INTERVIEW: Betty Who Talks Troye Sivan And Her New Single ‘Some Kinda Wonderful’
3 February 2017, 13:51 | Updated: 2 November 2020, 17:37
PopBuzz has a chat with Betty with the good hair.
After initially finding success when "Somebody Loves You" was used on a viral video of a proposal, Australian-born, New York-based singer Betty Who has been laying the groundwork for her new album, The Valley, for the last 12 months with a number of high profile releases and collaborations and now the time has come for world domination. At least, that's what we're praying for.
Having previously supported Katy Perry and Kylie Minogue on tour, Betty was invited by Troye Sivan to sing a verse on his song 'Heaven', for which he released a powerful video about the struggles for LGBTQ rights the day before Donald Trump's inauguration in January.
During 2016, Betty teased fans with new music of her own, including a cover of the 80s classic 'I Love You Always Forever' and the pure fiyah 'Human Touch'. She followed that up today (3 Feb) with 'Some Kinda Wonderful' which is a certifiable, stone cold banger. Imagine Fergie's 'London Bridge' going on a playdate with Gwen Stefani's 'Hollaback Girl' and you've got the idea.
To put it bluntly, we're a bit obsessed with Betty. So we caught up with her over the phone for a quick chat about how she came to write her biggest song yet, working with Troye, and who she would trust to help her hide a body, should the time ever come. All the important stuff.
PopBuzz: Betty, we have been playing 'Some Kinda Wonderful' all day. It’s so good!
Betty Who: Oh my god, thank you. It feels totally surreal. I’ve been sitting on this song for a year and a half waiting for people to hear it!
That’s crazy. Describe the scene when you finished the song, you must have been elated?
I was pretty excited. I called my managed actually and left a voice message, which he saved, and I was like ‘I have just written the craaaaaziest song’ [laughs]
I can only imagine. We were big fans of the last two songs on PopBuzz Radio but this one is really next level.
Well my roommate & I did a bunch of music for this record together. He’s probably written four or five songs for my album, which is a lot, and he was like, “I don’t care about any of my songs on this record, you need to put this song out because this is good!” So you know something must be right if someone with no self-interest is saying that to you.
Well he’s right! So who did you work on this record with then?
It was me and Oak Felder, Pop & Oak (Nicki Minaj, Alessia Cara, Kehlani) and it was so wild. The night before we [wrote the song] we had this long, interesting conversation about life and how we all ended up where we were, where we wanted to be. I was talking about how much I love pop music because it’s one of the only things in the world you can have which is perfect.
And so the next day he went in early, and [when I got there] he was like ‘I’m going to play a track, you might think it’s crazy but just hear it’ and it was basically almost done. He’d done it in an hour and half. That’s how crazy he is. So I heard it and I was like ‘this is the craziest things I’ve ever heard’. And he was like ‘are you going to yell over that verse?’ and I was like ‘pretty much, yeah’. And then we wrote the rest of it in two hours and then we just kinda sat there, all excited, like ‘so here we are’.
That’s wild. Talking of which, can we talk about Troye Sivan for a moment?
So he just dropped the video for ‘Heaven’, and you sing a verse on the song. How did that collaboration come about?
Well he had already written the song and then contacted me asking if I would sing on it. And when I first heard the song there were tears because it was so beautiful. He’s such a little cherub angel and I have nothing but beautiful things to say about that boy and I’m so honoured to have be included on a song which I really think… will change a lot of people’s lives.
It’s so honest. I know so many artists strive to make music that represents that confidence and Troye pulls it off effortlessly and I think that’s a compliment to the kind of person he is. He is exactly as sweet and lovely as everybody thinks he is.
Did you get to chat much during recording?
Well he wasn’t in New York when I recorded but he wrote it with Jack Antonoff, whom I recorded it with. And I remember talking with Jack about the song, why it was so important. I didn’t know how to sing it, because Troye’s voice is quite low, and so I was like ‘I’m just going to try something’ so I sang the upper octave and I remember doing a verse that way and Jack paused the track, turned talk back on through the monitors and said ‘yeah, keep doing what you’re doing, it’s fine, hit those high notes, go for it’.
So we finished it within an hour. Troye emailed me a few days later and said ‘it’s perfect, your voice sounds beautiful’. I’ve actually performed it with him a couple of times on the Blue Neighbourhood tour and there were some people, young people especially, who were in the crowd sort of emoting for their lives. Songs like that are important and I’m really proud of him for creating something that’s so important.
It is and I think your verse on it is beautiful too.
Ok I want to play a game before we go.
Great, I love games!
Good. So you’ve worked with Troye but you’ve also supported Kylie Minogue and Katy Perry on tour in the past, so I want to play a game or either/or. All you’ve got to do is pick one of them as an answer for the following questions. Got it?
Yes. Oh my god, my Queen Kylie.
Don’t even get me started I love her.
Oh my god, I can’t even talk about it.
What’s your favourite Kylie song?
Ooooh! Oh uh…oh, I got it! I have one! I have one! My absolute favourite of all time is ‘Love At First Sight’.
That’s a good one. Mine changes quite often but at the moment it’s ‘Slow’. It’s so slutty. I love it.
Lol! Okay, first one: who smells better?
Who would you call first if you partner dumped you?
[fawning voice] Kylie!
You’ve run over a person by accident and you need someone to help you hide the body. Who’s more likely to help you?
Katy. She knows what’s up. She’s like, ‘Alright I got this’. She will handle it.
Who would you send a Valentine’s Day card to?
Awww probably Troye, my little cherub. But all of them, really.
Same. Okay, you’ve found a honey badger in your flat. Who’s going to help you free it?
Oh, Katy for sure. Katy is like Olivia Pope, she’s like ‘shit is handled’.
Okay, final one, who would you cover on karaoke?
Kylie Minogue, hands down.
The Valley will be released on March 24, with pre-orders starting today and “Some Kinda Wonderful” is also available to download today. Don’t forget to catch Betty on tour this Spring. Dates below.