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Get to know Roc Babi

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ELLSWORTH - Roc Babi is a band but it’s also the musical identity of a 22-year old vocalist originally from Southwest Harbor and currently based in the Ellsworth area. The band is in the process of recording their debut album at Main Street Recording Studios in Brewer. 

I spoke with Roc Babi last week about her life, her music and goals for her band.

The Maine Edge: Tell me a bit about your musical background.

Roc Babi: Music has been my passion for my entire life. Since I was a little girl, I’ve been involved in musical productions and community chorales. I took voice lessons when I was growing up and played a couple of instruments, but my greatest passion has been singing and vocal work. I attended the School of Music at Milliken University in central Illinois. It’s a very small school with a very robust music program. Now I’m back in Maine making music for a living and working very hard on recording an album.

The Maine Edge: You are Roc Babi but it’s also the name of the band. Is that correct?

Roc Babi: Yes. Roc Babi is a stage name but it’s important to me that that is the image that is conveyed. Roc Babi is a character, but she is me. She’s all about the music and conveying some very important message in the music. My personal life is a separate thing. Roc Babi allows me an opportunity to separate the two on the rare occasion when I need it. It also gives me the freedom to do whatever I want when I’m making music and performing.

The Maine Edge: Who is in your band?

Roc Babi: We’re in a bit of a flux at the moment with a couple of instruments but I have some solid hooks in on filling those positions. Jeff Crossman is our drummer. Kriste Bouvier is the percussionist. We’re working hard on recruiting a guitarist and I think we’re close on finding our bass player.

The Maine Edge: Where did the name Roc Babi come from?

Roc Babi: Some members of the band have been making music for as long as I’ve been alive. We were sitting in the rehearsal room and Jeff was using some rock-specific terms. I think he referenced a lead break or something similar. My background was more in musical theatre as opposed to band work. So I raised my hand and said “I have a rock baby question, what is a lead break?” I felt like an idiot but he thought it was funny. It happened a couple of more times and it kind of sparked something. Jeff came to me and said “What do you think of the name ‘Roc Babi?’”

The Maine Edge: When your album is complete, will it contain all original songs or a mix of originals and covers?

Roc Babi: The album will consist of all original songs with maybe one or two cover songs. These are songs written by me or by our drummer, Jeff. He has quite a backlog of finished songs and a lot of song ideas. He’s an amazing writer and it’s remarkable how relevant some of the songs are in today’s musical environment. I find them very easy to connect to and I think a lot of young people today will be able to connect to them just as easily.

The Maine Edge: Who are some of your musical influences?

Roc Babi: I loved Kelly Clarkson. I was convinced that I was the next Kelly Clarkson, but no, I’m going to be the first Roc Babi. Lady Gaga can do no wrong in my eyes. She’s an incredible musician, performer and person. I have a strong affinity for music with full, rich harmonies, which is one of the reasons why I also love the music of Queen.

The Maine Edge: What is your first musical memory?

Roc Babi: (laughs) There was a music video for kids released around the time I was born called “Wee Sing” (“Wee Sing” was a collection of live-action music videos for children featuring colorful characters imparting life lessons to children through song. The series began in 1985 and ended in 1996). There was one song called “Skidamarink” that I used to sing at every opportunity. My family encouraged it and this love of music and performing has just blossomed ever since.

The Maine Edge: Tell me about your live show. Do you have a full schedule of shows coming up?

Roc Babi: At the moment, we’re working very hard on this album, so we don’t have a full schedule of shows. Once the album is ready to go, we’ll be looking for opportunities to be booked into larger venues in Maine, New England, or hopefully across the country. We’re shooting big from the get-go.

The Maine Edge: Where do you see Roc Babi five years from today?

Roc Babi: I want Roc Babi to perform at the Grammys. There is no limit to what I want this band to accomplish and I know we can do it. We have the drive and we have the talent. I’ve had the passion for it as far back as I can remember. Five years from now, we may doing an Australian tour or a European tour. Go big or go home.

Last modified on Wednesday, 12 September 2018 11:34

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