BettyWhoarticle

 

Aussie native Betty Who has been likened to the next Katy Perry and is preparing to dazzle PrideFest audiences on the Bud Light Main Stage on Sunday, June 29 at 5:15 p.m. 

 

A 2014 "Artist to Watch" and "South by Southwest" headliner, Betty released her second EP, "Slow Dancing" on April 8, 2014, which made it to number one on the iTunes pop music charts and is currently working on her new album slated for early fall. We recently caught up with funky diva to talk Pride, her unique sound and more. 

 

We are so excited to have you coming to PrideFest – what do you have in store for audiences this summer? 

 

Hopefully some new outfits because the ones we have right now will be way too hot in the St. Louis sun playing a show. So we’re working on some new outfits—definitely a lot of energy and hopefully just like a lot of fun. 

 

I read that you’re a classically trained cellist. I imagine that training probably makes you a better pop artist in ways that a lot of people wouldn’t think of – talk about how you marry your classical training to your current art? 

 

Yeah. That’s a really good question. I think I definitely would not have been as good of an artist as I am without my classical training – that’s personally important to me. But I think the interesting part about it is I’ve been taking it seriously for the last 10 years. I didn’t just start when I went to college – I’ve been taking it since I was eleven or twelve. I think the biggest part about it for me is my ear. I’ve developed from such a young age that I have a really broad understanding of music. 

 

How would you describe your sound? 

 

It’s kind of like warm, retro-fit funk. That would be how I would say it. 

 

Who or what currently inspires you as an artist? 

 

I think my relationships are definitely what drive me whether it’s past or present relationships – experiences that I have had or seen my friends have. I think so much of it is from what I actually know and the people I know and what they are going through as well as me. 

 

What is your first or earliest Pride memory? 

 

Oh, man. My earliest Pride memory has to be when I was a couple of years old because my mum volunteered at Mardi Gras in Sydney from when I was so young. So I remember being a very, very young girl and having my mum be like, ok honey I’m going out – there will be the Mardi Gras stuff on TV so see if you can catch me. And I remember watching Mardi Gras on TV and there being all of these naked men and women dancing around. I remember thinking I don’t know why their naked but it looks like they’re having a good time and now I really want to be there. 

 

When did you first realize that your music was resonating with gay audiences? 

 

I’d say probably at my first New York show. Because up until then I’d kind of been like, most of my friend are listening to it and I’ll see who picks it up, and I was thinking it would be mostly women. And then I had my first New York show at the tiny club called Pianos and it was like 120 New York gays and maybe four women. So I was like – oh, that’s what this is. Every show in New York City has been almost entirely gay men and some women and just recently the women have been dragging their boyfriends along and I’ve been seeing a couple of straight couples in the audience, which is very funny. I’m still not used to having straight men at my show. 

 

They’re like unicorns, right? 

 

That’s right. Yeah, seriously. I see some guy making out with a girl and I’m like, are you lost?? 

 

There was a lot of buzz about the viral video featuring a surprise gay marriage proposal that uses your song "Somebody Loves You" as the soundtrack. When did you first hear about it and what did you think? 

 

I heard about it the day it came out because the guy who did the video emailed it to my manager. When we got it he said you’re gonna freak out and he emailed it and I started crying when I was watching it and a couple days later it was one of the most talked about YouTube videos of the time. It was crazy just seeing it happen and knowing about it from day one when it got put up on the Internet with 102 to views and then watching it go from there into this crazy viral video. 

 

Marriage Equality is one of the big headlines both here in the U.S and Australia – you’ve been a vocal supporter – could you talk about your advocacy both on and off the stage? 

 

Sure. I think the interesting thing about marriage equality is that as my generation gets older and the generation below me gets more vocal, whether it’s on the Internet or in their local social groups, that marriage equality is becoming a less and less scary thing to talk about and more of a comment where – wait, it’s not allowed? Why isn’t it allowed? Shouldn’t you be able to be with somebody that you love? So for me, that’s always how it’s been. I grew up and my neighbors next door were two gay men who had been together 50 years and I knew they loved each other, so I didn’t think of it as anything out of the ordinary. So for me it’s more just about doing not just what’s right but what makes sense. It’s crazy to me that some people think that you shouldn’t be able to marry the person you love more than anything in the world. 

 

What does PRIDE mean to Betty Who? 

 

Pride to me just means that you are comfortable and ecstatic and happy to show the world who you are. It’s a day of being able to shout it from the rooftops and not be afraid and come together with all your friends and have fun and just celebrate who you were born as. Whether gay, straight, black, white – just being exactly who you are in the most outrageous way on that particular day. 

 

Any upcoming projects you’d like to talk about? 

 

I’m currently working on my new album and it’s slated for early fall, October/November time – so that’s what we’re talking about right now.

 

 

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