New York-based Australian singer-songwriter Betty Who (Jessica Anne Newham) creates electronic-pop that makes you want to let go, turn up the music, and dance your heart out. Recently releasing her Slow Dancing EP on April 8th, Betty Who is touring across North America. Before playing Toronto’s The Garrison with Zak Waters and Cardiknox tonight, we spoke with Jessica to discuss the new EP, favourite clothes, superpowers, and inspirations. Read the entire interview below, and purchase the Slow Dancing EP here.
AMBY: Congrats on the release of your new EP, The Slow Dancing EP. Tell me about the process, what was the experience like creating it?
Betty Who: It’s been sitting and ready to put out for a long time, so while I was making it, it was exciting, and stressful [laughs], and emotional. For me, the EP is very personal and I think the songs are very personal. I hope not just to me, but to everyone else who hears them. In general, while I was making it I felt really confident.
AMBY: When it comes to its title, what’s the significance and inspiration behind calling the new release The Slow Dancing EP?
Betty Who: Sometimes I write a lyric in a song that I love as a title, or something that’s emotional. I wanted to highlight one of my favourite lyrics so I thought that calling the EP The Slow Dancing EP would do that. The fact that a lot of the songs are upbeat dance songs, I liked that.
AMBY: I found it kind of interesting since the first video I saw of yours, Somebody Loves You, was the opposite of slow dancing – it’s a ridiculously upbeat dance song.
Betty Who: Right!
AMBY: Aside from inspirations in music, I noticed that you have an amazing wardrobe.
Betty Who: Awhh.
AMBY: [laughs] Who inspires your unique look, and do you feel it has an influence on your sound at all?
Betty Who: I don’t really have a word for my look or my style. I think I kind of figured it out when I was a little younger how I wanted to dress, specifically for my body. I am not tiny or can pop into a size four, you know? I think that my teenage years told me what looks good on me, and by now I have my favourite pair of jeans and parts of my wardrobe. I almost have my favourite pairs of everything. I think that’s kind of similar to the way that I write songs – how I want to put things together; taking my favourite emotions and lyrics and putting them together into one and making a song I think is cool.
AMBY: I really like that analogy. Moving onto the less serious questions, I have a few quick fire ones for you. Here we go: you just mentioned your favourite jeans, but what is your favourite article of clothing?
Betty Who: Oh, I have an old pink tank-top that is my favourite thing in the whole world! I would wear it every single day [laughs].
AMBY: If Betty Who were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
Betty Who: Teleportation.
AMBY: Where would you go?
Betty Who: Nothing would be better than finishing a show and then going home to my boyfriend and sleeping in my own bed.
AMBY: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Betty Who: Probably kangaroo meat. When I was, like, 15…
AMBY: Something that stands out to me is that you love sharing your life with your fans; it’s not all about releases, it’s also about your journey as an artist. What’s been one of the highlights of your career so far?
Betty Who: For me, I think that probably doing a live television set up is pretty incredible because it’s not something that everybody gets to do. Live television is so much different than playing a regular show and it’s so intense and high-energy and everyone expects so much from you! All of that together feels very intense.
AMBY: Now we’re at the last question of the interview, what’s something about Betty Who that nobody knows yet?
Betty Who: I’ve got this one! I was actually born in the bathtub.
Thank you Betty Who, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout