By Alexander Lawrie
AN UNKNOWN Scots singer is on the brink of stardom in the US – after being inspired by superstar KT Tunstall.
Rebecca Caldwell, 25, from Arbroath, quit Scotland two years ago to find fame and fortune in California.
And now the pretty singer-songwriter has landed the gig of her life at the notorious LA club, the Viper Rooms.
The talented Scot has landed the prestigious date after signing to talent agents NXT Entertainment last July.
Rehearsals will take place over the next couple of weeks before Rebecca appears on stage at the celebrated club for a 45 minute solo set in December.
Her stunning vocals have been compared to American stars Jewel and Natalie Merchant, and she is currently gathering valuable live experience fronting local band The Remedy.
The world famous club – which was once owned by Hollywood legend Johnny Depp – hit the headlines in 1993 when the actor River Phoenix collapsed and died of a drugs overdose outside, aged just 23.
And Rebecca has admitted seeing fellow Scot KT Tunstall break away from her small-town roots to find success was an inspiration.
Currently making ends meet as a property leasing consultant in the Palm Springs area, Rebecca first started on the road to fame at the tender age of ten when she began singing and dancing in her local school plays.
She said: “I started to play guitar, sing and write music when I was about 16. I was with a guy who played guitar and he basically showed me three chords, C, F and G and the rest I just picked up myself.
“I took piano lessons at age 8 and at age ten my teacher wanted to give me exams so I quit because I didn’t want to be examined.
“I’m really excited about playing the Viper Rooms, it’s such a big gig for me. I’m still pinching myself I’ve come so far.
“It’s a small venue for around 250 people, so it’s a really intimate setting. I’ve still not got my head round it.
“I’ve been a fan of KT’s for a while, and I was really encouraged that she also managed to leave her town and make it big.
“I thought to myself, ‘If she can do it, so can I’. She’s such an inspiration to artists like myself.”
The singer studied Arts and Social Sciences at Strathclyde University for three years, but eventually had to choose between academia and trying to make a name for herself in the music industry.
She said: “I always had this conflict of whether I wanted to be a musician or do science. So after three years of college I came back home and began gigging, that’s when I made the decision to become a musician.
“I was always struggling with the dilemma, as the musician in me was itching to get out.”
Although settled in California, Rebecca still craves the little luxuries from back home.
Rebecca cites Fleetwood Mac, Sheryl Crow and Tracey Chapman as major influences on her sound, and reveals mum Molly is also an inspiration.
She said: “My whole family is really supportive, but I do miss Scotland very much. Luckily, my mum still sends me the little luxuries from home such as tea bags and Galaxy chocolate.
“She used to sing in a band when she was younger, and she has always encouraged me.
Rebecca also revealed she is about to film her first video in the Californian desert and that her debut album is almost ready for release.
“I’ve been in the studio since July working on a new CD. I’m working with a really great producer.
“The CD is very eclectic. There are a lot of my folk roots in it, but there’s rock and pop as well.
“The next step is my music video, and the first single will be called Friday Afternoon.
“I’m not counting my chickens just yet, but I’m quietly excited about the future.”
By Alexander Lawrie