Q & A with beabadoobee - Sid Peterson and Maggie Odegaard
SCOPE’s Marketing Director, Maggie Odegaard, and Digital Marketing Director, Sid Peterson, had the incredible opportunity to sit down via Zoom with Bea Kristi, AKA beabadoobee before her virtual show on Friday, March 19th. This is the first time member’s of SCOPE have had the opportunity to interview an artist before playing a SCOPE show. Many topics were covered: new music, virtual shows, life in London, fashion, and TikTok. Read on to learn more about beabadoobee before the show!
Q: What does a normal day look like for you?
A: I guess I wake up and I have breakfast. I’m pretty much in the studio all day. I’m currently just recording some music with my guitarist and preparing for this new release, but yeah, I’ve just been in the studio. And then afterward, I go back home. I mean, it’s like COVID so you can’t go out. It kind of sucks cause I miss pubs and all that stuff, but being in the studio is a privilege. Being able to see one of my best friends who is also the guy I work with is good.
Q: What was your experience like growing up in London?
A: Well, I moved here when I was three, and I went to an all-girls catholic school. That kind of fucked some things up but it was pretty cool at the same time. Then I got kicked out of that school. This was all during the time of me living in Camden. I actually grew up in a cultural area where there was a lot of music and a lot of interesting people. You know, I think being a teenager in Camden really kind of shaped who I was as a person. I started doing music when I got kicked out of school and was also trying to find a school to be in. I went to school while doing music then I got signed.
Q: How has your upbringing influenced your music?
A: Well, I guess coming from a very strict Filipino home growing up, well strict in values and culture, I had a lot of that present in my life, but that also meant I had a lot of the music from that place. So, I grew up with a lot of original Filipino music, and I also grew up listening to my mum’s music, which was a lot of Life Without Buildings and Suzanne Vega, you know, all that good stuff, The Cranberries, so it was a lot of things. I think I also made friends in school, in London, and they showed me the Smiths.
Q: How would you describe your music?
A: You know it’s hard. It’s like a mixture of some folky songs and more alternative songs. I guess I just kind of wanted to build a sound that people can hear and be like “Oh, that’s beabadoobee.” It’s quite hard, I try not to limit myself to a genre. I remember in the making of Fake It Flowers, I was so into all the amazing women from “the good old days.” So a lot of Juliana Hatfield, and alternative music by amazing, powerful women that really inspired how I write, how I create.
Q: Obviously it’s a very different environment these days. What has recording and producing music been like in the middle of a pandemic?
A: It’s been a strange one, but I’ve had the privilege of actually living away, in a secluded place and spending lockdown there with my band, and Matty and George. I was able to create music during a really hard time, and it was actually really inspiring. You know, I was in the countryside and there were a lot of things to feed off from. But there were definitely days where I had really bad writer’s block. It comes in waves. Sometimes it’s really, really hard, but there are amazing times.
Q: How would you say doing virtual shows compares to live performances you’ve done?
A: It’s obviously very weird. It’s quite strange. You don’t hear the audience. You don’t have that same feeling, like being on stage: the feeling that can’t be recreated. I guess that’s why I miss playing live so much. But it’s quite odd 'cause I actually still feel as nervous when performing internet shows, if that’s what you call it. It’s really, really cool, but it’s very strange. I think it’s the best alternative for live music right now, to try and be creative and share music with the world through the internet.
Q: We noticed you’re also signed up for a few festivals this summer, and even into the fall. Do you anticipate being able to play live at some point in the next year? What are your thoughts on that?
A: In an ideal scenario it will happen, and it’s good to be hopeful, but at the same time I don’t want to be too hopeful and be let down because of expecting too much. You know, I don’t want to get too gassed about everything.
Q: That makes sense. What are your feelings on getting back into performing live?
A: I’m very very nervous. I feel like I’ve just completely forgotten how to perform and how to interact with an audience. But I feel like I think everyone has so I’m not alone in that situation, but I’m also dying to play live so I’ll probably end up losing all these nerves on stage and just acting really stupid and going crazy. 'Cause I’m just so desperate to go crazy. But I’m very excited when everything gets back to normal if it does.
Q: Us too, we’re definitely looking forward to getting back to concerts.
A: Yeah, I can’t wait to watch bands live. I feel like I’m going to utilize going out and going clubbing and watching concerts way more because of this pandemic. I should have done all those things twice as much.
Q: Many of your listeners are part of gen-z, do you feel like you relate to that generation?
A: Yeah, obviously, I am a part of this generation. I am very much on the internet and I know what’s going on. Well, I would like to think I know what’s going on with the kids. So, it’s like, everything I write about, all the problems I have in my life, those could be very similar problems to other 20-year-old girls, or even younger. I guess it’s just relatable because I am part of the same generation and going through the same shit.
Q: We have another question relating to gen-z and TikTok. How did it feel when the remix version of your song “Coffee” blew up on TikTok?
A: At first, I was quite terrified and really uncomfortable about the whole thing because I didn’t even expect to do music. I really wanted to be a nursery teacher. I never anticipated the first song I had ever written when I was 17 to blow up in a remix. So, I was really terrified. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know how to act. But thinking back, my feelings toward it now, I’m obviously so grateful, 'cause it’s only given me opportunities. It can be scary sometimes, people kind of anticipating what I’m going to do next, or, you know, knowing who I am. I guess I just have to take it with a pinch of salt and not deep it as much. It was weird at first, but I think it’s sick now!
Q: What is it like to be just 20 years old and have 13,407,860 monthly listeners on Spotify?
A: Wow, I didn’t know it was that number. I guess I just try to stay away from all those things. Numbers don’t really matter. I create music because I want to create music. If you were to tell me that a few months ago when that stuff really really mattered to me, I would be terrified. I’d be like oh my god, stop now. I just have all these eyes and ears watching and listening. It’s just scary like I thought this was just a little, you know, thing. Now it’s wonderful that my message is being heard by this many people and people want to hear music from me, but at the end of the day, I’m still making music for myself.
Q: How has social media impacted your career as a musician?
A: A lot obviously, the fact that I can speak to people on the other side of the world and they can listen and promote my music is sick! But you know, social media can also be super toxic. At times, it can be, just a bit draining. Anything in excess is bad. But overall, I think social media is a very useful and helpful place for musicians and it was for me.
Q: What has been the most special moment in your music career?
A: I would probably say the fact that I can just create music as my job. This is my life now. This is what I do, and I love what I do. I never really pictured this being a thing that I do for the rest of my life, and now I can buy my own place. I can be an adult but still be a kid at the same time, which is pretty sick.
Q: What are your hobbies outside of music?
A: I like watching movies and hanging out with my friends. I like consuming as much art as I can because you know it helps me create and do my job. And I do like reading sometimes, I’m reading this really cool book about Viv Albertine, who is some badass chick from the 70s and she grew up around where I grew up, so it’s cool reading about places around my area back in the day.
Q: How would you describe your personal brand?
A: I do my own thing. I wear what I want, and I want to be comfortable. I try to tell myself I love myself every day, and I’m working on being comfortable in my own body and personality.
Q: What are some of your biggest fashion inspirations?
A: Yeah, I love clothes. I love Iggy, she’s literally everything I want to be. Her face is so beautiful and she was an icon in the 90s. I remember she wore this dress on the runway. It was a Jean Paul Gaultier dress, I think it was (from) ‘94 maybe. I bought the exact same dress because I found it on eBay, and I wore it for a music video called Sorry. I love The FRUiTS Magazine, and I get inspired by my friends. I have a friend Molly who runs an account called “Not Just Trash,” and she’s amazing. A lot of things really, very vintage 90s, Jean Paul Gaultier, designer stuff, vintage Dior is amazing. There’s a lot of clothes I really really want in my life.
Q: How do you go about posting on Instagram?
A: If I take a picture that day, or if something happens, I am going to post about it. I don’t plan ahead. I do like taking pictures for Instagram, I think it’s a fun thing to do. I don’t know why everyone is so afraid or scared to admit it. If you think you look cute, then take a picture and post it!
Q: Who has been your favorite music collaboration?
A: I haven’t worked with many people, I get scared about working with new people, but I have been learning to be more open with my music. I have had some new collaborations lately that I am excited about. I am looking forward to working with new people.
Q: How was your experience touring in the U.S. with Clairo?
A: She’s such a babe. I really enjoy her music so it was really nice to see her every night play live. It was sweet. She had a lot of advice to give me. She’s still that person if I need advice, if there’s something going on in my life, she would just know what to say. She’s been through it herself. I’m glad she exists in the world. That was my first time in the US, it was very overwhelming and there was a lot to see.
Q: Who is someone you would like to work with in the future?
A: There’s this one person I was actually going to work with, but it fell through. Hopefully, we’ll be working with (him) again, and it’s my dream. Damon Albarn from the Gorillaz. That would be fucking sick if that happened.
Q: What are some goals you have for the future?
A: I really want to do a soundtrack of some sort. I really want to have a nursery and teach kids and have loads of fun. I have always wanted to be a teacher. I did teaching assisting in a nursery and that was sweet. That’s been my dream since I was a kid.
Q: Do you think you would like to live in the UK in the future?
A: Yes, I think I would want to stay in the UK. This is my home and I am most comfortable here. But if I had to live anywhere else it would be New York, Paris, or London. I really want a place in Paris.
Thanks for reading y’all! Bea truly came off as such a genuine, sweet human. We’re looking forward to our virtual show next Friday, March 19th at 9 PM CST! See you there!