Today’s Featured Artist – INTERVIEW – Reb Fountain

Tell us about:

Your latest single you have released:

Iris is the title track off of my sophomore Flying Nun album.  The mechanics of the world stopped long enough for me to write a song a day during lockdown and in the months that followed, the band and I built those daily letters into a record. 

Your first single and how you felt when it was released:

Hopeful & Hopeless – the title track from an alt folk/country EP I made in 2018 … it was the first song of mine that resonated on a more universal level – it taught me so much about how I want to connect with audiences through music and how important creating narratives that cross the divide is.  Hopeful & Hopeless won New Zealand Best Country Song of the year in 2018 

Your favourite song that you have created that is an album track:

Don’t You Know Who I Am – the song was inspired by a work from Canadian Ojibwa artist Benjamin Chee Chee and as I discovered more about him – his life and death – his story intersected with themes I was exploring in my own life.  It took many months to perfect the lyrics for this tune however it was recorded in one take, live at Roundhead Studios in Auckland … how we played it is how you hear it on my self-titled album Reb Fountain

Your favourite song to play live:

Every song is journey for me on stage – staying present in the moment and embodying and expressing the songs in a new way each night is fundamental to why I do music, so any songs a good one however it changes on different nights in different venues … currently my favourite tune to perform is Psyche … feels of the moment. 

The song that was the longest to write and why?

Don’t You Know Who I am …I had pages of lyrics for this song that took me months to whittle down.  It had to settle into a story; a tale I didn’t know I was penning.  I learn so much from a tune … I’m still discovering aspects of this song’s narrative. 

Your most emotional track:

Fisherman was inspired by the image of 3 year old Alan Kurid washed up on a Turkish beach, one of countless refugees drowned seeking refuge. Fisherman came like a parable – I definitely lent on my biblical background for this one … it’s hard to witness the hypocrisy in our inhumanity; the best tales bring our complexities to light. With Dave Khan’s help we created the space for the story to flourish in the recording – it has developed a life of it’s own on stage; one that holds me to account each night. 

The best lyric you have ever written:

 I don’t know if I write lyrics… I piece together words like puzzles to tell stories.  They are collections of moments; archives sewn together that, when I am doing my job well, intertwine and become more than the sum of their parts and, hopefully, resonate with folks. It’s more interesting to me to hear what speaks to others than what I might think is ‘good’ fodder in a line. I just write because I have to … I’m not even sure it’s any ‘good’; I‘d rather it be meaningful.   

Describe the feeling you get when you walk on stage to do a show:

Stepping into the light of the present and holding on for dear life 

The hardest track to play live:

 Hey Mom – I wrote this song in one sitting, sat at the piano and pressed record on my voice memos and the song emerged completely whole.. Performing ‘Hey Mom’ is witnessing time fold/collapse upon itself and (re)experiencing each moment interwoven into one … it’s beautiful and incredibly effortful.  

Essential items you always take on tour with you?

Two packs of cards, a book, a plethora of vitamin supplements, reusable water bottle, my sneakers, knitting and a positive attitude. 

Describe your fans in three words:

The best ever 

A song by another artist or band you wish you had written:

 Bob Dylan – I contain Multitudes 

What we can look forward to from your band this year:

We are touring UK/Europe with Marlon Williams in November and have our first ever headline show in London at The Water Rats on Nov 15th, then we head into the studio. 

Reb Fountain brings her live show to London’s Water Rats on 15th November for the first time, click here for more information

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