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5 Questions With Beabadoobee

Beabadoobee’s parents wanted her to be a doctor or to play an orchestral instrument, but this BRITS Rising Star Award nominee had other guitar-based plans...

When did you first start to consider pursuing a career in music, and who were your musical inspirations?

When I was 17 my dad got me an old beat up acoustic guitar because he saw me sad and wanted to encourage me to do something. I started writing songs pretty much straight away and only recently, even within the last few months, have I started to think I can really do this as a career.

Growing up I obsessed about The Beatles and 90’s bands like Sonic Youth, Pavement, Smashing Pumpkins, and indie folk like Mouldy Peaches - also a lot of Elliot Smith.

You went from traditional violin lessons to YouTube guitar tutorials. Do you think this is a method that many people will follow?

My very traditional Asian family had the classic way of thinking: ‘play an orchestra instrument’ or ‘be a doctor’. [laughs] Today, people start off making beats on a laptop, but hopefully I encourage young people to pick up the guitar and rock out! YouTube tutorials are a great way to develop your own style, and go at your own pace.

My very traditional Asian family had the classic way of thinking: ‘play an orchestra instrument’ or ‘be a doctor’... Beabadoobee

The first song you wrote on your guitar was Coffee - what was the inspiration for this song, and where were you when you wrote it? How did this song change your life?

Coffee was one of my early songs but my first full song I put online. I based it on my boyfriend and I was at home when I wrote it. When it started getting all the views on YouTube, it helped me want to write more and also brought me to my team where I started to work on the project and EPs. I’m currently recording my debut album!

You were nominated for a Rising Star Award at the BRITS - what does it mean to you to get this nomination, especially considering some of the past winners? (Adele, Jessie J, Emeli Sandé, Sam Smith, James Bay, Rag'n'Bone Man...)

I was really shocked to hear I was nominated for this. When I was told I was sitting on the toilet and just thought “Okay, this cool!!” Then I started to understand who else has been nominated in the past and who won. It’s an honour!

Tell us about your experience with Fender Next, and what the brand has done for you...

Fender is such a great company. So many of my favourite musicians play Fender so I grew up seeing the brand all over photos and videos. Their guitars are great and I’m happy to be part of Fender Next. I’m looking to stay close to the brand and keep playing their equipment when recording and for live shows.

The team are amazing and are helping me with finding the right guitars and amps for my sound. It’s important they champion artists who are playing guitars and making sure that in these electronic times that we don’t forget the classic guitar/bass sounds that we’ve all grown up listening to. I’d love to have my own Fender model one day!