After a great opening night of her forth-coming tour, I caught up with Becky Hill post-show to see how it went from the Queen of comedown pop herself.
Hi Becky Hill. First of all, wow, that was an amazing gig. Having a bit of a fangirl moment here but anyway, how are you? How do you think that went?
“It was a hard first gig but we’ve only done the set through once before really so we’re going into it not knowing it like the back of our hands. But the crowd were really great, it was a really fun night.”
Well you’ve been super busy this year releasing singles, playing festivals and getting ready for the tour, filming music videos… As an artist it seems as though the past year has been a pretty pivotal time. Have you actually had a moment to take a step back to let it all sink in and get a bit excited for the future?
“I think if I stop and look around I tend to think that I’ve not come far enough, so I find if I just keep my head in it then I remember how grateful I am to be here.”
Okay so let’s talk about the single you released earlier this year, ‘Sunrise in the East’ which is a really beautiful song about falling in love. What’s the story behind this single then?
“The real story wouldn’t be allowed to be printed but it was more of about meeting my current boyfriend about two and a half years ago and we just stayed up all night talking. I originally had ‘Talk ‘Till Morning’ as a title but I was working with Maverick Sabre and this wicked producer called Lost Boy at the time. When I told them about my idea Mav just sort of looked off to the side and said, ‘what about Sunrise in the East?’ so we kind of wrote it from that little starting point. “
I think this single really highlights how versatile your voice is. Like earlier on today I was watching an acoustic performance of you singing it on like a little boat at the Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Ibiza earlier this year and it was just so beautiful and with such a real sense of the kind of vulnerability that falling in love induces. And then the next video that came up was of you performing ‘Piece of Me’ with MK which is another amazing song, but with a totally different vibe and sound. When you’re performing live do you have a preference in the sort of stuff you sing?
“I always prefer singing my own stuff, I mean it’s all my own stuff because I wrote it all. But a lot of the dance stuff I write is just written because it sounds good rather than my own stuff like Sunrise in the East which is actually something that’s happened to me. It transports me back to the time I experienced and the feelings I had when I thought of the idea. But I love doing features as well.”
Going back to you’re sort of plethora of collaborations, you also have a huge amount of DJs remixing your songs which again sort of highlights the versatility of your work and how it’s all sort of bittersweet. A song like Sunrise in the East for example which is so soft and chilled sounding can be turned on it’s head by someone like Riton and at once the same song can be given a totally different feel. Is this something that you enjoy as an artist like do you ever listen to a remix from one of these big DJs and think ‘you’ve done a terrible job there’?
“It is a bit shit when you can tell they’ve had an existing track and they’ve just put your vocal on top of it. One of my favourite remixes by Joe Goddard of Losing is great because Joe spent the time to put all these little bits and pieces from the original into his remix. I think your always going to get features when it’s not what you envisioned. But I don’t like telling DJs what to do to much. It’s a creative license isn’t it.”
Going back to your collaboration MK, you’ve just released another single with him ‘Back and Forth’ which is another belter. You’ve collaborated with so many amazing DJs at this point, Oliver Heldons, Wilkinson, Rudimental, Matoma… Your voice is so perfect for these sort of big, heavy dance tracks but as we’ve heard a lot of your own tracks are a bit more mid-tempo. You can’t really categorise your music to one genre or style, so I think what I want to know is what sort of music and artists that inspire and influence you?
“My music has been described in the past as ‘comedown pop’.”
It is pretty bittersweet.
“Yeah like I’ve had a great night but a shit morning. But I think my influences are probably Robyn, Passion Pit… I’m a massive Bon Iver fan as well. “
Robyn has the whole happy-sad thing down as well. Her music could really take you either way depending on how you feel before you listen to her.
“I think I’ve always one of those people who are happy, but always also a little bit pensively sad. But that’s what I’ve tried to create. Hopefully that’ll push through.”
Yeah well you sort of hit the scene round about when I was turning 18 so I’ve got so many memories attached to your songs like first times going out, first festivals, all good times… So thanks for that I guess.
“Thanks. How old are you now?”
“Congratulations it’s a good age to be. I loved being 22, now I’m 24 I’m like fuck. I have to be an adult now.”
24’s alright no?
“Yeah but you can’t get away with the tantrums now that’s the only thing. “
Well it seems like you’re bossing it for being only 24.
“Thanks babe. That performance was really nervous for me. But you know what, what an incredible crowd, I knew Glasgow would be. The crowd was sick. “
Thank you Becky Hill!
“Thanks! Want a sweaty hug?”
INTERVIEW BY: JESSIE WILSON