Top Tunes with Rebecca Jade Hammond

Hi Rebecca great to meet you, can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?
I’m a Cardiff born actor and writer and more recently Artistic Director of Chippy Lane Productions Ltd. My next project is “Chippy & Scratch – Does The Diff” performing Tuesday 18th July at Chapter. Limited tickets still available This is a scratch night for emerging Welsh and Wales based playwrights.
This chat is specifically about music and the role it has played in your personal and professional life. Firstly to start off what are you currently listening to?
Well – firstly this was such a great challenge to put together. Music is a massive part of my life and work. It’s so funny as what I’ve chosen now is not what I would have chosen fifteen years ago when I was obsessed with Garage, Incubus and Dido. However, I’ve tried to mix it up to reflect what was me then and now as it’s all contributed to my current taste.
At present I’m listening to H.E.R a mashup of soft R&B and vocally reminiscent of early Aaliyah. Soulful and sassy and easy on the ears it’s great listening when you want to block out the noise of the city. If you like Ray Blk and FKA Twiggs I would definitely recommend it. Old R&B reminds me of my teens, circa 2001 when all I cared about was my Adidas Galaxy’s and my discman breaking (anti-shock button was a lie, it never worked) so any R&B at the moment new or old is very much on my playlist.

We are interviewing a range of people about their own musical inspiration, can you list 5 records/albums which have a personal resonance to you and why?
“Bjork” – It’s impossible to pick one… all of her albums are such exquisite provocative pieces of work. Each, cinematic and theatrical. All of her music transports you to a space of sublimeness. I have to pick though, so probably “Post”. The first play I ever wrote, which looking back was frightfully naive and man-hating included tracks from this album. You can’t help but want to move when you hear her music and it’s impossible to sit still. I remember seeing her live and it was otherworldly and I always feel happier listening to her voice. Favourite track – “Possibly Maybe” – mainly because I’m a sucker for great lyrics and hopeless romantic and when she sings “…but afterwards I wonder, where’s that love you promised me? Where is it?” makes my heart breaks every time.

“Imogen Heap” – Everyone who knows me, knows that Heap is my idol. Her musicianship, creativity and talents knows no limits. Who re-mortgage’s their house to make an album? She is the antithesis of a musician making music to belong to other art forms. I had the pleasure of watching her work as the soundtrack to a Frantic Assembly piece called Pool No Water by Mark Ravenhill several years ago and again in the new Harry Potter play and it simply is extraordinary. Her album “Ellipse” – my favourite I listened to whilst writing a my Masters dissertation on “Theatre as spectacle”. It’s one of those albums where you can listen the whole way through without skipping and it never ever gets overplayed because there’s so much to discover. Favourite track – “Earth”.

“Kate Bush” – I was lucky enough to watch her show in London in 2015. It was a theatrical feast of music, puppetry, Theatre and storytelling. I’ve never witnessed anything like it and i’m pretty certain anyone else who saw it would agree with me. Again, hard to pick a track… but probably “And Dream of Sheep” from “Hounds of Love.” Lyrically beautiful and thought provoking. I listen to a lot of Bush to get things done and I always do!

“Drake” – I can’t really explain it, but when I listen to his work much of what he raps or sings about is the want and need to strive to be better, for success. His compositional skills of sampling and mixing are in my opinion some of the best songs around. He is one of the few rappers that transcends his own genre. I love listening to his albums “Views” and “More Life”, when it’s on my ipod it’s impossible not to walk down the street with confidence thinking – I can do this! Top tracks is “Views”. Lyric – “The only way I got here, coz I put the work in, and did it with a purpose.”

“Beyonce” – Everything about her is just divine. Every album is symbolic of a new chapter in my life. She promotes power, feminism, equality and proof that if you work hard enough you can achieve great creative things. Favourite track – “Grown Woman” from her self titled 5th album. It makes me think anything is possible and it’s just great to dance to with friends or blast out in your car. I love her so much I did a parody in my webcomedy of her video 7/11, I mean I’m no Queen B but I gave it a good go.

Thanks Rebecca, just to put you on the spot could you choose one track from the five listed above and tell us why you have chosen this?
Imogen Heap – “Earth”. Her music is beyond important to me. She is, as my friends would say “Oh – Imogen heap, she’s just so you Bec!”.
Thanks Bec!
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