At 16, DHS junior is rising star

Faith Becnel has been singing from youth

It might seem like small potatoes for someone who has performed on stage so many times already in her young life, but Faith Becnel will always remember that 4-H Club talent show at Destrehan High School.

Becnel was 10 when she got on stage that day and sang before a large crowd, and it was that day she discovered it was her calling. She sang with the band, “The Rowdy Rough Boys and a Girl,” won the competition, and she hasn’t slowed down since then.

A junior at Destrehan, the 16-year-old has already made a name for herself as a rising star on the music scene. At the age of 12, she recorded her first CD.

At 13 she formed her own band and auditioned for “America’s Got Talent,” where she made it to the top 70 of 1,500 acts and was given a producer’s audition.

She has performed with acts like Vince Vance and the Valiants, Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. and The Topcats and at shows featuring Amanda Shaw and Irma Thomas and has auditioned for “The Voice.”

Becnel said she performs two to three gigs a week as she continues to chase her dream.

“I feel like I’ve finally found my genre,” she said. “I love Zydeco and R&B … It really just hit me that I was on stage with Rockin’ Dopsie. Hopefully I can get on with him a little more.”

Becnel sang in choir and performed in stage plays growing up, and she said that there’s nothing like the feeling of performing in front of a crowd.

“I remember the rush of adrenaline the first time,” she said. “And now, I’m fearless. It’s my favorite part of it all.”

It takes a great deal of work, of course, but she’s managed to balance her passion with her other responsibilities. She’s maintained a 3.4 GPA and is involved with the school Beta Club while taking voice lessons and performing multiple times a week.

“I love to do it,” said Becnel, noting she had just completed her voice lessons for the day in Baton Rouge, an hour away from her home. “It’s my job, my hobby; I do it all the time.”

In her sophomore year, Becnel was voted Most Likely to Be Famous by her Destrehan classmates.

“My friends really support me,” Becnel said. “They’ve been awesome. It definitely makes everything more gratifying.”

Becnel’s band, “Faith in the Music,” has performed at Andouille Fest, Monster Mash, Alligator Fest, Cruisin the Coast, Audubon Zoo, Orpheus Ball, Grand Marshal of Lil Rascals, Lundi Gras, Zeus Parade, New Orleans Yacht Club, Sacred Heart Fair and Jesuit Bazzar, just to name a few events.

Counting Etta James and Christina Aguilera among her major musical influences, Becnel has big ambitions for her future in the music business, though she said her goals have shifted a bit from when she began and aspired to be the next Miley Cyrus.

After performing with Rockin Dopsie, she said she would love to follow in his footsteps as a one-day Louisiana music icon — and the well-known performer Dopsie can see it happening, having described Becnel as “the future of music in Louisiana” after a performance.

“I really like that idea,” Becnel said. “He’s a Louisiana legend, and hopefully one day I can be that too.”


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