Becca Mancari is a kind and wonderful woman. She shines a light that is visible in the most brilliant of ways. Her energy is palpable. The kind that draws you near. The kind that radiates. The kind that conjures pictures of childhood and innocence and unconditional love. The way it was before the world moved on. She carries this into the present in the most beautiful of ways, in her music. Hers is the healing kind. The fighting kind. The righteous kind.
Recently she graced us with her time and insight. Below is a glimpse into her wonderfully creative mind.
GSLM: Do you remember your first time on stage? When was it? What did you play?
Mancari: The first I remember being on stage, I was very young. Probably, 5… I was making music. I got my first guitar at 12 and my first “gig” at 14, I remember at that time I was of the only girls playing guitar. I’m so glad that has started to change, and that so many young girls are learning!
GSLM: “Summertime Mama” is packed full of lines that make the songwriter in us scream, “I wish I’d written that!” In particular,
“Cover me like a storm cloud does
in the afternoon when you’re caught off-guard
Never knew that I noticed you
Til I felt that lightning inside my arm”
Can you talk about what was going on in your life when you wrote this song?
Mancari: Well, I wrote that song about two years ago and I was in a very different time of my life… I was single, and had a couple of far away crushes… but I did meet this one woman, and she kind of took me by surprise. The line you referenced, “never knew that I noticed you till I felt that lighting inside my arms” I remember having that feeling… We had this one moment in time, and then she was gone. Since then we have become good friends, and I love how the song has such a light hearted feeling to it.
GSLM: Recently, at Americanafest, you played a blistering cover of Neil Young‘s “Ohio.” It left chills all over. People were visibly moved by your rendition. It comes at a very difficult (and that is being nice) time in our nation. As a songwriter and performer, what impact do you feel can be done to not only bring the problems to the forefront, but help reach an end.
Mancari: I think all we can truly do is tell the truth… search ourselves, and see what we are made of right now. It’s a risk to tell the truth and use our voices for those that don’t have one.. I’m a queer woman of color, and I think just not hiding and being comfortable with who I am and not hiding at this time is important including in what I write about.
GSLM: You are magnificently passionate. It comes across as kind, patient, understanding, and tinged with a fire that glows all over when you speak and sing. In your opinion, what can we do to bring change to the horrific ways that women are often treated, and further to reform the thinking that has let this come to be in any way looked upon as acceptable.
Mancari: Again we have be open and honest right now.. I know what it’s like to be afraid… and to feel like things will never change, but I try to surround myself with people who will stand up against the sick twisted world that says that, we as women are made for consumption, for abuse, for pleasure… against our will. Change is coming.. watch for it, it will come softly and beautifully and powerfully because women are a mighty thing to behold.
GSLM: Nashville is truly music city. The eclectic nature brims with possibility. The amount of shear talent here, at any given time, is quite simply astounding. Not only have you released your own incredible new album, ‘Good Woman’, but you are also actively working as a part of a three piece known as Bermuda Triangle (Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, Jesse Lafser). The project showcases several sides of your combined talents, including several of your songs. How did this come to be? And what can we expect from in the future?
Mancari: Truly, the Bermuda Triangle girls are my best friends and past life brothers, we just used to play on each other’s porches, and decided one night, “Hey, let’s play a show!”
It’s as simple as three women who believe in each other, and want to encourage and be creative together.
Oh, and we will be around! Keep your eyes open for more music.
GSLM: Imagine that you are sitting around with friends talking about your life in music. What is your “I can’t believe that this happened to me” or “I can’t believe that I got to be a part of this” moment?
Mancari: I think truly say I’ve always know I was going to play music…. but in the same breathe I’m a slow learner and take my time with things.. I’m just so thankful I have the chance to do it. Sky is the limit…. I’m ready to see what’s next.