Underrated Musicians: Regina Spektor
By Krista S.W
I remember looking at Apple promotional posters and I would sometimes see the album art for “What We Saw from the Cheap Seats”. The title stood out to me. Is it about seeing things in a baseball stadium? I would wonder. I imagined what the album sounded like. Maybe it would be jazz? But then one day, I googled the name “Regina Spektor”. I listened to some of her songs, then to her albums, and I started falling in love with her. She has become one of my favorite artists since then and I wanted to share my love for her with you. Who knows? She might become the next artist on your musical radar.
Regina Ilyinichna Spektor was born on February 18, 1980, in Moscow, Russia. As a child, she started playing the piano and was classically-trained. But due to their religion, her family emigrated from Russia and eventually settled in the Bronx, New York. Her piano was left back at home so she would practice by tapping on window sills at first. Fortunately, she found a piano teacher that gave her free lessons and she continued to advance in her talent. Spektor started to write songs at the age of sixteen, and she studied at the State University of New York at Purchase.
Her first two albums, 11:11 (2001) and Songs (2002), were self-released albums. However, she signed with Warner Bros and released her major label debut, Soviet Kitsch in 2004. Her most successful song, “Fidelity”, came from the following album Begin to Hope (2006) and peaked at #51 on the Billboard Hot 100. Since then, she has released another three albums, performed at the White House, and her Grammy-nominated song “You’ve Got Time” is the theme song of the hit show Orange Is the New Black.
Spektor has her own charm that makes her stand out from other artists. She enjoys many styles of music (classical, folk, jazz, etc.) and her songs are influenced by those genres. Her lyrics come from her imagination and are based on different scenarios, which tie-in together to create her own style of music. Seeing her in concert in-person was a great experience and it made me gain even more respect for her.
A few song recommendations would be “Dance Anthem of the 80s”, “Ne Me Quitte Pas”, “The Calculation”, “On the Radio”, and “Machine”. I hope you’ll enjoy listening to Regina Spektor as much as I do!