10 things you need to know about bedroom pop wonder beabadoobee
As she drops her new EP 'Loveworm', we meet Beabadoobee. Turns out that being a popstar whilst at school is just as hard as Hannah Montana said it was.
Despite being signed to a record label, 18-year-old Beabadoobee still writes all her music in her room. “I find the chords and write the song at home,” she explains, “and then I bring it to the studio and I'm like, 'Let's bring it to life!'”
That latter part, bringing her music to life, is a new thing. Since signing with Dirty Hit, home to The 1975 and The Japanese House, Bea, known IRL as Bea Kristi, has been playing with what access to a studio can offer. She was discovered after the first song she ever wrote, Coffee Song, was uploaded to the YouTube account 1-800-LOVE-U -- a consortium of soft, emo-pop accompanied with hazy, pastel visuals -- without her even knowing. With 400,000 followers, it soon gathered masses of views. Her sound, inspired by the likes of Elliott Smith, The Mouldy Peaches, Pavement and Mazzy Star, is intimate, close confessional vocals matched with stargazy guitars. But now, thanks to the studio time, she’s making things bigger.
“Now it's like, fuck, I can put drums in this or electric guitars going crazy,” she laughs. “There are all these new things that I can experiment with. I want to make a proper experimental song that people can't even really listen to that's really strange. Everything is fuller and so much more intense.”
One thing remains, though: a DIY sense of rawness, unaffected by industry bullshit or concerns over streaming algorithms. Instead, as Jamie Oborne, the founder of Dirty Hit, told The Guardian recently about Bea: “We’re not doing anything except what she wants to do.” To find out more, we gave Bea a ring after she’d just finished school to find out more.
1. Her stage name is actually taken from her Finsta
“Basically, I never expected this whole music thing to happen. When my friend Oscar helped me release Coffee and The Moon Song, he just asked me what name I wanted to put it under on Bandcamp. I was like, ‘Just use my private Instagram name because I think it's funny and it sounds like a Minion on acid.’ So he used Beabadoobee. I thought no one was going to listen to that song anyway. Now I'm fucked.”
2. She thinks people like her music because it’s uncomplicated
“I think people nowadays aren't scared to talk about things that were taboo. And people want to hear something raw. They don't want to hear music that's forced and industry planted. They want to hear something that's special to the artist.”
3. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t been influenced by the music her parents like...
“I know all these artists are like, 'My dad used to play music in the car’. I never had that. My parents love music, but I never got influenced by what they listen to. I had to go through a lot of shit phases. Phases of me listening to proper punk rock to One Direction to indie music and then this. I was obsessed with Green Day. Green Day was the first CD I bought. I grew from there. I like grungy songs and songs from the Juno soundtrack.”
4. Actually, she loves film soundtracks
“I think it's because you can picture an image with them. And even if it wasn't in a movie, you can hear a song and go, that song belongs in a movie. I wanted to make songs like that, songs that could be the soundtrack to a film. And the thing about the Juno soundtrack is that it has the best amount of realness and soundtrack-yness to it.”
5. This love of soundtracks actually affects how she writes music
“I always think about the creative of it. So with Disappear, the first track of my new EP, obviously it came from the heart and it's something that happened to me and to a friend. I needed to write about it. [The visual aspect] comes with the melody. It's about finding a melody that sticks to people and that they can listen to on the train and feel something. It's both finding lyrics and melodies that can both help each other out.”
6. Her most recent EP, Loveworm, is all about her boyfriend Soren
“There's a lot that people don't know about me and Soren. They know the good parts, but there have been some really shit parts. This whole new EP is about Soren. There are some songs that have been inspired by stories from friends, but it's all very personal. We were going through some really rough shit in our relationship. Now it's all good. Soren, the last track, ends the EP but it also ends that part of my life in a positive good way.”
7. Being at school while also being a popstar is actually really hard
“I just don't revise. I do school, but at the same time I don't do school. I've got exams next month and when I tell you haven't opened a book since last year, I'm telling the truth. I have no idea. I'm going to open the fucking exam paper and be like, 'What am I going to write?' Shit, I'm so fucked.”
8. In fact, being a popstar wasn’t ever the endgame...
“What I've always wanted to do was be a Nursery teacher. I'm still going to be a nursery teacher -- I don't give a shit what else happens. I'm going to go on tour and whatever, but at the end of the day I still want to make my own nursery and teach kids. For that I need to go to school; I need to learn how to be a nursery teacher. So there's a part of me that knows that I need to be super mature about revising. But I just keep getting distracted. My guitar is sitting in my room and it's calling my name. I'll just start writing a song and that's my revision out the window.”
9. At least her parents totally get what she’s doing now
“At first they were like, 'What the fuck are you doing?' Now they're super supportive. They can't be any better. They're the best parents and I feel like I don't give them enough appreciation for that. They understand if I'm busy, they understand if I'm stressed or need space. They understand if I need them to be there. Before I started this whole music thing, you know what parents are like about university. It was their dream for their kid to go to university, especially my Asian parents. If I don't say doctor they're like, 'What are you doing?!'”
10. After supporting The 1975 and The Japanese House, she’s more used to performing live
“It's still super scary, but I feel like all my self-consciousness and my fears go away when I start singing and playing to people. I fuck up loads, but it's all part of me. I fuck up, but I can play it off well. I feel like I'm just kinda cruising.”
Beabadoobee’s new EP Loveworm is out now.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.