Photo Credit: @violetslens
Music has always been a passion that’s run deep within the confines of the reality Kristen Beckwith but several years ago she put it all on hold to combat being in a bad place. She notes it was “a dark chunk of life” adding, “Making the choice to seriously pursue music in 2017/2018 was a process! It wasn’t immediate. It was more of a gradual realization that that’s what I was meant to do and what I truly wanted to do for my life.”
Today, Kristen has pushed herself out of the dark place and into the light with the help of her debut, ‘A True Story,’ as well as the adventures that come with being a new mom. We talked about her growth, mental health advocacy, and more with this delightful singer-songwriter.
Kendra: How do you feel you’ve grown as a songwriter from “My Heart Passes Time” to your 2020 debut, ‘A True Story?’
Kristen Beckwith: Oh I feel like I’ve grown so much! The few songs I wrote before I made the switch to pursue music seriously were very different from the songs I eventually wrote for the album. Practice and experience were the driving factors in that area I think! I started writing a lot and performing a lot, and I think that helped me find my groove. I learned how to express myself with my songwriting. It’s something I love to do and am always learning more as I go along!
Kendra: On the album, you have a beautiful song called “Safe Place.” If we were to build a physical safe place inspired by ‘A True Story,’ what would the design aesthetic be?
Kristen Beckwith: It would be cozy! My husband laughs at how often I use the word, “cozy.” I love a cozy setting. To me, it means warm, comfortable, and inviting. A physical “safe place” that matched my song, “Safe Place” might be a log cabin with a fireplace and soft carpet, with big windows, and beautiful artwork of nature on the walls. Of course, it would need to be good food and your favorite people!
Kendra: You’re not shy about talking about mental health and being an advocate, but that hasn’t always been the case for many – especially musicians. Do you feel as if these conversations had always been normalized that we could’ve saved some of history’s best and brightest musicians from eventually leaving this world behind?
Kristen Beckwith: For the most part, I do believe that. Mental health issues can be some of the most incredibly lonely and scary issues to face. And so much of it is perpetuated by fear and shame and feeling alone. So the fact that mental health is much more openly discussed now is amazing and I’m sure life-saving in many cases. At the same time, since it is such a lonely issue, some people still suffer in silence.
Even now when I’m having anxiety or going through something difficult mentally, I don’t always want to reach out. I do because I know I need to. But mental illnesses are sneaky and the thoughts that come with them can convince even the most knowledgeable and otherwise sane people to not reach out and to bear it alone. It’s rough! But absolutely, being open about it has definitely been a helpful step in that area.
Kendra: Are you involved with any mental health organizations right now, or are you looking to partner up in the future?
Kristen Beckwith: I’m not involved in any mental health organizations right now. I would be open to that in the future for sure.
Kendra: Time for a little game we play every so often here – it’s called Cover, Duet, Tour With. It’s pretty easy…when it comes to Joni Mitchell, Sara Bareilles, and Kacey Musgraves…which would you like to cover, duet with, and hit the road with?
Kristen Beckwith: Sara Bareilles! I’m a big fan! I love her music and do cover it often. It would be amazing to duet and tour with her!
Kendra: Lastly, it’s hard to have a definite answer when it comes to future plans given the current state of everything, but as far as what you can control when it comes to your career and creativity – what do you have planned in the coming months for yourself?
Kristen Beckwith: Good question! I actually just had a baby! It’s been amazing and difficult and everything in between. So, along with being a new mom, I am starting to write new music that I plan to release this year. I also plan to release more covers. And in October or November of this year, I will be releasing my first full-length Christmas album. I’m excited to see where this year takes me and my music!