Becca McCann & The Essies is a Christian musical group made up of four homeschooled siblings: Becca, Meghan, Ryan, and Willie.
Becca McCann 22, is a self-proclaimed ice cream lover and fan of L.M. Montgomery books. She does the lead vocals, guitar, and violin.
Meghan McCann, 28, is the eldest and “Most Likely to be Compared to the Heroine of a Jane Austen Movie.” She does vocals, guitar, and keyboards.
Ryan McCann, 25, has been writing songs since he was seven years old. He also writes devotions, sings, and plays drums.
Willie McCann, 20, is a movie fan and critic who “can recommend a movie for almost any occasion.” He has been playing the bass guitar since he was nine years old.
The McCanns are an old-fashioned down-to-earth family who live in the middle of a cornfield in Minnesota. On their website, the band members describe themselves as “songwriters / music makers / homeschoolers / chefs / film buffs / movie makers / but especially a family.” They have a younger sister, Stasia, and the McCann family also includes four other children adopted from China.
The band was named The Essies, which means “stars,” after Daniel 12:3: “Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.” Their upbeat style is a unique blend of pop, rock, and country.
Becca McCann & The Essies’ first album, four years in the making, was just released on September 16, 2014. Their self-titled CD perfectly captures the best family moments – campfires, summer nights, Christmastime, celebrations, sunshine and lollipops – and puts them to music.
Here is Becca McCann & The Essies’ first music video for “Daddy Be Here”:
They have a special adoption story that they sing about in this “Welcome Home” video:
And here is a video of an acoustic performance of “The Lucky Ones,” brought to you from the living room of their vintage farmhouse:
Homeschooling Teen’s Exclusive Interview with Becca McCann & The Essies!
1. Where do you think you all got your musical talents from?
Straight from our heavenly Father! Our mom has always played piano, and our dad likes to joke that he taught us how to turn up the stereo, but they are quick to attribute the credit to God as well. Our mom was always diligent in fostering our gifts by driving us to music lessons and encouraging us to try all kinds of different instruments. We’re very grateful to have been homeschooled because it gave us the opportunity to really focus on the special abilities God gave each of us!
2. Whose idea was it to start a band?
After Ryan had the opportunity to play drums at our guitar teacher’s concert in 2003, he was pumped! He came home and laid down the law, so to speak, that we were going to start a band. We started playing together and we’ve never looked back. He also had the brilliant idea that we should be the band that throws candy into the audience, which we still do today.
3. What are some of the themes that your songs convey?
Most of all, we want people to know and believe God’s love for them! There is a challenge to fathers to be there for their children on “Daddy Be Here,” and a similar message in “Favorite Song,” which is a letter from a mother to her daughter who has gone astray. “You Wish You Were Me” and “Spirit of St. Louis” are about having a big vision for your life, and believing in what God has called you to do, no matter what negative things people try to make you believe. “One More Empty Chair” and “Welcome Home” are about our adoption stories.
4. You’re siblings, and you’re in a band together. Has that ever led to any family quarrels? How do you handle disagreements?
Our parents have been instrumental in teaching us how important it is that we seek peace and pursue it. (1 Peter 3:11) We’ve learned that no matter what temporary argument is going on at the time, it’s more important to sow peace into our long-term relationship with our siblings and best friends.
5. Your parents are obviously important to you. How do they support your musical endeavors?
Our song “1983” is about that amazing support through the years. Our parents have followed us to every single show – we’re talking driving our big family all over the country, hauling equipment all over, and putting up with some pretty loud music! They are 100% behind us, day in and day out. They’ve also given us some of our best song ideas.
6. In what ways are the younger children able to get involved?
They are a big help behind the scenes! Stasia likes helping at the merchandise table. The girls have both starred in our music videos, and Joey starred in “Shanghai Joey,” a short film we have played before some of our concerts.
7. How has homeschooling helped you in your musical career?
Again, we are so glad to have been homeschooled because it gave us the opportunity to really focus in on and hone the talents God gifted us with. I think that’s one of the best things about being homeschooled: the opportunity to teach yourself anything!
8. What types of venues do you perform at, and how often do you travel?
We have done as many shows as 75 in a year. Right now we play mostly at churches, Christian youth camps, and festivals.
9. What are some challenges you have faced as young musicians?
Learning to trust in and rely on what God’s word says about us instead of what we hear from people, from other musicians, or from the world. That’s been the most important lesson of the past eleven years as a band. Another struggle is perseverance, which I wrote about in our song “The Lucky Ones.” Hebrews 10:36 says it best: “For you have need of endurance, so
that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.”
10. Who are your mentors or role models?
God and our parents!
11. What hopes and plans do you have for the future of your band? Do you think any of your younger brothers or sisters will someday join The Essies, too?
God has given us a big vision and a bright future, so we plan to go forward, spreading the message of His love to families everywhere. As for our younger siblings, I definitely hope some of them will join The Essies someday! Right now they are learning to play guitar, piano, violin, and drums from their big siblings. It’s so much fun watching our dearly loved siblings and another generation of homeschoolers learn to shine!
12. What advice would you give to other aspiring young musicians?
Seek God’s will! It’s worth more than all the performances, rehearsal, and opportunities in the world when God opens the right doors for you. Trends and styles will change, so don’t look at what people say is hot. God gave you a story and a unique message for the audience He wants you to reach, so be who God made YOU to be! When you trust God to guide your steps, you are going to fly higher than you ever dreamed!
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