London-based jazz vocalist Becca Wilkins is a versatile musician with an assured sense of style. An experienced band-leader and collaborator, Becca is a powerful communicator and improviser, and has been building her portfolio as a contemporary jazz musician on the London scene for the last five years.
‘the singer ventures beyond confessional into the mystic more like lucid dreaming’
~ The Daily Jazz Blog
A graduate of the University of Birmingham and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Becca released her first creative music project in 2018 with pianist Tom Harris. wilkins/harris self-released an EP in 2018 with an accompanying UK tour. This tour took the highly-collaborative duo project to venues across the UK, including the Crazy Coqs and the Lescar, and most notably the duo were a featured support act for Kandace Springs at Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2019.
Since this tour in 2019, Becca has also been a regular collaborator with multi-award-winning composer, Olivia Murphy, and features on her releases afterglow of a dream suite (2019), paper-shaped people (2021), and moonrise (Jul 2022). This latter EP featured lyricism, intertwining lines and textures to explore a distant dreamworld over one night’s sleep, and was praised as “ethereal” and “rich in detail” by Jazzwise Magazine. In Olivia’s large ensemble project, the Olivia Murphy Jazz Orchestra, Becca is featured as a textural element and soloist in both the 2022 EP somewhere, not so far away, and the 2023 tour of the sister suite.
‘Murphy's long-time collaborator Wilkins has something of [Brigitte] Beraha's other worldliness'
~ Jazzwise Magazine
Beyond her work as a side-person, in 2019 Becca debuted an original compositions project, Gestalt; a contemporary, experimental quintet. This project showcased their original music to an eager audience at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, in late 2019, and the Vortex Jazz Club in London in August 2021.
Since this experimental project, Becca has gone on to release music with her two current projects of the alt-pop/soul rouquine, and the contemporary jazz quartet rêverie. Her debut single with rouquine, cloud cover was released in February 2023 with production from Abigail Adams. The music is a blend across genres of soul, jazz and alternative songwriting, with more music in the pipeline.
'Her vocals, piano stylings, and creative approach to arrangement & production combine powerfully to draw us into her rich and distinctive songwriting world. Evocative and imaginative'
~Oli Rockberger (Laura Mvula, Jordan Rakei, Becca Stevens)
By contrast, rêverie is a collection of reimagined French Chanson with her trio of Olly Chalk (piano), Sam Ingvorsen (bass) and Billy Pod (drums). This music brings Becca’s Francophilia into sharp focus through the lens of contemporary jazz, and the collection showcases her skills as a song interpreter, band leader and improviser. This music debuted in September 2023 in both London (Jazz at the Parakeet) and Saffron Hall, with more dates to be announced for 2024.
Elsewhere, Becca can be found performing with London Vocal Project, one of the UK’s leading contemporary vocal ensembles led by Pete Churchill, specialising in jazz, blues and groove music, as well as alongside exciting jazz pianist Maria Grapsa. Grapsa’s debut album life, released November 2023 features lyrics and vocals from Becca, as Maria explores both her own personal journey with music and her relationship to her Athenian roots, with folk-like melodies and thoughtful arrangements.
Alongside her performing, Becca is an accomplished vocal coach and teaches the Jazz Vocal undergraduate course at Leeds Conservatoire. Her understanding of jazz and vocal pedagogy directly informs her artistry as she continually pushes her exploration of the genre through her writing and unique stylings.