Hailing from London, singer-songwriter Rose Betts has found herself adapting to life in L.A thanks to the viral success of a tongue-in-cheek song she wrote as a joke. She may be on the other side of the road, but with the release of debut full-length album, White Orchids, she’s very much in the driving seat.
Where is the good cheese in L.A? A fair question, considering an immediately endearing and down to earth Betts is from the UK, where allegedly you can score a nice wedge on every corner.
Moving to the land of opportunity in August 2021 to ride the wave of her music career, the singer-songwriter tells Headliner that she is adapting to life in America.
“I don't feel like I'm here permanently,” she says almost defensively – ever loyal to the UK. “It's very much, ‘Make hay while the sun shines’ and then I'm gonna come back”.
But in the meantime, the important questions must be answered.
“Americans have packets of crisps that are cheese flavoured, but they'll always say, ‘Made with real cheese’ on it’, which is never something you see on a crisp packet in the UK,” she points out.
“Their levels of cheese are weird. They have spray cheese here and stuff that you think should be used as plastic glue rather than something you eat. In Tesco you can wander in and get a nice wedge of Parmesan for four quid, but here you can't get Parmesan unless you're at Whole Foods and it's going to cost you $16. You just can't get a nice cheese in normal shops here!”
Cheese-hunting aside, things are going incredibly well for Betts, who toured the UK in 2017 and then self-released her first EP, The Stars Look Down, receiving major radio play on BBC 2 and BBC 6.
Fast forward a little and her self-produced track, Song to the Siren was included on Zack Snyder's Justice League (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). She’s here today to talk about her new album, White Orchids, which she wrote and co-produced herself.
The internet works in mysterious ways, and one day Betts found herself going viral on Tiktok with her whimsical, folk-flavoured tune, Driving Myself Home – which at the time of writing has clocked up over five million views.
Inspired by a real blind date her friends set her up on, Betts wrote the song as a joke, including the lyrics: The best part of the date today was driving myself home / It's not as if he didn't try, his shoes were clean, he wore a tie / And paid for my martini with a smile / And the conversation never stopped, I didn't even check my watch / And a view over L.A is always nice…
“I wrote the song really quickly and was just joking and processing this funny date that I'd been on and my feelings around it,” she reflects, bemused at the Tiktok success.
“I wrote the song on a guitar without thinking much about it – I don't normally play guitar, I only play guitar for Tiktok, and now there’s this song I'm gonna play until I die,” she laughs.
“I put the chorus and the verse up and it immediately went nuts. Within a day it was nearing 300,000 views, and then a million. Something about it was immediately appealing to people and I could probably guess why that is, but it was fun. It was immediately evident that it was super suited to the Tiktok world – it's a funny old world, that one,” she shrugs.