Faith Becnel sometimes feels like she’s living two separate lives.
“It’s crazy,” she said. “I’ll come to school and no one knows what I just did on the weekend. It’s like two different worlds.”
The newly graduated Destrehan High School alumnus has already become a longtime fixture on the local music scene as a singer, discovering her love for it at the age of 10 when she sang at a 4-H Club talent show at DHS, performing before a large crowd for the first time.
It certainly wasn’t the last time. At age 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 she has auditioned for “The Voice.”
Becnel said she is extremely excited to take the next, post-graduation step in her life.
“I’ve always kind of been looking toward my future for a long time because I‘ve been in the music industry for a long time,” Becnel said. “So I’ve kind of had my goals set, but now it’s like I finally get to achieve them. It’s one step closer to all of that and becoming completely focused on my music career.”
Though she’s finished with high school, she’s not entirely done with school as a whole — and, in a sense, she doesn’t plan to be for a long time. Becnel will attend Southeastern University, where she plans to study education. She said that ideally she’d like to teach younger students around the third, fourth and fifth grade age groups.
Becnel recalls taking more than a few fellow musicians aback years ago, when she was a 10-, 11- and then 12-year-old “little girl with the big voice.” Back then, she and a group of classmates formed a band called “The Rowdy Rough Boys and a Girl,” who won that fateful 4-H competition. She hasn’t slowed down since: she’s formed her own band, Faith Becnel and the Music Krewe, while also singing with other groups when the opportunity arises.
She’s not taking many people by surprise anymore. Her involvement with the music scene has already spanned nearly eight years.
“The musicians in our band are all 50 or older, professionals … I’ve gotten so used to it, and it’s such a shift in how you act (with older and younger groups of people),” Becnel said. “It’s totally different.”
In her sophomore year, Becnel was voted Most Likely to Be Famous by her Destrehan classmates. But she doesn’t wish to venture out far from her hometown: Becnel’s goal is to become a fixture playing at weddings and festivals, and she hopes it happens locally, citing her love of New Orleans music.
“Someone’s wedding is such a special day and you want everything to be perfect,” she said. “I’m a perfectionist when it comes to the stage, so I feel like it’s a natural fit. And festivals … my main goal when I sing is to see people dancing. When I see that, I’m like, ‘Good, I’ve achieved my goal for the day.’ And that’s the perfect venue for that.”