Redbrick Meets: Becky Hill | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Redbrick Meets: Becky Hill

Pop sensation Becky Hill chats to Redbrick Music Writer Ben Johns about everything from her stratospheric start, upcoming debut and difficulties in the industry

Redbrick Writer Ben Johns had the chance to have an in-depth discussion with superstar Becky Hill about her rise to fame and what's in store soon.

Your new collaboration with Jonas Blue and MK, 'Back and Forth' has just been released. Was it good to work with MK again?

I was really happy to be working with MK again as he’s been so supportive and lovely about my voice, and I haven’t really felt like that since I was on 'The Voice UK'
I actually didn’t know he was working on it until this year! I wrote that song two years ago with a guy called Mike Kintish, and then Jonas Blue wanted it for his album and my record label wanted it for my single and ironically, with the song being called ‘Back and Forth’, there was a lot of that involved. I was really happy to be working with MK again as he’s been so supportive and lovely about my voice, and I haven’t really felt like that since I was on 'The Voice UK'. You almost forget you’re good, and the fact that people like him always want to work with me makes me think I must be doing alright.

The unfortunate passing of Love Island’s Sophie Gradon this year has led to many questioning the support that is given by reality TV shows. Coming from ‘The Voice UK’, do you think you were prepared enough for what followed once the cameras stopped rolling?

The reason I used to get annoyed with people thinking of me as a ‘The Voice UK’ contestant is because they assumed that I got a lot of help, but I got basically none and had to do it all on my own. With the aftercare, everybody got one phone call, and that was it. I remember getting on the live shows, and one of my friends who was voted off in an earlier round rang me and said ‘keep every card, and every number that you get because nobody helps you afterwards’. So when the show finished, that’s exactly what I did. It’s mad that at 18, I grafted, but that’s because it was do or die, and I had to do it.

The TV Talent Show format is seeing diminishing returns in terms of ratings and commercial performance of the contestants. If you were 17 years old now, how would you have gone about getting in the music industry?

I went on ‘The Voice UK’ because, at the time, I was worried about how I looked, and I liked the idea of being judged on my voice
I never wanted to do YouTube videos because I thought that people would have laughed at me, and to be honest that’s still a fear of mine today. I went on ‘The Voice UK’ because, at the time, I was worried about how I looked, and I liked the idea of being judged on my voice. I also did it because I didn’t want to go to sixth form! If I was to do it another way, then I’d probably have gone to the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford and hoped for an audition with a record label executive.

From speaking with your peers, what’s the general consensus about being a young woman in the music industry today?

On the one hand, there are so many female DJs who are getting booked for their talent. However, I’d say it is still quite difficult.

What would you say is the main difficulty?

Whenever I talk to male artists about their worst writing session, they usually talk about how the producers they work with are shit, or that they turned up late. If you talk to a woman, then it’s more than usually about sexual harassment. I have heard more than a few horror stories, including one about a female artist being locked in a recording booth whilst the producer licked the glass. People can talk about sexual harassment, but understanding it is a completely different thing.

We’ve seen the film, TV, and politics go through their own #MeToo moments with varying success. Is the music industry in the need for its own moment of reform?

Yes definitely, but I think the whole world is. The difficulty is that a lot of these cases don’t get reported. There’s been a case that’s happened to me that I’ve never spoken about before, and that’s because I have never reported it to the police. Because of that, I don’t feel like my experience is validated enough to talk about it. With Harvey Weinstein, some people viewed the accusations as ‘just telling a story’ unless they were reported. Once we have more people going to the police, then that is a massive step in the right direction.

Is there anything you’re consciously doing to make things better for females in music?

I really want to have an all-female team and I’m thinking of posting on Instagram to try to recruit more females that can work behind the scenes with me
Women are pushed to be in the limelight, meaning that there is a lack of people working behind the scenes. My tour manager is female and I really want to have an all-female team and I’m thinking of posting on Instagram to try to recruit more females that can work behind the scenes with me.

What’s the next step in the Becky Hill solo campaign?

I had my single ‘Sunrise in the East’ this Summer, but I think my next single ‘I Could Get Used To This’ is going to be a proper smash. I have full belief in it as a commercial entity. The song was supposed to be released with a DJ after 9 months of waiting, they then decided not to release it. The collaboration would have been a great commercial platform for me, but I’m over the moon that it didn’t work out because that song is my baby and I’m so excited to put it out! The ball is really rolling, and now it feels like for the first time in my career that I have so many great songs to release including one with Shift K3Y which I think will be another big single too.

What do you think is going to be the defining moment of your album?

I think that ‘I Could Get Used To This’ is going to be a big moment!
I think that ‘I Could Get Used To This’ is going to be a big moment! There will still be the songs from years ago, but also the ones from now, and I think that’s going to give it the unique quality.  My album has been written over six years, and I’m never going to get the chance to work this long on an album again. It will be out, at the very latest, this time next year.

Are there any more finishing touches to be added?

I think that we’ve decided the tracks which are going to be included, but I’m going to LA to work with some amazing people like Alex Hope, who is a fantastic producer, and Sarah Aarons who is an amazing songwriter. I’m looking forward to working with some real kick ass female talent.

You did the festival circuit this year, and you're going to head out on your own. Are you excited to be in rooms of people who know all of your material, rather than just the collabs?

God yeah! Usually when I perform at a festival, people are just waiting to hear the features, and once I’ve done them, then they walk off. I’m really looking forward to having a fully engaged room, with everybody singing along. The Birmingham show will be my homecoming show and I’m really looking forward to it.

(@ben_johns)



Published

4th December 2018 at 7:00 am

Last Updated

7th December 2018 at 9:24 am



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