1883 Magazine
Betty-Who_top.jpg

With 150 million Spotify streams, 3.3 million monthly listeners, sold out headline tours and appearances on The Today ShowLate Night With Seth Meyers, and The View, Australian pop singer and songwriter Betty Who has quickly built an army of global fans since her sophomore album, The Valley in 2017.

With the release on her first EP in 5 years Betty Pt. 1, we chat to Betty about the importance of having a strong LGBT following, performing for President Barack Obama and what we can expect from the new material.

How did you get started in music?

I started playing cello when I was four years old and have been playing and studying music ever since. I went to performing arts high school for cello, college for songwriting then I moved straight to New York to be a musician.  I was always skipping classes to go to music lessons or practice.

Who are your musical influences?

I’m very inspired by a wide range of genres.  Joni Mitchell and Carole King are two of my favorite songwriters, along with Patty Griffin, John Mayer, Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson. Then of course Britney Spears and N’Sync, Beyonce and Michael Jackson, Usher and Robyn and Pink. 

How would you describe your music to someone who had never heard it before?

Joyful and incredibly fun.

How has your sound evolved since you broke onto the scene with ‘Somebody Loves You’?

I think I have expanded my sound a lot, dipped a toe into lots of other genres and sounds that I love, especially on this new EP.

What made you turn away from albums towards a more single-focussed approach? 

I love making albums but when I make an album I slave over it and want it to feel perfect listening to it start to finish. I don’t feel like I’m ready to put something like that out yet so I wanted to just keep putting music out and seeing what people liked so when I went to make the album I knew what my fans were feeling and what they weren’t so excited about.

You’ve worked with high profile queer pop star Troye Silvan, played at Capitol Pride and opened for Kylie Minogue, a singer with a strong LGBT+ following. Would you say you have a strong following in the queer community? Why?

There’s a huge sense of individuality and celebration of one’s “other-ness” within the LGBTQ+ community and I think my music and personality aligns with that so deeply.  I have always felt different, not totally cookie cut or fitting of any mould so to be accepted and feel at home within this community has been such a blessing both in my personal life as well as my career.  

What would you say is your biggest achievement to date as an artist?

Performing and meeting President Barack Obama.

Your ‘Look Back’ track features a montage of some of your best tour moments – whats your favourite thing about playing live?

My favorite moment of any show is when I look out into the audience and see somebody not even paying attention to me, having a moment with their best friend or significant other. Whether they’re kissing or looking at each other singing the words or hugging or laughing, seeing joy in the flesh like that is the whole reason I do what I do.

In a recent trip to the UK you played at the Mighy Hoopla festival as well as playing a headline show at London’s Bush Hall – how does playing a festival differ to playing a stand-alone show?

Festivals are cool because so many people in the audience would probably never come to your show so you have this rare opportunity to sort of prove yourself to this whole new audience of people. But of course there’s nothing like a room full of people who are so excited to see you perform so the energy in my own headline shows is pretty unbeatable.

Your latest EP ‘Betty Pt.1’ is your first one as an independent artist, how has this impacted upon the EP’s sound and the process of making it? What does this mean to you as an artist?

It’s definitely changed a lot of the music. The first single from the EP is about my experience leaving the label so I think there’s definitely an undercurrent that runs throughout the EP of that liberation but also vulnerability or not feeling like you’re being heard or can be yourself. 

The name ‘Betty Pt.1’ seems a bit paradoxical given that some of your fans have been following you since you were 19. What did you hope to convey with the choice of the EP name?

It feels like the first time in a long time that I can actually be myself again.  Having to constantly battle for what you think your career should be takes a toll not only on an artist emotionally but also on the music, so I feel like this music is free of that weight. It’s just as honest and true as all the other stories I’ve ever told but it feels fresh and brand new to me too.  

Betty’s Ep ’Betty Pt.1’ is out now via thislink. For her latest news head to www.bettywhomusic.com

Photography Anna Urik 
@anna.urik

Twitter Youtube Instagram Tumblr Facebook

Glam Style