Story & Photos by LISA ANDERSON
Becky Sinn has been captivating Ocala with her voice since she was a teenager. She dazzles us with her smooth tones, powerful and playful lyrics, red gowns, opera gloves, and the carnival-style clothing she frequently wears. She regularly performs in town, as well as in Gainesville and The Villages. You may have seen her confidently perform as Dr. Sinn in Dr. Sinn’s Freak Island Musical Sideshow, as a solo artist, or as the lead singer in the band Swing Theory, but Becky hasn’t always had the confidence she does now.
“I had a really hard time after I graduated high school. I lost my dad, and there were a lot of tragic circumstances. I was just in a bad place. I didn’t have the level of self-esteem that I do now.”
Growing Up in an Artistic Environment
“There was always music going on in the house. I don’t know how I remember it, but I can remember when I was about two or three, I was lifted up to the piano seat and allowed to bang on the keys as much as I wanted.”
Becky’s parents encourage her and her brother to play music and make art. “I got my first electric guitar when I was about 14, but as soon as I was big enough to hold a guitar, my daddy put one in my hands.
“I was never afraid to touch an instrument to see what sound it made or if I could play it. My parents always fostered that and encouraged us to pick up instruments.” Her voice is filled with admiration for both her parents.
Her daddy played the banjo and her mama played the autoharp, the latter of which is now a part of Becky’s collection of instruments. They taught her everything they knew how to play. However, they played everything by ear, so Becky didn’t learn how to read music. She eventually taught herself how to read guitar tablature from the guitar and rock magazines she had as a young teenager.
Becky’s confidence took a big hit at seven years old, and it was a few years before she found the courage to sing for people, again.
Follow Becky’s Story
Posted on Instagram & Facebook August 4, 2021
FOLLOW ME (1 of 4) “I remember getting discouraged in music class as a seven-year-old. I tried out for the school choir, and I didn’t get in. I took that as my voice wasn’t good. I was always insecure in environments like that.“I first found out I could sing when I was [older], in my room, thinking I was alone and just belting out songs from The Little Mermaid.”Becky, who was 10 at the time, wasn’t alone. Her family, including her cousins from out of town, were listening at the door. When she finished singing “Part of Your World,” her family cheered. It was the first time she thought maybe she was good at singing.
Posted on Instagram & Facebook August 11, 2021
FOLLOW ME (2 of 4) Influenced by bands such as Nirvana, the angsty teen began experimenting with writing her own music around the age of fifteen. When Becky was 16, she played guitar for a band that performed at what is now the Discovery Center. Even then, she had a great appreciation for her own style. At the band’s first performance, she wore a long, blue gown with sheer sleeves, and she opted for bare feet, perfect for the 1960s-style dress. It wasn’t until her early twenties that Becky played her first solo gigs.
Posted on Instagram & Facebook August 18, 2021
FOLLOW ME (3 of 4) Becky sang backup vocals for a friend, who performed regularly at O’Malley’s Alley in downtown Ocala, but her first solo gig was at The Copa. “I met some wonderful people at The Copa, and they invited me to come sing. That was amazing. It was a whole new experience. I was still very nervous, but the tips were great there. I got my first fifty-dollar tip there.”That tip increased her confidence, but not enough for Becky to quit her day job.
Posted on Instagram & Facebook August 25, 2021
FOLLOW ME (4 of 4) “I always had a full-time job because there was always that doubt in my mind. You know, as you’re growing up, and you tell people your dreams, the people that love you, care for you, and don’t want to see you get hurt, they’ll tell you, ‘Honey, you’re great, but you’ll never make a living at it.’ I had people I admired and loved tell me that. So, I believed them!”Becky wishes she had started her full-time music career 20 years ago, but it took her time to find her inner power and confidence.“I started working on loving myself and getting to the point where this is my mission. It’s always something I had to do. If you’re an artist, you just have to be one. It’s not really a choice.”