Monday afternoon is quiet and breezy in the courtyard, which assures a good, uninterrupted chat with Becca Sutlive, current Skyline student and Songstress. She is kind enough to let me interview her on her hour lunch break from the Cosmetology program. In between questions and bites, she happily answers.

Where it all began…Becca was born and raised in Iowa City, Iowa, which is where she realized she enjoyed music and writing. It was at the altering age of 13 that her father, a musician, taught her to play the guitar, and the rest was history. Coming from Iowa, she is heavily influenced by country, blues, and a little bit of early 90’s grunge rock.

“When I was 13 and 14, grunge-rock was really big, so I was really into [bands like] Hole and Nirvana,” she explains, admitting that the first album she learned was Hole’s entire “Live Through This” album. Coincidently, my first impression of Becca’s style was a more somber and tame version of Courtney Love, although she says just because that was once her influence, she doesn’t feel that her music sounds like grunge-rock at all.

Becca has been compared to other musical greats like Sheryl Crow, and Chrissy Hynde of The Pretenders. But her personal favorite and biggest influence as far as songs go would be Lucinda Williams.

“There’s a divide between country and alternative country, and she kind of lies in between”, Becca tells me. Lucinda Williams is best known for her song “Passionate Kisses”, made famous by Mary Chapin Carpenter (1992). “[Lucinda Williams] is definitely my favorite now, and I think she’ll be my favorite forever. I get compared to her a lot, so I suppose she’s a really big influence”.

Where it lies now…Currently, Becca is on a bit of a hiatus, attending the cosmetology program here at Skyline. She and her newlywed husband moved to San Francisco two years ago, just after recording her debut album “One Bedroom Apartment”. She tells me about wanting to come off of her musical pause, and once again start playing shows to promote herself, all the while modestly shying herself away from talking about a show she played last summer at the Shoreline Amphitheatre.

“I actually played the side stage for the Sting and Annie Lennox show”, Becca says, somewhat smiling. “That was kind of a big show!”

She has also played a couple of shows at the 12 Galaxies. Upon asking why she hasn’t been performing recently, she explains how the Bay Area music scene is different in comparison to back home in Iowa. We speak about the booming “Indie Scene”, and whether or not she would consider entering it.

“I don’t think my style suits what I would think of as ‘Indie Rock’,” she explains. “I hate the term ‘Indie Rock’, because it’s ‘Independent Rock’, and I feel like if that were taken literal, I would fit into that [genre] really well.” Becca tells me a little about her experiences here with the punk and indie clubs, and that, despite my small reassurance that the music scene in this city is of a good variety, she just hasn’t quite found a “scene” to come back from her hiatus and rock to. However, if given the opportunity, she would be more than willing to put everything on hold and pick up where she left off.

“I need to feel like [musically] I fit in somewhere, and I just haven’t found that here.”