We are BEKEN
Based out of Columbia, TN, Beken is a mother/daughter duo,
Erin and Addy Schneider.
“Music has such a mysterious power to bring people together,” says Erin Schneider. It’s certainly created an additional bond between her and her teenage daughter Addy.
Together they perform as Beken, a word derived from the German word bekannt meaning “to be known or acquainted.” It reminded Erin of the English word beckon, “to encourage someone to come nearer.” As a duo, their shared intent is to be known by God and to communicate that passion to their audiences.
The roots of their music go back to Erin’s childhood, growing up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. She loved the peaceful surroundings and would often sing while she and her mother milked the cows. As she grew up, she shifted her talents from the barn to local and regional venues.
When she was 19, she married her childhood sweetheart Pat Schneider in their hometown of Sparta, WI. Matt McPherson, founder and owner of legendary McPherson Guitars, became enamored with some of Erin’s original songs and gave her the opportunity to record a solo album in Nashville for his independent label Autumn Records.
Working with Sam Mizell as producer, she created an album entitled “Not Forgotten” and began selling CDs where she performed. After recording two additional albums, “Best in Me” and “Faith Walk, she extended her talent as a pianist into learning guitar.
Six years into her marriage, she and Pat moved to Knoxville where he pursued a doctorate in Exercise Science. There daughter Addy was born in 2002 , followed by Graham in 2004 and Maggie in 2007. To focus on homeschooling the children and supporting their involvement in the arts and entertainment, Erin stepped away from her own music career.
“Addy was always my brave girl who loved to sing,” notes Erin. When she was only four years old, Erin noticed her daughter had near-perfect pitch when she sang. That talent combined with an engaging personality made her a natural performer. When Addy was 11, she won an audition and became a member of the female pop trio Rubyz, a group of teen-focused music created by Bema Media.
"Being in the Rubyz was something that pushed me out of my comfort level, vocally and performance-wise.” recalls Addy. For the next three years, she toured extensively across North America and loved life as a traveling musician. When the group disbanded, she and her mother began singing together at church and writing songs together. As with many groups such as The Judds and The Isaacs, their family harmonies resulted in jaw-dropping collaborations across musical genres.
Erin’s musical tastes encompass folk, country and the early years of contemporary Christian music as evidenced by her love of the music of Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. Addy prefers more upbeat, modern sounds of artists including Ariana Grande. They share a love for country music listing Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, among their favorites.
On stage, all influences are evident as their voices blend. They also share personal stories of challenges and triumphs from their dual relationships as musical partners and mother/daughter.
“We don’t sugarcoat anything in our music or our life experiences,” Erin asserts. “I think that’s a difference that make it easy to connect with us and our music.”
As Beken, they are fearless in their honesty, captivating audiences with their willingness to be known.
Vocals, Keyboard / Erin Schneider
Vocals / Addy Schneider
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