Up Next: Reggie Becton Interview
Updated: Nov 19, 2020
Reggie Becton is an old soul with an undeniable contemporary sound. You never know what you’re gonna get when you listen to his music. It’s like pouring Sprite into a cup thinking it's just water, then suddenly you’re hit with an effervescent sensation of fizzling funk mixed with intoxicating and flavorful melodies. Speaking with Becton over Google Chat was just as refreshing and especially cool.
From PG County Maryland, Becton’s love for music always resided within him. With two older siblings, he felt he was “living in people’s shadows being the youngest child”. He told me that he wrote his first song in the 6th or 7th grade. At the age of 17, he started actively pursuing his dream of becoming a professional musician. At school, he was simply a shy kid who rarely put his voice out there. Few knew that he actually sang.
One night, Becton took a leap of faith. After working for a couple of weeks perfecting a song he wrote, he recorded the track on his Apple headphones in his mom’s basement and released it on SoundCloud. His anticipation was becoming a movie-like laughing stock, but the outcome was the complete opposite.
“People were like, Yo, I like the song you did. That was a really cool song ... people were like ‘this sounds good’. So … the reaction made me realize that like, most of the time… we have this fear of what people are gonna think, and we think the worst of what people would think instead of thinking the best I wish someone could think.”
During the coronavirus pandemic, almost everyone has been gifted with time to dig deeper into who we are or to try and learn something new. I asked Becton what he had been up to over quarantine and he told me that he was learning guitar and that he was getting better by the day. Later on in the interview, in-between questions, I mentioned to him briefly that I was trying to teach myself how to play the keyboard, and that it was hard. His response to me was relieving and pretty insightful.
“It's so hard, but you can do it. That's what it's teaching me … Once we get to a certain age, you got to go back to your ‘child mind’. Like you need to mess up and be free to make mistakes and have patience with yourself.”
His ‘child mind’ mantra ensures poise and quality not only with his six-stringed instrument, but I could see that it has had a direct influence on his singing and music production process as well. He told me that he and his team have been working tirelessly towards an album coming out next year, the release of a couple more singles this year, and a much-anticipated remix of his most recent song “Listenin’”. This track has a cozy candle-light vibe, but its underlying meaning exposes our skewed perspective towards love in today’s generation: How we’ve confused the lack of passion and yearning for our lover with the aching absence of toxicity. The kick-back-and-relax sound was effective and smooth, but the first Reggie Becton song I listened to was intriguing in a different way.
My first time hearing “Rainin’ In L.A” was thrilling. The electric guitar strummed a perfect melodic complement to Becton’s serenading vocals and his runs baited me to keep listening. I air-guitared around my room to the sound of a midsummer night in California. It took me there though I’ve never been there.
As I checked out more of Becton’s music, I stumbled upon another one of his songs “Y.O.U”. The play on colors paints a picture of the mood but it also gives a nod to his musical inspirations: Marvin Gaye with his signature orange beanie and Prince’s popular song “Purple Rain”.
“I think that a big love I have for Marvin Gaye was, of course, his voice and his way to write about the times and write about the world… It wasn't like cheesy or performative or construct it was just natural… Prince, of course, is one of my favorites. It's just about how he was so like, free in his music… To me, he is the definition-- he epitomizes what being a man should be.”
Prince and Marvin Gaye were phenoms in their own ways, but they were both music enthusiasts who spent time perfecting their craft. When asked about future plans, Becton explained that he hopes to one day use his platform to speak to the importance of being a ‘student of the game’ in the music industry. The lost art form of studying live shows and diving into discographies has arguably left today’s music starving for originality. The mere fact that such a gifted artist has the wisdom to recognize this need ensures that he is destined for greatness.