Rebecca Porter’s music video for her song “Shadow of Doubt” is out! You can watch it above. The song comes off of Porter’s recently released EP “Prime Rainbow Conditions”. You can check out the full EP here. The music video was filmed at Purcell Park and The Golden Pony, an independent small venue in the heart of Harrisonburg, Virginia, where Porter resides. The venue is also one of Porter’s favorites to play. ‘I love this venue. It has an amazing atmosphere, and the owner is a great support to me and my music career’.
“Shadow of Doubt” is the account of someone living through and surviving a domestically violent relationship, while simultaneously doubting their belief in a higher power and the possibility of deliverance from evil. A hauntingly powerful and personal reckoning, inspired by Porter’s own experiences and survival of domestic violence. If you need help, when you are ready you can reach confidential help at the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or Text "START" to 88788. More information can be found on their website here.
All of the songs from the EP were written by Porter herself in 2020. ‘I wrote all of these songs at home alone with my infant in 2020. The lyrics and sometimes the melody came naturally to me. Voice Memos was a super helpful app at the time. I never really played guitar or even considered myself a guitarist until we all were stuck at home in 2020. I took that time to really learn the instrument and add to my knowledge of a few chords that I knew beforehand. I had been told in the past that I was not a guitar player but when I went into the studio the (Jacob Briggs) sound engineer said I sounded great and we kept it’.
This EP represents more to Porter than just an EP. For a long time in her performing style, Rebecca has been told things where it may not have been meant to be rude, but they clearly were. ‘People said to me that “you don’t look country, or your look doesn’t match your voice”. I felt that I could never speak up at a show because I didn't want anyone to not come back. People would suggest that I sing “my” kind of music. The buildup of those comments led to phases where I had to step back and not perform’. While this was discouraging, Porter never backed down. She always found herself missing that spotlight. A personal touch to the EP is that her husband, Chris Porter, who is a tattoo artist at Alley Cat Tattoo and Piercing in Harrisonburg, Virginia designed the album cover art.
One tool that has helped Rebecca is Rissi Palmer’s Color Me Country Podcast. She finds Palmer and the podcast inspiring because she could see and hear from Black and Brown artists in a genre that is unfortunately not always accepting of outside standards. ‘I don’t like being told “You’re not this genre, you’re this”. This kind of thinking can lock people into genres and shuts the door for creativity. The work that Rissi Palmer is doing is crucial for people like me, who used to feel alone in the world of country music. I also have to mention Holly G and the Black Opry for giving Black artists in Americana, country, folk and blues music a platform. Her open letter to the Grand Ole Opry about their recent actions speaks volume. I used to want to play the Grand Ole Opry but as of right now, not anymore. It is supposed to be this massive career marker and a welcome in the genre. Historically, it has been a disappointment. As it stands, I would not be interested in playing there’. Another voice in the country music world that Porter admires is journalist Marcus K. Dowling. ‘I went to see Brittney Spencer play a show in D.C. Before the show, I was completely surprised and internally fangirled when I walked in and saw Marcus. I wanted to introduce myself, but wasn’t sure if words would even come out. His articles and his tweets are so insightful and I truly appreciate his work’.
Porter was born in Guam and moved to Virginia as a toddler. She was raised in church which is where she credits where she learnt to sing. ‘I went to both private and public school in my lifetime. Public school was a shock to me because of the large class sizes. Unfortunately, as I got older I did not have an opportunity to be in the school choir which required a lot of extracurricular time. In middle school and high school I found myself listening to music all the time, but I could not actively pursue it’. At home, Porter’s Mom loved Dolly Parton. Rebecca grew up listening to Parton’s “White Limozeen'' and “Eagle When She Flies” albums. ‘Dolly is a whole embodiment. She is a regular person, but also a singer, songwriter, and businesswoman. She’s not a triple threat, she’s a quadruple threat’. Towards the end of high school Porter sang a Faith Hill song at her graduation. She then went on to participate in local pageants for scholarship money to pay for her continuing education. She made it all the way to the Miss Virginia of America competition where she took the stage with Martina McBride’s “Broken Wing”. ‘The pageant system, they did not want a country ballad. But I knew that I wanted to sing country music and I stick to what I want, not what someone tells me to do or what they expect me to do or sound like.’
When reflecting on what music means to her, Porter says ‘I tend to stay guarded in personal situations and music is always and has always been there for me. I don’t hold back when I am performing and it’s my safe space. In the song, on the stage, I am safe there, I can put out whatever I want to be out there. I want all aspiring artists to know that you should take your time, really look at yourself and why you do music and why you write the music that you write. Find people who support you for being you. Don’t let someone change you. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Open your mind and ears up to those of whom you listen to’.
Porter has some shows coming up in the next few months including an EP release party! Make sure you follow Rebecca on Instagram at @rebeccaportermusic and find more information on her website here.