Singer Becca Solodon’s album “In My Room,” released today on the Internet, will come out on CD next month.
STEPHANIE KINCHELOE PHOTO
TED MILLS, NEWS-PRESS CORRESPONDENT
April 16, 2008 7:41 AM
At 21, singer-songwriter and composer Becca Solodon stands on the threshold of the second stage of her career. Today her first EP, “In My Room,” was released on the Internet, to be followed next month on CD. And though it may be her first release, Miss Solodon has been careful in this, her first real volley into the pop world.
When she was 16, Miss Solodon was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, which led to the amputation of one leg below the calf. During this process, her dreams of becoming a professional singer led to some extraordinary connections. Just six weeks after leaving the hospital, she opened for Mariah Carey, one of her idols, during the star’s 2003 Santa Barbara appearance. Not long after that appearance, Miss Solodon was approached by at least three labels.
“I was offered contracts, but I knew it wasn’t the right time,” she said. “I took them to my lawyer and he said I’d be absolutely insane to sign them.”
Instead, Miss Solodon buckled down and began writing. A lot. And most of it at home.
“In My Room” refers in part to where most of that writing and recording takes place, and where she creates her romantic blend of pop and R&B.
“Half is my bedroom, the other half is my studio,” she said. “In 2003 I got my keyboard and ProTools (the sound production software), and in 2004 I got a microphone and put studio foam on the walls.”
The home studio became Miss Solodon’s musical laboratory, although she’s also befriended many producers along the way, including Ronnie King and Damion “Damizza” Young.
“They both pushed me to develop my songwriting before I started releasing anything. I was still writing and growing as an artist (in 2003).”
One of the first songs that, in Miss Solodon’s mind, reflects her true style as an artist is “Simply Irresistible,” created as a collaboration between the singer and a Finnish musician, Ves Rain, with whom she shares a common friend. Mr. Rain sent a song sketch via Internet, Miss Solodon sent back a vocal track, and Mr. Rain recorded the track live with musicians in Finland.
Other tracks on the six-song EP come straight from Miss Solodon’s home studio.
“It took me a while to learn, but I have recording down very well,” she said. “I’m quite picky, actually, especially about vocals. In the chorus sections, I have tons of harmonies, all my own. Mixing vocals is my specialty.”
One song close to her heart is “Always Watching Over Me,” dedicated to a younger friend, Krista Romero, who passed away last year from leukemia.
Miss Solodon met Krista at the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, which, along with other organizations like the Make-a-Wish Foundation, helped Miss Solodon with her own illness.
“Going to see Krista (in the hospital) was like seeing a younger version of myself,” she said. “And meeting her parents reminded me of my own. I knew what she was going through. She may be gone, but she will live on through the song.”
Since 2003, Miss Solodon’s once-hobby has now become a passion, and despite being a full-time student and working part time at the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, she has been pulling many late-night sessions to get the EP ready.
A full album of new material is planned for September, and she is still lining up concerts.
On May 3, Miss Solodon will perform at UCSB’s Relay for Life and that same night at a benefit show at the Santa Barbara Woman’s Club. An end-of-semester concert at City College is also in the works.
Becca Solodon’s six-track EP “In My Room” is available at www.beccasolodon.com.
©2008 Santa Barbara News-Press