Bethia Beadman’s music dazzles with a special presence and a feel of real artistic touch to her songs or better said - beautiful romantic tales. Her charismatic debut album ‘Made of Love’ was critically acclaimed and the video for her song ‘Fire’, taken from the album, received a well deserved award for Best Music Video at the Cannes Film Festival. She even experienced a life on the road with Courtney Love as a part of her band. Releasing not one, but two albums this year, Bethia gives us an insight on both records in the following interview and shares her views on romance, music, influences and more.
EVA: Your debut album 'Made of Love', which got a lot of praise from critics. How do you recall the journey to making this record?
BETHIA: Long enough for crystals to form in the cracks!
EVA: The album is filled with romantic tales and heartbreak. What are your views on romance and do you think the modern world lacks the true understanding of it?
BETHIA: Romance is just one way of expressing the unanswerable. Remember 'Room with a View', when the kid goes around painting question marks on everything until he falls in love? Society likes to suppress it with the term 'teenage angst', when in that phase of growth, from pubescence to adulthood, teenagers have the power to draw lightening to them… Some of us cannot be tamed into adulthood. And romance also plays out the archetypal patterns we are born into and our experiences in the early years. And one doesn't have a muse for the sheer hell of it. Whatever they throw at you, it is a vibrant portal to the eternal, widely misrepresented by the notion of melancholia too. Heartbreak is simply knowing, that we will die one day, no?
EVA: Where did you draw the inspirations from during the making of ‘Made of Love’?
BETHIA: Ha. I wish I 'drew inspiration', that sounds like a wonderful, light, conscious and discerning act indeed. My first and second albums are rather a projectile compulsion at this stage of proceedings… Embers sparking up from my gut - more like 'Dig it up and Dig it out and Glow Baby Glow…' Then again, there are touches of a more graceful source in the melodies of Homerton Station and Tambourine.
EVA: Your video for 'Fire' won some big prizes, including the Best Music Video at the Cannes Film Festival. Could you tell us about the shooting process of it?
BETHIA: This was a no budget video. The reason it looks hot is down to the talent of Mason Jar who is glorious to work with. We did plenty of guerilla shooting with security distraction tactics, because you have to pay for a permit in so many places in and around L.A. When we did the opening slow-mo shot, walking down the hallway and into the glass lift, the security buzzer was going off in the apartment block. And I believe we made the freeway traffic report, breaking down in our El Camino fairly regularly…
EVA: You’ve spent some time touring with Courtney Love and her band in the past. What musical experiences and tips have you gained from this particular period?
BETHIA: Specifically, I remember the first band practise - we were all kids except the drummer who was bit older, and he said, 'Look, if you all mess around on instruments all at once, all the time, you'll be on the next plane home. Like, shut the f**k up'.
EVA: Are there any artists/people who have had a strong influence on you over the years?
BETHIA: A lady called Chloe Goodchild who lives on Dartmoor and is a voice whisperer. And the Bhakti devotional poet saints, who disintegrate into bliss through devotion. I think TV on the Radio are an amazing band. Otherwise, artists that are lyrically sharp and direct (with guitars), Lou Reed, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Nick Cave, voices that sparkle like Stevie Nicks or Emmy Lou. The Stooges, Nirvana, all the usuals!
EVA: What do you love the most about performing to a live audience?
BETHIA: A freedom that occurs in the tension of the designated performance space, the alignment of its walls, and how it then in turn aligns the body and hopefully translates similarly to the listener.
EVA: What do you think has been the biggest challenge for you so far musically and what drives you the most as an artist?
BETHIA: In a way there is no challenge musically or otherwise, since there is just the process, only the process, and trust in that at any given time. But you'd better like driving. As for the rest, that is in the wishing well.
EVA: Your mother is a fashion designer who designed dresses for Hollywood stars in the 70’s and whose ball gowns have been a part of V&A exhibition. Did she lead you to the creative path?
BETHIA: Absolutely. I was taught that the only way to deal with one’s own condition is to map out the fairytale story of the soul. In fact, my mother would call it 'remembering' rather than creating, since she's into the simultaneous nature of past, present and future, as am I!
EVA: And finally you’re set to release a second album this year. Could you give us an idea, what it’s going to be like?
BETHIA: I actually have two albums this year. One will be properly released and a friend said, 'Rod Stewart would be happy with those choruses'. The other is more mysterious and contains a handful of precious gems… 'At the Beach' was recorded live at The Speaker Palace when we held a big party to launch the first album, so it has a whispering cocktail effect in the background, the song of my loved ones. It also has 'Georgia' on it, which is an unfolding epic to be continued on screen.