Australian singer songwriter Rebecca Barnard says becoming a musician was not a choice – it was in her DNA.
‘Dad was a jazz musician. He was a drummer and there was always a lot of music around the house and I'm sure that had some influence on me, but I also believe that I was just genetically predisposed to it. You know, it's like someone with a science brain, music was like breathing, I didn't ever question that was what I was going to do.’
Despite her jazz pedigree, and experience singing and touring with several bands, it took a long time before Rebecca felt confident enough to write and sing her own songs.
‘I was a backing singer for Stephen Cummings for 12 years and he was such an incredible song writer and I’m still obsessed with Joni Mitchell and I just thought I could never, ever be anything like that,’ she says.
Luckily, she overcame her fears and wrote and performed her own songs as lead singer for Rebecca’s Empire, which featured on Triple J’s Hottest 100 albums three years in a row. She now sings regularly as a solo performer.
This year is the first time Rebecca has been involved in the Victorian Seniors Festival.
‘I’m sixty on Boxing Day, so I'm just sneaking in and I’m thrilled to be part of it,’ she says, although she finds the thought of sixty being considered ‘senior’ slightly bizzare.
‘I've got friends in their sixties and seventies now and we all grew up with rock and roll and we all still go to gigs and we're all still young at heart and it just doesn't sort of make sense,’ she says.
‘Hopefully this festival reaches a broad audience and highlights that creativity doesn't just dry up as you get older. It gets better.’
Watch Rebecca's 2020 Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined performance.