Hail to the queens!
A Bedford-Stuyvesant musician will launch an album that pays tribute to powerful women throughout history at Bric on March 30. Singer and guitarist Becca Stevens says that she followed an artistic and spiritual inspiration while creating her songs devoted to queens and goddesses.
“I’ve always been really fascinated by queens throughout history and always been drawn to Queen Elizabeth I, her legacy, the Elizabethan era, and a lot of things in that period,” said Stevens. “The queen theme took flight and it became way more of a spiritual journey than I expected it to be. It was almost like crafting an alter-ego and finding this divine strength and regal identities, and that gave me a vehicle to inspire other people to feel same way.”
The album “Regina” — which is Latin for “queen” — draws on diverse musical roots, including pop, classical, jazz, hip-hop, and Irish and Appalachian folk music. Her many influences make Stevens reluctant to label her style of music.
“I struggle with an answer after all these years, and it’s less clear to me than five years ago,” she said. “Everyday there are changes, and things are always moving, so an answer I had to something yesterday and year from now will be slightly different.”
The album features several guest artists, including jazz and soul singer Laura Mvula. Stevens is a huge fan of the British performer.
“I love her music — she’s strong and regal and her on-stage persona is striking,” she said.
At the release party, Stevens will be accompanied by her usual three-member band, and by the Attacca String Quartet — another amazing act, she says.
“They’re my favorite band in world, and they did all of my string arrangements, so it’s going to be really nice to hear that element live,” said Stevens.
She hopes listeners will respond to her celebration of female power, which is often overlooked, she said.
“I want them go and be inspired by femininity — there’s a feminine strength in men and women but it’s treated differently from masculine strength, which is revered and prioritized,” said Stevens. “I want to tip the scales a bit energetically and show other types of strength, compassion, and this motherly all-encompassing strength and divinity that I think the world needs right now.”
Becca Stevens at Bric Arts Media [647 Fulton Ave. at Rockland Place in Fort Greene, (718) 855–7882, www.brica