Q & A: Multi-Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter Roberta Lea Discusses New Single, “Somewhere in the Tide”

Multi-award-winning singer-songwriter Roberta Lea is building off the momentum of her last album Too Much of a Woman with the release of her new single, “Somewhere in the Tide”.

Recently, I spoke with Roberta about how she got her start in country music, her latest single and more. 

Kyla Pearson: For those who are unfamiliar with you and your music, can you tell us a bit more about how you got your start in music? Why did you choose to pursue “Country-neo-pop” specifically?

Roberta Lea: I didn’t consciously decide to pursue what’s been used to describe me as “Country-neo-pop” honestly. I was simply following what was naturally observed by listeners in my local scene and new followers online. At the heart of it all, I’m a songwriter and didn’t give much thought to the style or genre initially. It would mainly be the feedback I got from others that led me down the path of Country and when I made the decision to stay in that lane, it felt right at home.

Kyla Pearson: On March 1st, you’re set to release your latest single, “Somewhere in the Tide”--a song you’ve stated celebrates your “Home state Virginia, the music legends who came before you, and it represents the hopes and dreams you have for yourself as an artist”. Can you tell us a bit more about the track, and why these topics were something you wanted to highlight via your music?

Roberta Lea: The track was inspired by Something in the Water, a festival started by Virginia’s own Pharrell Williams. With all the buzz and excitement, a lot of local artists were collaborating to highlight the work we’ve been doing on our own, and I was just inspired by the energy. The phrase “There must be something in the water” was used to describe the musical talents that came from the area. So, my response to that was simply the fact that “whatever” is in the water, that includes me and my fellow artists too. 

Featured: Roberta Lea with her guitar.

Kyla Pearson: On a related note, who are some music legends you look up to? How have they influenced your music and sound? How have they inspired you?

Roberta Lea: My biggest inspirations are Tracy Chapman, Bill Withers, Tina Turner, Sade, Roberta Flack (I’m an 80s baby if you can’t tell, lol) and so many more. My childhood was rich with a large range of musical tastes from those RnB legends aforementioned to 90s pop/rock/country giants like Alanis Morrissette, Sheryl Crow, and Shania Twain. That variety of exposure colors my songwriter perspective and gives me the opportunity to be genre fluid while maintaining integrity as a country artist.

Kyla Pearson: One of the messages you want to share through this song is for fans to “Take pride in where they come from”. Why is this message important to you?

Roberta Lea: Our journey begins *somewhere* and that place shapes who we are and informs our decisions. Every good story has a setting: a place and a time. So, understanding where one comes from is important to telling one’s story; which is what art is all about.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Roberta Lea (@iamrobertalea)

Kyla Pearson: The lyrics of “Somewhere in the Tide” draw upon lots of natural imagery and are quite poetic. Is this in line with your usual songwriting style or an approach that is specific to this song? Can you also share with us more about the songwriting process as a whole?

Roberta Lea: The natural imagery is specific to this song because of the geographic diversity found in Virginia. The mountain ranges, the beaches, the cities and the country sides. My songwriting process typically tells a story like the other songs on the record, such as Threw It All or Stronger This Time. For this track, because it’s about Virginia, I wanted to mentally bring people here and help them visualize this space.

Kyla Pearson: Within the song you mention the old saying, “A rising tide is lifting all the boats”-- which highlights the importance of paying it forward. Especially in the music industry, how important would you say it is to uplift and celebrate your others along the way/throughout one’s journey as an artist? Can you recall a time someone has celebrated and/or helped you and the positive impact it had?

Roberta Lea: There’s the African proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” And I think that speaks to the importance of supporting one another in this artistic journey. There have been a number of times that someone who’s a few steps ahead of me took the time to see me, invite me and encourage me. Crystal Nicole, hit songwriter for Rhianna and Beyonce to name a few, did a writing session with me. Maggie Rose invited me to her concert in Alexandria. Holly G and Rissi Palmer are doing incredible work for black/POC artists in country music. All of those moments, no matter how big or how small, gave me the energy to keep going on this unbeaten path. That’s the power of community.

Featured: Award-winning singer-songwriter, Roberta Lea.

Kyla Pearson: According to you, what is the ideal setting for fans to listen to the track to fully experience it?

Roberta Lea: I’d say if fans have access to a body of water at sunrise or sunset, grab a blanket and headphones and tune in!

Kyla Pearson: Lastly, do you have any upcoming shows where fans can hear you play “Somewhere in the Tide” Live?

Roberta Lea: I’m excited to perform at the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News and Wolf Trap at the end of March. Also stoked to hit the road in the North East in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York for a continuation of my “Too Much of a Woman” tour.

Listen to "Somewhere in the Tide" Now:

Stay up to Date With Roberta Lea:

Works Cited

Lea, Roberta. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Feb. 29 2024.

PR team.”Roberta Lea’s New Single Hit’s Streaming”. Mar 1 2024. Press Release.

Roberta Lea. “Somewhere in the Tide.” Spotify, Heaven Lea Records. 2024. <https://open.spotify.com/track/0EzKdbmqixQJpMwh8AhWvY?si=1a4935be949d4c8b>.

Unknown. “Featured: Award-winning singer-songwriter, Roberta Lea. Photo courtesy of Roberta Lea. Accessed Feb. 29 2024.

Unknown. “Featured: Award-winning singer-songwriter Roberta Lea performing live. Photo courtesy of Roberta Lea. Accessed Feb. 29 2024.

Unknown. “Featured: Roberta Lea with her guitar”. Photo courtesy of Roberta Lea. Accessed Feb. 29 2024.

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