The BeeKeepers - 'What A Day'
With over 42,000 song plays on ReverbNation, The BeeKeepers are the #1 ranked indie group in their region. Their songs have been heard on over 70 radio college stations across the United States and on 66 TV channels. The 3 women have been described as having "gorgeously tight vocal harmonies which result in a hearing-secret-harmonies effluvium that goes beyond delightful and enters the realm of fabulous." (The Huffington Post)
The BeeKeepers's song "What A Day" (written by Amanda Sullivan) will be featured on BWH Music Group record label's compilation project "THAT SUMMER by Various Artists'. 10 QUESTIONS interviewed Mandy about the song, the summer and much more!
What is "What A Day" about and how does it fit into a project about the summer?
The song is about the cyclic nature of living through each day and relating it to a record spinning. Sometimes our eternal record may skip due to hardships but the people we love in life keep that record in rotation. The lyrics in “What A Day” reflects upon how love can grant us freedom from the everyday mundane and allows us to enjoy what is the song of life. “What A Day” fits into a project about the summer because both the song and the season are celebrations of the fruits of our labor. We work hard all year round and Summer is the companion we do it all for and know we can escape to. Not only can we think “What Day” when a trying day has finished but we can also think “What a Winter” when the cold is finally gone and we are basking in the sun. It’s the mentality that the hard part is behind us...until it circles back again.
Can you tell us a bit about how you wrote the song?
I wrote this song when I was younger, in my early teens. It was during a sort of coming of age moment for me when I started to realize that life isn’t easy; it isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. A lot of it reflects on observing the positive attitude my father always has had even after a hard day’s work. He is a mechanic and owns his own shop. Being a business owner and working with your hands requires a lot of your body and mind. He always was just so happy to come home to my mother and my sister and I. Sometimes he would come home and say: “What a day...I’m so glad to be home...” My mother is truly his muse and I think the relationship they have is what keeps both their records spinning.
Looking back, what was the best summer of your life and why?!
The best summer of my life is last year’s summer: 2017. My boyfriend and I traveled to Europe for the first time (I’ll elaborate more about this vacation in the answer to question 7), we both found great new full time jobs afterwards, and moved into our first apartment together. It was also a good summer for The BeeKeepers as well. We finished our first EP, Songs From the Hive Vol.1, and starting playing those songs out at gigs.
There are so many amazing artists on the compilation CD! Can you talk about a time in your career where you have collaborated with other artists and describe that experience for us?
I’d say the best time in my career that I collaborated with other artists is now. Working with Sylvie and Phred in The BeeKeepers is an amazing experience, it’s the gift that keeps giving. Sylvie and Phred are both established musicians in their own right. Sylvie is a classically trained guitarist like I am and actually was my first classical guitar teacher. She taught me a lot of what I now know and is truly a mentor of mine. The BeeKeepers started off with just Sylvie and I. Sylvie is an avid songwriter and needed a vocalist to sing her songs and record them. We started working together and writing songs together. While starting to record “What A Day” at Rotary Records in West Springfield, MA we felt like our duo was missing something. That something was Phred. We both knew Phred from a Celtic group we performed in. We invited Phred to join The BeeKeepers and the rest is history. Phred is essential to our group and adds so many layers and elements. She is a classically trained vocalist and plays a multitude of instruments, often at the same time. Phred and I usually split the songs between lead vocals and harmonies. Her voice is really something, and now I’m even taking lessons with her to improve my technique. So I guess I can say both of these women are teachers of mine. A couple of months ago we did a songwriting weekend with the three of us and that was really great. We worked on Sylvie’s new song: Broken Year and Phred brought some songs to the table as well. The three of us really jive and the dynamic makes for a great experience. The compilation, "THAT SUMMER by Various Artists', is all about songs that have something positive or remind us of Summer in some way. With that in mind, can you tell us how making music has had a positive impact on your life? Making music has had a positive impact on my life in a lot of ways. It’s brought me together with good-hearted people that I probably wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t for our shared love of music. Making music has also taught me things about myself. Through practicing my instruments I developed skills that build character: diligence, patience, critical thinking, how to effectively express myself to others, how to work well with others. Music also has also been there for me during emotional times and consoled me in ways that nothing else can.
Where do you live or work? What is the music scene like there? Is there anything special that goes on in June, July or August in your neck of the woods?!
I live and work on the Connecticut shoreline. There is a lot going on here in the summer but since I just started a new job and have been focusing on that I haven’t gotten the chance to really explore what the area has to offer. In my old neck of the woods in Norwich, CT, an older festival has been revived after years of being dormant. I’ll tell you more about it in my answer to question 8.
Describe your favorite vacation! Do you ever take a vacation or a break from writing, playing or performing music? During July of 2017 my boyfriend and I traveled to Rome and it was my favorite vacation. It was our first time flying overseas. The trip was something magical, both of us still daydream about it. The flight to Rome was the neatest thing. We saw the snow capped Alps and then the island of Corsica (or what we thought was Corsica) and the blue waves of the Mediterranean from our window seat. When in Rome we stayed right outside the Vatican. We took tours of the sites we had only seen in history books: Vatican City, St.Peter’s Basilica and The Sistine Chapel, The Colosseum, The Villa Borghese, Castel Sant’Angelo, the Crypts, The Spanish Steps, the Palatine. We ate a lot of pasta and gelato and drank an ungodly amount of red wine. We walked everywhere on the ancient cobblestone streets. At nighttime we laid on the marble steps of Vatican City which were still warm from the day’s sun and watched passerby’s and the stars. I do take some time from writing, playing or performing music. I try to make at least one day a week music free to kind of restart myself for the rest of the week when I’m practicing, rehearsing, or performing. The BeeKeepers usually take a bit of time in the summer, usually in July or August and then around Christmas time to take a break. It’s good to take breaks. It keeps things fresh.
The music scene seems to be bursting with Summer Music Festivals. Do you have a favorite music festival that you play in or attend or is there one summer music festival you would love to play in?
Last year in Norwich, CT the Rose Arts Festival came back to life. I heard it was a big event in the 70s and drew a lot of big names for performances. Now it promotes local arts which is always fantastic, no matter where you are. The BeeKeepers performed for it and now this year I’ll be performing solo in a “songwriters in the round.” One festival that is local that I have heard of is The Podunk Bluegrass Festival. One of my past guitar students brings her airstream trailer and her dogs there and camps out at the festival for the days it goes on. They all watch the performances during the day and later on into the night everyone just jams by their campfires. I also just bought a mandolin and I want to get into bluegrass. I also think The BeeKeepers would be a good fit to play it one day. Even though we are more alternative folk-pop, I feel like we have a tinge of bluegrass that the Podunk audience would enjoy.
Looking beyond the Summer, what is on your radar for 2018-2019?
The BeeKeepers want to start producing singles and hopefully a music video. Maybe we can look towards creating a more robust internet presence as well. The ladies and I have been reconfiguring our game plan out to suit our lifestyles and our goals. As for myself, I picked up the mandolin and want to start learning it and incorporating it into new BeeKeepers songs.
Tell us where fans can access your music.
Our website has all our songs, tour dates and more.