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Michaela Bekenn shares the inspiration behind new single, “The Earth Has Music”

Michaela Bekenn just shared her debut single, “The Earth Has Music,” along with a visual accompaniment. The song’s message is an invitation to the listener to tune into their inner space as the place where all answers emerge and the moment as the ultimate teacher. The mood of the video is directly connected to the changing of the seasons.

Michaela Bekenn is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary singer-songwriter. She was steeped in the arts from a young age, growing up within the Shaw Festival Theatre community, and captivates listeners with her raw and honest sound. As a songwriter, Michaela’s intention is to share music that is both enlivening and grounding for the listener, which encourages self-reflection and community connection.

Take a listen to the latest and check out our interview below!

Can you talk to us about the inspiration behind your single, “The Earth Has Music”?

The song was born days after my father fell from a roof, nearly injuring his spine. This event woke me up to the impermanence and preciousness of life. It taught me that the unpredictable and uncomfortable moments often lead to the deepest discoveries. During and after my father’s recovery we shared many walks through old growth trees surrounded by the music of birds, wind, and water. Every moment felt like a gift. We were invited to listen, not only with our ears but our entire awareness. The song explores the changing of the seasons in nature and in life, and what it feels like to dance on the edge of a transformative shift.

How do you think your community has contributed to your success?

Community is at the centre of my life as a yoga teacher, sound therapy practitioner, youth arts facilitator, and musician. The knowledge that I am part of a whole, and what I offer could make a difference in someone’s life drives me to show up with authenticity and kindness. Within every exchange there is an opportunity to learn and be nourished in return. I grew up within the intergenerational community of the Shaw Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, where both of my parents are actors. I learned that artists are not separate from the communities they serve. The audience and the artist both have a responsibility in bringing a creative vision to life. I fully believe that it takes a village. My current creative team is local to Niagara including my producer, mentor, and friend Fred Gabrsek. He is a luthier, sound designer at the Shaw, and has been a vital part in the journey of my music finding its wings.

What was the first thing that got you interested in music?

Growing up, music always filled my home. My parents introduced me to an array of genres. I was singing Gershwin’s “Summertime” in the bathtub at the age of two, and dancing in the living room to The Beatles, The Rankin Family, John Denver, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Ella Fitzgerald to name a few. I performed in two musical productions at the Shaw Festival at a young age, where I discovered a deep love for telling stories through song. When I received a guitar for my sixteenth birthday, songs came flowing through. Music remains my channel for ruminations, meditations, and revelations.

Describe to our audience your music-making process.

There’s a defined moment when the seed of a song reveals itself, sometimes when I least expect it and often when I’m in motion. The guitar, melody, and lyrics are usually conceived simultaneously. My songwriting style is guided by ear, intuition, and lots of vocal improvisation. I then share the tune with people I trust and they become co-creators by holding space for the song to live outside of me, and perhaps sprinkle their own musical magic into the mix! I’m all about a good jam session.

What advice would you give other musicians?

Advice to “other musicians” also feels like a note to myself. Here goes:

Find out what matters to you. Start there. What makes you unique is also what brings value to your work. When seeking inspiration, focus on the details that make a moment powerful, through your eyes. Stay curious. Be your own friend…not just your own critic.

How did it feel when you released this new music?

It felt like a song-birthday, a milestone moment. Putting something out into the world is both vulnerable and liberating. I have always thought of songs as babies that are conceived, grow, and fly the nest! “The Earth Has Music” was greeted with support from my community and people I have never met around the globe. I’m grateful to every person who has chosen to tune in and share their reflections. It has given me the fuel to continue the momentum toward the release of my album.

And finally, if you could collaborate with any musician/band, who would it be? And why?

Joni Mitchell. Her lyrical poetry and soundscapes tell stories that captivate my soul. Her radiance, immediacy on stage, old soul, and playful wit are true gifts. I love the way she experiments with a variety of styles and moods. She was also a trailblazer within the male-dominated music industry of the 60s. I grew up with her songs, and they still accompany me through life. The ultimate dream: a cup of tea and a jam session with Joni!

You can find more information about Michaela Bekenn at...