10 Questions with Singer-Songwriter Vicki Bentley
Updated: Mar 29, 2020
By Bridney C.
It is a pleasure to interview Vicki Bentley for the Sweet Scoop.
Vicki Bentley is a 25-year-old singer-songwriter based in New Hampshire. Growing up around music during her childhood, Bentley started performing in her early years.
She first started performing by singing the National Anthem at various baseball games and races. As a child, she also performed in concerts for her school and was deeply involved with her school's music clubs and programs.
Since then, Bentley is focused on her music career as well as performing at open mics and doing live performances. She recently started her YouTube channel to further promote her music and for her fans to listen to her music.
In this edition of 10 Questions, Bentley shared who her biggest writing influences were growing up, what her creative process is like, and discussed her YouTube channel.
Bridney C: How long have you been singing and performing?
Vicki Bentley: Growing up, my grandparents seized every opportunity to have me perform in front of an audience. As a little girl, I would stand up on a booth to sing to a crowded room of cranky folks waiting for a table. So, I suppose that's when I found my love of performing.
BC: What is your background in music? Tell me about your passion for music.
VB: My mother always told me that even when I was a toddler, I had a keen ear for music. My mother signed me up for vocal lessons for a couple of years, and I always had a huge involvement in my school's choral and music programs. I learned to play the piano at age 11 and also learned to play a variety of instruments in school which included the french horn, xylophone, and I was even on the drum line throughout middle school and high school! I was especially fond of my drum line experience, having attended a technical high school and being the only girl on the drum line. Later, I taught myself the guitar as well. I consider myself a "bonfire" guitarist- able to strum along enough for a good jam or two. I'm trying to practice more.
BC: Who were your biggest writing influences growing up? Which musical artist first inspired you to take up singing professionally?
VB: Some of my biggest musical influences are Lady Gaga, Adele, Jewel, Janis Joplin, and Tori Amos. Tori Amos especially inspired my love of the piano. She has the most beautiful strength in her melodies and creativity. I try to draw little things that I love about all of my favorite artists to shape how I would like to see myself. Janis Joplin's firey energy, Adele's grace, and Lady Gaga's charisma... the list goes on.
BC: How would you describe the type of music you create?
VB: Many of my songs involve my current feelings about specific people or moments in my life. However, I do have a couple of songs that just seemed to be a random expression about nothing specific. I tend to branch towards more moody, acoustic elements of songwriting.
BC: What is your creative process like? What kinds of things inspire you to write?
VB: Sometimes I find that my best work is unplanned. If I sit down on the piano, I find a chord progression I like, and just let the words flow. Usually, I draw my inspiration from my feelings at the moment. If I had a lot on my mind that day, it usually comes out as a more angsty, emotional piece. If I'm just in a great mood and loving life, it tends to come out with a bit more pep! Many of my song's subjects pertain to my feelings towards a specific person or event.
BC: How long have you had your YouTube channel? What made you start a YouTube channel?
VB: My YouTube channel is brand new! For years, I have been asked by family and friends, "Why don't you have a YouTube channel yet?!" Well, that day has finally come. I tend to want to be a perfectionist about those sorts of things. I decided to take the plunge and start posting content, even if it's imperfect! Being humble is much more important than being perfect. I'm no marketing genius - I figure that it's much more important than people like my music than they do my video editing techniques.
BC: Are you currently working on any new projects?
VB: I'm starting to branch out to do more live performances on my own. I find it intimidating to sing and play an instrument simultaneously, but I'm working on pushing myself out of my comfort zones. That is, after all, the best way to get better. I'm very excited to be hearing wonderful feedback from my family and friends, and even a few fresh faces that I'm meeting along the way.
BC: If you could work with any famous singer, who would it be? Why?
VB: If given the opportunity, I would love to work with someone like Shakey Graves. His music is so enchanting, and I obsess over the idea of harmonizing with his music. He is an extraordinary musician and has wonderful energy and aura. Am I fan-girling? ...Probably.
BC: Being that the new year just started, what is something you're looking forward to in 2020?
VB: I'm looking forward to sharing moments with my incredible friends who have been beyond supportive and helpful. For me, music is about sharing good energy and making waves with those you love. After all, music cannot be heard without an ear to listen.
BC: What is one message you could give to your fans? What advice would you give to a fan of yours who may also want to pursue a singing career of their own?
VB: To my fans, whom I refer to as friends, I hope people know how much it means to me, and how humbled I am to hear such beautiful compliments and encouragement to those who have found a love for my music. Your support is a constant reminder that I am loved, and all I want to do is be able to give that positivity back! It took me many years to gather the courage to push myself beyond my normal comfort zones. It started with stage presence, and then technical abilities, and now, to creating an online presence for myself. Take one stepping stone at a time. Have patience with yourself, and learn that if you were uncomfortable, you are growing! Take the time to take care of yourself. Nurture your body and your mind with whatever makes you happy. That will make a world of difference in your confidence.