Becky Wiles, a country/folk singer/songwriter based in Oregon, Wisconsin (near Madison), has won the SongwriterUniverse “Best Song Of The Month” Contest for her song, “Free Kind of Me.” This song is included on her debut album, Free Kind of Me, which she released independently last month (August 2022).
“Free Kind of Me” is a graceful, melodic country song that starts softly, and then builds emotion with a full arrangement and added instumentation. The song provides a fine showcase for Wiles’ expressive, heartfelt lead vocals, and she also plays piano. One highlight of the song is the breakdown section, where there’s a gospel-like choir and handclaps that provide added energy. This recording was expertly produced by Jake Johnson at his Paradyme Productions studio in Madison.
Wiles grew up in Edgerton, Wisconsin, where she began playing piano at age six, and she became a classically-trained pianist. She started writing songs when she was 10, and she was inspired by such favorite artists as Natalie Merchant, Indigo Girls, the Chicks and Crosby, Stills & Nash. “I was attracted to folk harmonies and acoustic music,” she said.
For college, Wiles attended the University of Madison at Wisconsin, where she started out as a piano performance major. However, she later decided to major in Journalism and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree. Notably, she then served in the Peace Corps for two years and lived in Poland during that time. Upon her return to the U.S., she got a MBA degree while studying at the UW Madison School of Business.
After completing her education, Wiles has worked in the non-profit field. Impressively, she is now President of the UPH-Meriter Health Foundation.
Here’s the audio of Becky Wiles’ song, “Free Kind of Me.”
Although Wiles has had a successful career outside of music, she began a year ago to focus on writing songs and performing live again. She was encouraged by Roy Elkins, founder & CEO of popular music site Broadjam, to further pursue her music career and record her debut album, Free Kind of Me. Elkins referred Wiles to producer Jake Johnson, and they teamed up to record the songs for her album.
Wiles explained what inspired her to write “Free Kind of Me.” “I wrote ‘Free Kind of Me’ in 2021. It’s a song about coming back to your true free self, without any layers of worldly expectations, or settling that has been done to please others; the peeling off of everything that doesn’t belong in your life. It’s returning to the most authentic version of yourself.”
Currently, Wiles is promoting her new album, and she’s been busy playing live shows in Wisconsin. She also hopes to place her songs in films & TV shows, and to write songs for other artists.