Interview by University of South Wales - Music Business, October 2020
Rebekah Selena Buffong, professionally known as BEKAH, is a British LGBT performing artist and record producer. She was born in Redditch, Worcestershire to a Montserratian father and Pakistani mother.
BEKAH grew up a Seventh Day Adventist, with her father being a preacher and church elder. In 2009 BEKAH won a local music competition where she performed to an audience of approx. 15,000 and was voted the winner. In 2010 she embarked on her first Schools Tour and by 2011 she was performing at Liverpool Sound City, MOBO Tour and Latitude Festival.
In 2012 Music For Youth selected BEKAH to open the final night of the Schools Proms. The annual event at the Royal Albert Hall sold out and she performed original Urban-Pop song, 'Fire' in collaboration with the Penzance Youth Strings Orchestra.
2013 saw her music video to 'Dancefloor,' which she worked on with director Chris Brooker, go viral resulting in the video being playlisted throughout summer on SKY TV's Channel AKA. In 2015 BEKAH caught the attention of BBC Introducing presenter Andrew Marston who selected her as second on his ‘One's To Watch’ list.
BEKAH received her first BBC Radio 1 play on Huw Stephen's show in 2016. Andrew has continued to champion her music resulting in consistent support from BBC radio both regionally and nationally.
BEKAH has been 'Artist Of The Week' and shortlisted to perform at Radio 1's Big Weekend twice as well as the Reading & Leeds Festival. She has also made Tom Robinson's BBC Introducing Mixtape twice and has been Hot Listed on BBC Sounds twice within the space of 12 months.
BEKAH continues to grow from strength to strength both as an artist and businesswoman.
● Who is Bekah in 3 words?
A beautiful anomaly.
● If you could impart wisdom to yourself back when you were just beginning music, what would you say?
Trust in your journey and your individuality.
● What's the biggest problem you've had to overcome so far?
● Who are your top five music artists/bands?
Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Rihanna and Ryan Leslie.
● What do you enjoy most about being a musician, and what do you hate most?
Creating something that didn't exist before I had the vision to create it. The expectation to be famous.
● If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be? Like every other industry, I would change it so that if a person is skilled and works hard, they can get into a position of "success". I would take away the element of chance and luck from the industry and make a clear cut path to success.
● Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety, and how did you deal with it? Not that I remember. I rehearse a lot, so I know exactly what I need to do when I'm on stage.
● Where do you look for inspiration?
● Why do you think there is a gender imbalance in the music industry?
There aren't enough females being publicised in positions beyond being an artist for women to aspire to be anything other than that.
● Do you think women receive enough support in the music industry, socially and financially?
No, and I would say that's because typically, women make less money from music as women tend to be the best consumers, and they tend to support male artists.
● Have things gotten better since the more expansive world movement of BLM, or do you still find yourself dealing with the same issues as before?
I think it's too early to tell. As it stands, nothing has changed for me.
● What do you get up to when you are not making music?
Music consumes most of my time. When I'm not doing music, I'm doing something that will support my music career, i.e. my part-time job as a Buyer. I have started attending dance classes, and I also spend a lot of time expanding my knowledge around media, which again aids my music career.
● The one thing you can't live without?
● What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Know why you want to do music because if you don't know that, you're likely to give up with the number of setbacks you will face. This is hard work!
● What is your favourite food?
● How would you describe your peaceful place?
Somewhere quiet and scenic.
● What do you believe in most?
● What are your goals for the rest of this year, and what objectives have you set for 2021?
Remain consistent while maintaining positive mental and physical health. I would like to perform a lot more in 2021, I'm missing the stage!
Music Business - Music and Sound
University of South Wales, October 2020.