VIDEO: Student Vocalist Courtney Swain

Rob Hochschild
March 6, 2013

As inspired by classical music as she is Linkin Park, rock vocalist Courtney Swain talks about the sound of her band, Bent Knee, in this profile video. Studying contemporary writing and production has taught her how to take control of her creative process and artistic output.

Born in Japan, Swain began studying classical piano at the age of 4. As she piled up piano competition awards, she was spending some of her free time singing karaoke with friends and listening to bands like Led Zeppelin, Cream, and the Beatles.That fusion of interests ultimately led her to Berklee, where she became part of a community of musicians immersing themselves in heavy rock and other styles. One of those musicians was fellow student Ben Levin, an adventurous guitarist with whom she would launch Bent Knee and other musical projects.

As a dual major in contemporary writing and production and composition, Swain has continued to pursue her eclectic interests throughout the Berklee curriculum and found teachers who inspired her to push herself.

"I had a teacher, Loudon Stearns, who told us, 'You guys don't have to be babied. Now that you have this figured out, let's do more interesting stuff.' He really raised the bar," Swain said. "Plus, his music, his portfolio, is great. We went to some of his shows, and it was really inspiring."

Swain says her plans for the future revolve around continuing to cowrite Bent Knee songs, perform shows, and taking the band as far as it can go. 

Watch a video on YouTube of Bent Knee performing a full version of its song, "In God We Trust."