headed down to Nashville to record a Christian album.
Singing in a such way I was DEFINITELY NOT supposed to be!
I didn't do much with that first 3 song demo, because at the same time, I broke up with my high school sweetheart and found myself running away to teach English in China.
After a short stint in China, I came back and started up a private practice in music therapy. Didn't take long to decide this wasn't for me either. So, I went back to school and got my Bachelor of Education.
I taught for a few years. But I was so invested in those kids that I had no time for music. So, I TURNED DOWN THE 90K secure paying job (with summers off too -- hello!?) to pursue music.
I reached out to some of the best players in Toronto (great people too I might add!) and began booking shows with them. We had a blast and that led to album #1, Some Fun Out Of Life. From there, I ended up singing in Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Honduras and pretty much anywhere people would invite me.
I SAID YES to any opportunity that came up. Did I know what the end goal was? Nope... do I now?Not entirely, but having no plan is sometimes the best way to live IMO.
Actually, in 2017 I had no plan AND no place to live. My place was rented out so I literally "couchsurfed" for months. I reached out to my FB friends and sure enough, a local reporter, replied, "I'M GOING TO UGANDA, so you can have my flat.... OR, (game changer here) ...you can come with us. We need a voice coach".
Ironically, at least 4 yrs before that my mom had donated her own guitar to a kid from the Watoto choir. He was also from Uganda. I thought -- this is perfect --- I'll go find her guitar and I'll be a voice coach! Off I went.
Uganda changed me.
When I came home, I didn't want to just be amongst the "poor artists" and the "starving musicians."
NOPE... I wanted to do and be something different. I had no clue what or how, but I was on a mission and it just so happened that I was about halfway through finishing my 2nd album, "I Don't Belong To You" (which was amazingly funded 20K USD by my amazing fans while I was singing 6 nights a week in Thailand -- that's another rockin' story!)
Summer 2018 I needed money. I had no job but lots of bills and a mortgage to pay for. On a whim, I booked a flight to Beijing because a friend and fellow singer/songwriter told me there "could be work here for you." She graciously shared her world with me and for 62 days straight, I poured myself into the world of voice acting. I loved it! AND, I WAS MAKING MONEY.
I returned home and it was time to release my album. It wasn't making any sense to me to just put music out there without a purpose. How could I merge my worlds? MY LOVE OF MUSIC and my PASSION TO EMPOWER WOMEN AND GIVE BACK? There had to be a way.
Once I saw and experienced first-hand the terrors and experiences these girls face, I knew I had to do something. Did you know that 150 MILLION GIRLS will be married as child brides before their 18th birthday by 2030 if we don’t do something? Isn't it kind of crazy that in 2019, 3.9 million girls are still cut annually as a right of passage?
A few months ago I decided to partner with Plan International on projects to end FGM (female genital mutilation) and child marriages. This is just the start. These projects are 5 year programs that are researched and designed to create sustainable communities, to empower women leaders in the world, to educate girls AND BOYS AND ENTIRE COMMUNITIES. This MATTERS. If we educate and change these practices and what has become normal, we WILL change the world.
So, that's my mission. To defy their “normal” and use my own talents and do everything in my power to advocate for girls and women’s equality. To give girls back their freedom and power to reach their potential.
I’ve created an exciting, innovative fundraising project which the Canadian Government will match 4 & 5x. ON THE 3RD OF OCTOBER, for the first time ever (which is kinda scary), I will live-stream a concert in collaboration with Plan International.
My intention is to sell 5000 $15 tickets that will raise $75,000.
When you purchase your ticket, you're contribute $15 to Plan International and you also get my new album, booklet AND a special link to the online streamed concert (don't worry.. if you're in another country, you will have access for 1 week)
So what are you waiting for? Get your ticket or buy 10 for you and your friends. You're making a huge difference! You're supporting these girls and giving them an opportunity they wouldn't have otherwise. When we work together, anything is possible! Get out there. Be all that you can be. And I look forward to seeing you at the show on October 3rd!