Interview: Rebecca Lynn Howard

Can you tell us about the origins of your musical journey? What initially inspired you to pursue a career in music, and how did you get started?

I grew up in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. I was constantly around music. In church, family gatherings, bluegrass jams…you name it. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I knew I wanted to be a musician. It was one of those things where it was more of who I was innately, instead of some thing I came to love. I have always loved it. I was born that way, I truly believe.

Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and how have they shaped your unique sound? Can you share a specific instance where one of these influences had a significant impact on your music?

I’ve had so many musical influences. 
Touring can be an incredible experience. Could you share a memorable tour anecdote that stands out to you, whether it was a challenging moment or an unforgettable performance?

Many musicians have a pre-show ritual to get into the right mindset before hitting the stage. Do you have any special rituals or routines that you follow before a performance, and if so, what’s the story behind them?

I don’t have a routine per se. I try to warm up if I feel like I need it… Otherwise I just focus on staying hydrated and do some deep breathing before the show. It’s never been some thing that I’ve put a great deal of focus on. 

Collaborations can be a powerful creative force. Could you tell us about a memorable collaboration you’ve had with another artist and how it influenced your music or expanded your artistic horizons? 

My favorite collaborations have always been live performances. I had the honor of working with Kenny Rogers for many years. One of my favorite memories of singing with him, as when we performed islands in the Stream on the Canadian country music awards when he and I were touring all over Canada. I loved singing with him, touring with him, and just hanging out with him. He was full of wisdom, and always willing to share that wisdom with others.   

Over the course of your career, you’ve likely encountered various challenges. Can you share a particularly difficult moment you faced in your musical journey and how you overcame it?

I can’t speak for everybody else, but for me, the hardest thing to overcome has always been the rejection you get in this business. It’s not that I put a lot of value on peoples opinion of me, but constant. Rejection does tend to wear you down a bit. I am a super positive person so I guess it doesn’t affect me the way that it might affect other people. However, everyone has their moments of weakness, and I’ve certainly had mine. I would say that’s definitely the most challenging thing I’ve had to face in the music business.  .

Your latest album has received critical acclaim. Could you take us through the creative process behind it, from conception to completion, and the overarching themes or messages you aimed to convey?

My latest album has been a true labor of love. There are songs on there that I wrote almost 20 years ago. So if you think about it that way, it’s been a work in the making for 20 years now. It all starts with the songs for me. my husband is my producer, so I don’t really worry about that part too much. He certainly pours his heart into that aspect of it. The song subjects are pretty different on this record than any thing I’ve recorded in the past. Most of the time throughout my career I focus on relationship songs, whether it be love going good or love gone bad. There’s really not much of that on this record. I wanted to dig deeper  And have songs on here that had bigger messages. Not that love is in a big message, but I just felt like I had beat the relationship songs to death. 

Touring can be both exhilarating and exhausting. How do you balance life on the road with your personal life and creative process? Any tips for aspiring musicians who are just starting their touring journey?

Balance is the key to all things in life. Haha. I feel like Mr. Miyagi saying that, but it is so true.  I’m not always successful in achieving balance in life. But it is something that I strive to do. 

Every artist has goals and dreams for their musical career. What are some of your long-term goals or aspirations, both in terms of your artistry and your impact on the music industry?

I have already accomplished so many of my dreams and goals in this business. I have enjoyed number one hits on the radio, touted with some of the biggest names in the business, written songs for some of my favorite artists and on and on. 

My hope now, is that it all continues. I will forever be in love with music and it’s just who I am. 

The music industry has undergone significant changes in recent years. How do you see the future of music evolving, and what role do you envision yourself playing in this ever-changing landscape?– 

I don’t think there’s any way to foretell what changes are to come. To be honest, I’m concerned about a lot of things when it comes to the changes that have happened so far. I’ve been in the business long enough to have experienced firsthand the change that digital streaming brought to scene. Although it has given the consumer many benefits with their ability to stream music for free, it has crippled much of the business. Especially the songwriting community. My hope is that, as the music business continues to evolve, we can find ways for the songwriter to be able to make a living again doing what they do best, instead of scrambling around doing a million other things to be able to pay their bills. It all begins with a song and we need to take much better care of the songwriting community, in my humble opinion. 

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