Jun 23, 2016
Straight out of Wales comes gospel-loving, soulful chanteuse Betsy. The 25-year-old singer-songwriter mixes her love of Aretha Franklin with her passion for solid rock music. Her debut single “Fair” caught our eye at POPULAR TV for its beautiful balladry and lyrics that just pulled at our heartstrings. While Betsy is new on the scene and has just one EP under her belt, we expect to hear new music from the European singer later this year
Before she blows up on the music scene, we chatted with Betsy about her love for gaudy glam thing, soulful classic singers and leaving fashion for music.
On her start making music: I’m from a goose farm in Wales – we love to sing. Every Christmas, I didn’t have to kill them, but I’d have to gut them. It’s quite inspiring for lyrics. No, but my dad and uncle play guitar, have been in a local band together and we’d sing around a campfire together. Music has always been around. I’ts not something I got interested in, it’s just something that’s always been around. I always wanted to be a musician, but I think my parents weren’t sure I was any good, so they encouraged me to do something that would give me a job. So, I went to Union London and did fashion. I got offered a job halfway through to design womenswear at Balenciaga, and I quit in the middle to do music.
What she grew up listening to: Everything. Cat Stevens. Led Zeppelin. Nina Simone. Vivaldi. Bob Dylan. David Bowie. Basically I listened to all of the classics. It was a big old mesh of the best things ever. I’m more directly inspired by Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday and Annie Lennox. I like to go for this churchy-gospely thing. When I sit down and write, I try to get influences from that.
On her model-look: No, I’ve never modeled. Obviously I have a background in fashion, so that inspires my artwork and inspires my choice of people to collaborate with I worked with these blokes who did that picture of Lana Del Rey with the bumblebee on her face. They’re my favorite photographers. My choices for that kind of thing are pretty specific because of my background. I love trashy opulence and David Lynch films, so the photos are a nod to David Lynch’s Wild At Heart. I also lived in the caravan [in the photo] and I have worked in fashion, so it’s my two worlds colliding. I think that’s why I like super glam with a trashy side. I want to be glamorous. I’m always drawn to tacky, classic Versace. My grandma used to wear Diamante shoes with a pink velour tracksuit. She was always glamorous in a tacky way. In the video for “Fair,” there are a few clips of her house.
On the theme of her record: It’s all about experiences I’ve had. I’m absolutely shit at writing about things that I haven’t done. It has to be about someone I know or something that’s happened to me at some point. “Rosie,” for example is about my brother’s friend who was killed in a car crash. I think she just passed her test when she was 18. “Fair” was about a relationship where I felt suffocated: a typical couldn’t live with him, but didn’t want to live without him. They’re usually about [other] people or about myself. They’re about moments.
Dream collaborations: I’d love to work with Kanye West and A$AP Rocky. Kanye has that emotional song “Runaway,” and I’d love to write something that emotional, rather than such a dancey track.