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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

‘The Voice’ within: Rebecca Loebe

Published: February 3, 2012
Section: Arts, Etc.

On Feb. 5, right after the Super Bowl, NBC will be airing the second season of the phenomenal hit, “The Voice,” a singing competition like no other.

Contestants perform one song to four judges and a large audience. What exactly separates “The Voice” from “American Idol” or “The X Factor”? When contestants step on stage to perform, they are trying to attract at least one of the judges. The twist in “The Voice” is that the four judges—Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine from Maroon 5—have no idea what the contestants look like because their chairs are facing away from the performers. The four judges can only base their opinion and selection on the contestant’s voice and nothing else.

If one of the judges likes what they hear, they will push a button that will turn their chair around. As a result, the contestant is now on that specific judge’s team. If more than one judge presses the button, however, then the contestant has the option of choosing with whom he or she wants to work. When this happens, the judges have to convince the contestant to join their individual teams.

Since the judges are unable to see the contestants at first, each singer is distinctively chosen by talent alone. While this is already a novel idea for a singing competition show, “The Voice” is additionally unique because the show doesn’t focus too much attention on the emotional backstory of each contestant. Viewers are only exposed to the singers’ pure and natural talent. Furthermore, when one watches “The Voice,” one will hear more professional and trained voices rather than a novice vocalist. Once each judge has picked eight contestants, the competition officially begins. Each contestant enters “battle rounds” in which the contestants face off against each other vocally and ultimately the judges decide who will advance to the next round.

Last season, Javier Colon won the competition and took home the grand prize of $100,000 and a record deal with Universal Republic. One contestant, a fan favorite named Rebecca Loebe, attracted many viewers with her Indie Rock folk music influences. She is an extraordinary vocalist with years of experience in the music industry. Rebecca teamed up with Adam Levine and her rendition of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” was simply flawless and received numerous positive reviews.

Born and raised in Arlington, Va., until the age of eight, Loebe had a passion for music. When her family moved to Atlanta, Ga., she attended junior high school and started to play the guitar and write her own songs. At the age of 16, Loebe graduated high school and after her 17th birthday, she enrolled herself in the prestigious musically inclined university, Berklee College of Music, in Boston.

Berklee College of Music is a place where many aspiring musicians have the ability to experiment with their craft as well as gain knowledge of music from interactive courses taught by dedicated professors. As a student at Berklee College of Music, one needs the practice to gain professional skills to sustain a positive music career. Loebe did not waste any time at Berklee College of Music, as she received a degree in music production and engineering. A few years later, Rebecca decided she wanted to pursue singing as a full time career. With persistence, dedication, effort and talent, she did. Rebecca overcame one of the hardest obstacles, which was releasing her debut album titled “Hey, It’s a Lonely World” in 2004, which she self-produced. Her lyrics are filled with emotion and have a spiritual connection. When she begins singing, Rebecca can brighten a dark room.

In 2006, Loebe made a difficult decision that changed her life. She was courageous enough to tour full-time, which led to her decision to live in a 1992 Toyota Camry. A year later, Rebecca moved to Atlanta and recorded her second album; an EP entitled “The Brooklyn Series” then with a follow-up, a third album called “Mystery Prize,” which has been very successful on iTunes. A few years before auditioning for “The Voice,” Loebe won the coveted award at the Grassy Hill New Folk Songwriting Competition.

Since the competition of “The Voice,” Loebe has been touring the United States and, on Oct. 5, 2011, I had the privilege of seeing her perform live at Café 939, a student-run coffee shop at Berklee (like Chum’s at Brandeis). As always, Rebecca was energetic with each of her performances and her personality shined. Fans of Rebecca Loebe can always expect a spectacular show in which she will make viewers of all ages sing along and everyone leaves her concert feeling good. Although, Rebecca did not reign victorious, she is happy with the outcome and has gained so much experience by being in the competition.

“Start to finish, this has been an amazing adventure. I feel so blessed to have been able to sing two songs that I love and respect deeply with a band that I adore. More than anything I’ve enjoyed getting to know the other artists. It’s definitely felt a bit like a multi-generational musical summer camp, and I know we’re all going to miss each other a lot when we go home. I feel super lucky that my lifestyle on the road will give me the opportunity to visit my 33 new BFFs,” she said.

As of Jan. 11, Loebe started working on her fourth studio album. Just like her album “Mystery Prize” she has decided to have her fans fund her recording studio time by donating any amount of money by pre-ordering her fourth album on her website: I respect her choice because she wants to have full creative control and by having people donate, she is building a relationship with her fans. The reward will be well worth it.