I don’t know what I would do honestly if I didn’t have citizenship in America. Betty Who just wants to make you dance, and she delivers with every song. (It’s like saying), You get to go and be Betty now.” And that helps me a lot.
betty white 2019 – Betty Who Turns Up The Dance Decibels
Betty Who is back in town. I want people to feel safe enough to say I don’t wanna go to yoga.” I’m like, Great, sometimes I don’t either!” That’s okay. Being yourself and being happy and comfortable is way more important. I don’t want people to look at my Instagram or social media or even my show and feel lesser than. That’s literally couldn’t be less of how I want to make people feel. And I’ve been there – playing the comparison game. My life is not that fancy; I try to show the good and the bad. I want you to be inspired and I want to make people laugh. The last thing I want to do is make people feel bad about themselves, and that’s another huge part of what lulu is really committed to as well. It’s not about how you look in your yoga pants – it’s about the fact that you’re taking care of yourself. Plus, everyone looks good in yoga pants! That’s the best part.
Don’t feel bad if you haven’t yet heard of Betty Who, even though she just might be pop’s next big star. Even though the single she self-released last year made it to viral-video fame and No. 1 on Billboard’s dance-club songs chart. Even though her upcoming major-label debut, the five-track album Slow Dancing, has been building buzz for months. Even though she’s helping redefine how young women can build careers in the pop world. Even though she sings about the kind of love that makes you want to dance-and at her packed live shows, people do just that.
I think everything was different — he needed help, he was a sick man. In death, everybody’s a saint a little bit, but also death kind of takes the weight off and you get to make snap decisions and judgements about somebody and they’re not really here to defend themselves. It’s really complicated. I still love his music, that’s never not going to be true.
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Oh man, wannabe is one of the most personal songs on the record. I was in the studio with Ali Tamposi and Peter Thomas, sort of messing around on a bunch of different ideas and not really feeling anything we were doing. I don’t know who decided it was a good idea, but somebody finally said okay we’re not getting anywhere, let’s just sit at the piano and see if we can get something down that way”.
Who performed tracks from her upcoming first studio album, as well as from her debut EP The Movement ,” released last year. With its dreamy synth-pop confections, The Movement” drew comparisons to the likes of Oracular Spectacular ”-era MGMT and songs used in John Hughes montages But while Who’s live act seemed inspired by specific musicians — platinum-coiffed and not — she proved to be much more surprising and disarming than your garden-variety pop performer.
I think that occurred to me, actually, after I’d been doing it by accident for a couple years. ‘Cause I wrote “Somebody Loves You”; I put an EP out that was really poppy and really fun. And I’m smiley and happy and warm and that’s also my personality, and I think that came out in the music.
Yeah, because everyone is so passionate and emotional and artistic and figuring themselves out and like, in a place in their lives where they Just need to experiment.” It’s so funny! Everyone is so interesting and some of the friends I made there are going to be my friends for forever. Even now, I have someone who works on my team is someone who I went to high school with! So it’s like, because you grow up together in such an interesting way, you know those people have kind of been bonded for life.
And at the same time, you can’t say that it doesn’t sound recognizably 90s, either. Even a cursory listen could tell you which decade it came from. And though it didn’t really resemble most of its contemporaries, it could easily have slotted itself into most of the popular genres of the time. It’s got enough sensitivity and heart to fit in with the Lilith Fair crowd or the adult alternative scene, it wasn’t all that dissimilar to R&B, it sounded easy listening enough to fit into the format, and if you stretched a little, you could make a case for it being alternative.
WHO: They did. I got into a performing arts high school when I was 15 — Interlochen in Michigan — and I had attended two summer camps there. And at the end of the second summer, the cello teacher basically said, Let’s not be coy here, you have lots of work to do, but I think you’d be a really great addition.” I basically got in on my fucking spunk and personality. And I think he knew that I had a musical gift, I think he just knew I wasn’t going to be the best cellist in the world, but he was a teacher who saw something special in me.
I wrote this last year, later in the year. I got off tour, and had just become an independent artist. I was really feeling myself, and felt like I had this new surge of excitement, drive and vision for what I want to do. I got into a couple of sessions, and in a very short span of time, I had like eight or nine songs that I’m completely obsessed with. I could put another album out tomorrow if I really wanted, but I just want to keep putting songs out. I don’t want to sit in the studio for two years ever again, I hated it so much. I hated having to wait, and just sit on music. The way people consume music now doesn’t work for that style anymore. I really want to be proactive and conform to the new way we listen to music, which I think is immediate. I think putting out singles, not waiting around to finish an album is my new plan.
Later in 2017, Who became an independent artist once more when she left RCA Records. The following January, she issued the single “Ignore Me” and followed it with covers of Kylie Minogue ‘s “Come Into My World” and Widelife ‘s “All Things (Just Keep Getting Better),” the latter of which was used as the theme song to the second season of Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye. That June, the Betty, Pt. 1 EP provided a preview of her third album. Arriving in February 2019, the simply named Betty featured production by Thomas and Pretty Sister as well as some of Who ‘s widest-ranging music.
I saw him for the first time a little while ago. It was kind of like, This is crazy. Wow! Hi! Good to see you!” Because I like, you know, I’ve been doing my thing and seeing him, of course he hasn’t changed. He still looked like he did when he was 16. It was so funny.
It’s really exciting for me to be releasing music on my own terms, and shedding the weight of an unhealthy relationship. That frees up so much space in my life, to bring all my joy and light and passion to the project again. I think I expended a lot of energy trying to make something work that wasn’t working for a long time. Now that’s gone. I feel like I have all this new excitement. I’m looking forward to bringing all that to stage, because I think that’s where it suffers the most. When I’m having a really hard day, being onstage is the last thing I want to do. I haven’t had a bad day in a really long time.
I use Mama Say” as an example all the time. It’s the first song that I put out for my album The Valley. But I wrote Mama Say” two years before that album came out. When I wrote that song it felt so fresh and cool, but when two years go by it’s just doesn’t sound fresh and cool anymore, at least to me, regardless of how fans take it. It was this process of having this thing that I loved but not being able to show it to anybody. I couldn’t play shows because I couldn’t put new music out and I couldn’t keep touring the same music. All of these things that I was held back by are no longer a factor. And it’s so exciting to say I don’t know what I’m going to put out next, I get to decide that next week.” I don’t know what the next step is because we’re deciding as we go and we’re making decisions off of immediate reaction because that’s the way the music industry works now.
I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with lululemon for a couple of years now. We’ve done a couple different projects and it’s been really exciting for me to be a part of a team that I really respect the values of. I really align with what they talk about – it feels very connected to how I live my life anyway – but to be honest with you, it’s the people. The people who work for lulu, the people in our community, who have been taking care of us. It’s the nicest thing about lulu.
Raised in Australia, Betty now makes New York her home base as she prepares to conquer the world with her own special brand of fun breezy bubblegum pop. The Huffington Post recently spoke with Betty about being signed to a major label, her love for Britney Spears and her thoughts on the gay marriage proposal that took the internet by storm and used her song as the soundtrack.
Currently a mess. I’ve been living out of a suitcase for the last two months. When I’m home in New York, I’ve always taken it so much for granted because my first tour happened in January, and now I’m in Los Angeles and still living out of my suitcase because I don’t live here. I only have a couple t-shirts, a couple pairs of pants, and maybe a dress. I’ve been rocking my boyfriend jeans a lot and I have this red Ralph Lauren flannel that I got from Goodwill when I was like 14 that I think I’ve worn like four times a week for the last six weeks.
In February, a music video was released for Who’s single “Ignore Me” and has more than 600,000 hits on YouTube at this time. But most recently, she put out a video for her song “Taste” and it will most definitely make you want to get up and dance.
The song definitely gives off some 80’s dance pop vibes, but that could be partly because the music video for the song is very much ’80s-themed — complete with lots of hairspray and leg warmers. WHO: Of course I have! There was a proposal during Marry Me” at one of the shows on tour. And I was like, This is exactly what I had in mind.” I was sobbing on stage, I couldn’t believe it.
Betty Who spoke with NPR’s Ari Shapiro about having and sharing fun onstage, the benefits of working independently, and how she models uncompromising self-confidence. Read on for interview highlights, including some that weren’t aired.
Justin is such a gifted man, it took us what felt like ten seconds to bang this entire song out then we sat on the couch and drank wine for two hours. (YES IT WAS ONLY 1PMBUT IT WAS A SATURDAY SO LEAVE ME ALONE).
Though purists might bristle at artist development turning into another Big Data business, it can be a good thing. A genre that had its process on lockdown for decades has been opened up, giving individual performers-especially female vocalists, from Beyoncé to Miley Cyrus-unprecedented power. For Betty Who, that means she’s able to capture one of pop’s most elusive qualities: authenticity.
This is one of the songs I’m the most excited about performing live, too. My band is so talented, they’ve been with me since the very beginning and I like making music I think will excite them. And of course, my dream finally came true: I got the key change I’ve always wanted. I felt like Celine Dion. Or Jojo.
I’m such a fan of pop stars. I have such a love and adoration and care for the people that have come before me and have inspired me to be in this business in the first place. There’s a list of things that those people do as performers that I have always looked up to and wanted to do my own version of. And I think adding choreo to the show was high on that list. It just took me a while to find the right person to do it with.
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I can’t tell you how many times I was in a room full of people who made me feel really stupid, telling me that they knew better, and I should shut up and listen. And six months from then, we wound up doing exactly what I had wanted to do. There was such a tug of war for no reason. I feel like I have become a businesswoman, an entrepreneur in my own field. There is no handbook for how to make this happen for yourself. I don’t know of a lot of really, really successful independent pop artists. You know of rappers, but in pop it’s really difficult to succeed as an independent artist. I’m really swinging for the bleachers here.
Who has always been an LGBTQ+ advocate, and just in time for the big Pride weekend, Billboard had the chance to sit down with her and talk all about it as well as mental health, body image and new music. I want to encourage people to be themselves and remember how far we’ve come,” she said. Read the full interview below.
Yeah, there have been a lot of things that I’m super psyched about. My whole adult life is basically just about making 10-year-old me psyched. 22-year-old me was like, No I have plans, I’m gonna go get this.” Sometimes it’s hard when you’re on the ground hustling, trying to make your dream happen. It doesn’t look anything like you thought it was going to and you’re so tired and you’re like, How am I supposed to enjoy this?” And then one day you wake up and all of a sudden you’re on stage and you’re like, Oh my god I’m here, this is it. I’m living my dream.” It doesn’t look like what I thought it was going to and I still have so far to go, but I don’t wanna be the person who wakes up one day and realize my dream happened. I’m really trying to be present and excited about it and enjoy it while it lasts because it can all be over tomorrow. I really do know that.
Later, she said a special hello to the fans in the back. Is that where all the straight guys are?” she joked, and the room erupted. Oh, I saw one!” she giggled. Then she went on to say she’d just met with the Human Rights Campaign, which had given her the equality pin that was fastened to her skirt. Before she launched into her ethereal ballad Right Here,” she announced, This song is about loving who you want to love!” The audience exploded into cheers again.
In the final days of Betty Who’s headlining tour across North America — which included shows in Los Angeles, Vancouver, Atlanta, and Orlando — the Australian-born singer-songwriter took time to open up her suitcase for Travel + Leisure.
Australian artist Betty Who has written us a track-by-track of her upcoming album The Valley, due out on 24 March. I’m honestly just excited to get back in the studio. I want to make more music now. It’s really the first time in my career where I just want to keep going. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
Honestly, my favorite festival probably in the world is All Things Go, because I’ve never had a bad show there,” Who says. They always make me feel like a rock star. Most festivals, I walk on stage and I spend the first 30 minutes convincing everybody that I’m worth their time and worth their attention. And that’s cool, that’s what it’s for, that’s what I’ve been cutting my teeth on for the last seven years, that’s what makes me love performing, is winning people over.
According to a press release, The Bachelorette hometown dates will feature Becca and Blake’s visit to his former high school , where he reveals to Becca a life-changing event that occurred during his teen years. This is followed by a live concert from Who, so perhaps the whole experience will bring the couple even closer together. At least, that’s probably the point. And something tells me that Who’s upbeat and totally catchy music will help him in doing just that.
These lyrics feel like they came right out of my diary. I’ve been in this situation so many times. Being second choice to someone who has only ever been your first choice is heartbreaking, and you don’t want to cause trouble in their lives but sometimes you just have to say how you feel, even if it’s drunkenly at 3am. This song was on my EP that came out earlier last year and seeing everyone’s faces singing the words back to me affirmed that this song was really special.
I didn’t know how much work it took to be in a relationship until I was in the right one, but it’s worth all of that hard work because of the partnership you give each other. There are a couple songs on this record that are dedicated to the security I’ve found in my relationship. It’s been one of the only things that got me through the last few years. I also want my legacy as an artist to be one of joy and love. I think we need more of that in the world. So I’ve been trying to share more of that.
Like other strong female artists with feminist values such as Ariana Grande or Kesha, Who’s single All This Woman” is an essential piece to her album. The tune is more sensual, differing from the rest of the upbeat, spunky songs on Betty.” The song promotes a body-positive image and a confident attitude for women who are going after something they want.
I want to be 80 and look back on the music I’ve made my whole life and know that I did everything that I could to make people really happy. That’s what I really wanna do. You know, if you have a purpose on this planet, my purpose is — I wanna provide a space that people feel joy in, people feel safe enough, also, to cry in, and to be themselves in. But the number one compliment anybody could give me is they’re having a bad day, and they listen to my song and it makes them feel better.
The fact that she has loyal support from the LGBTQ community helps too, something that she’s grateful for as, she says, it only helps the shows get crazier and just better. Unsurprisingly, she’s a regular at Pride events around the country, including the main stage at S.F. Pride in 2017. On this tour, one dollar from every ticket sold will go to help The Trevor Project, the nonprofit focussed on suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. After creating the Oscar-winning short film Trevor in 1994, James Lecesne, Peggy Rajski, and Randy Stone realized that their story of a 13-year-old gay boy who attempts to take his own life could resonate with young people going through similar things, so The Trevor Project was born in 1998.
303 Magazine spoke with Betty Who (real name Jessica Newham) about her music being directed at the LGBTQ community, finding happiness in a lonely industry and what she thinks the key ingredients are to a perfect pop song.