“Every musician’s dream is to let the world hear their voice and I think the world hears my voice. Whether as the lead singer or a backing vocalist, I’m being heard. I am not in a hurry to put out my own music. I’m content with what I’m doing for now,” says Rebecca Abena Oparebea.
Rebecca Abena Oparebea is a resident backing vocalist at Oteng’s Drumline Studios for the past 3 years. She has sang backing harmonies on songs by Lady Prempeh, Noble Nketsiah, Jupitar and Joey B. She started as a “sessions” singer where artists will call upon her to lend her vocals to their songs in studio sessions. She has been graduated to live performance. Rebecca has performed on stage with some of the artists whose songs she has appeared on and has been one of the professional voices you hear behind the contestants on Ghana’s number one music reality show, Mentor, on TV3.
On what makes her unique from the hundreds of singers in the background, Rebecca says, “I think my job is pretty straightforward: Deliver the song as closely to the artiste or producer’s vision as possible. A singer will be asked to arrange backing vocals and harmony parts right there on the spot and that can evolve into the arrangement of the song. So knowing your keys and having a musical ear is important.”
Choice of backing vocalists, Oteng’s Secret Weapon
Producer Wei Ye Oteng (Justice Oteng) is known for his infectious highlife and gospel productions. His productions are known to have the live performance effect which makes them sound timeless.
“One important reason why my sound stands out is the vocal texture of backing vocalists I put of each record” Oteng reveals. “That is gotten from the backing vocals. The backing vocals in my productions has been 49 percent of my secret weapon.
“I attribute this to three of the industry’s sweetest vocalists I am blessed to have signed to my studios: Mary Ama Agyepong, Becca (Rebecca Abena) Oparebea and Sarah Abena Acquah”, he reveals.
The three are resident BVs at Oteng’ Drumline Production studios.
Backing vocalists or backup singers are singers who provide vocal harmony with the lead vocalist or other backing vocalists. While Sarah is superb at counter-melody, Rebecca usually sings alone as a lead-in to the main vocalist’s entry.
“They have been employed as professional backing vocalists at my studios and they are most often with artistes on the road in the weekend for various concerts”. This is why Oteng’s sessions with some of the big name artistes are during the week day nights.
Whereas Sarah usually backs most of the reggae/dancehall artistes, Mary’s high pitch vocals does the trick for most of the dancehall acts; Rebecca is the voice one hears behind most of the hiplife and gospel artistes cooked at the Drumline Studios. Mary and Rebecca are the resident backing vocalists for Oteng’s Drumline Studios for the past 4 years. Both Mary and Rebecca have offered backings to songs by Lady Prempeh, Noble Nketsiah, Jupitar and Joey B.
“The style of singing used by my backing singers varies according to the type of song and the genre of music of the artistes I am recording; for instance, the most experienced among the BVs, Rebecca often performs vocal harmony parts to support the lead vocalists”, he says.