Interview: Betty Harper
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My earliest memory of discovering music was when I saw my Mum on stage playing her guitar and singing, she was the worship leader at church so she was in charge of the music etc. I just remember thinking "That's what I want to do one day." If I hadn't got into music I would have done something to do with animals or teaching children in primary schools. definitely.
What do you like to do when you're not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I'm not busting out a tune or two with my guitar or piano, you'll usually find me in front of the TV gaming. I'm not a huge gamer but I enjoy catching up with my cousin who lives a few hours away from me. It's so much fun! Other than that, I do like to do a bit of training, although one glance at me would tell you otherwise... This all can influence my creativity because training really gets me thinking while I'm using the punching bag and helps me to figure out what my body is telling me to write, for my other way of dealing with emotions.
How long has your band been around?
I wasn't always confident with my music. I would go absolutely nuts with music in my room alone, but in public I would shy away at any opportunity to show it. My final year at high school really encouraged me to do better and be more confident in my music and who I am, because at the end of the day it's only you who you should try and impress. I grew more confident and eventually started to perform in front of drunk people at pubs, once everyone had a beer or two down them it settled my confidence, and yes I mean everyone, especially me... you know.. to calm the nerves... So anyway, I'd say I started to become the singer/songwriter Betty Harper officially to the public a couple of years ago.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I grew up in the town of Rhyl in North Wales. My music side wasn't really impacted until we moved to a village called Alresford in Hampshire when I was 9 ish years old. This is when I was impacted by the power of music and what it meant to be a songwriter. My journey of writing music began after my grandad died, That's when my first song was composed and uploaded to youtube. The songwriting skills grew from there, I developed new styles, ways of writing and also discovered this gift.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
When my brother was younger, he wasn't able to say Bethany so he started calling me Betty and it stuck. Ever Since then, I've been Betty to most people I know. I decided to have my singer name as Betty Harper in honour of that. To me, Betty isn't just a name it's a memory and a cute reminder of when my brother and I were younger.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
The best show I have played is so hard to say because I haven't done many gigs in big venues but if I had to choose one I'd have to say when I was in Wales Has Talent. It wasn't my personal show, but when I performed my own song there in front of the crowd with the spotlight, it was such an amazing experience, a feeling like no other. When I had finished my performance, the crowd was clapping and gave me a standing ovation. I knew that this was what I was meant to do. My worst show was a battle of the bands we had to do for school. During these times I was a nervous wreck bear in mind so doing this was a HUGE thing for me. We hadn't rehearsed enough and it wasn't our best performance but we made up for it at our awards night haha!
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
My favourite venue to play at so far has to be SunnyVale Caravan Park. I work here but every now and again I am asked to do a little performance. I love it because I know most of the people there and it's just such an amazing community of people. If I could play absolutely anywhere, of course it would have to be the 02 arena. yes, I'm a long way off but a girl can dream. right?...
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
This is my favourite question but one I might get hated on for my answer... got to be the one and only Justin Bieber and of course, I can't forget my number one, Ed Sheeran. The only two I need in life... and of course Nutella but I don't think Nutella could do anything interesting other than taste ridiculously good!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Advice I would give anyone thinking of coming into the music industry is don't give up! It's really hard but worth every amount of effort put in. I sometimes feel like giving up but, you've got to remember Rome wasn't built in a day... or so everyone keeps telling me! seriously though, don't give up. If it's something that drives you and you're passionate about it, keep putting that effort in because one day you'll see results. no matter how big or small.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
If I could go back in time and give myself advice I would tell myself that nothing is easy, thing's change and situations change but you'll get through all of it with a valuable lesson at the end of every obstacle. You might feel that you want to give up and give in but don't! remember, when you're going through hell just keep going! you'll make it out the other side. I think that's good enough!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
The song that means the most to me is Blood Is Thicker Than Alcohol 100%. This one means the most to me because I wrote it about someone very close to me who was in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic. It saddened me that she had to lie about the injuries she had gained because of the abuse, and the pain it gave her physically, emotionally and mentally. To see someone you love go through something like this feeling alone, and you not being able to do anything at all to stop it really takes a toll. So, I turned to music and wrote this song in hopes that she would hear it and know that she isn't alone.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My favourite song to play will be Blood is Thicker Than Alcohol, and my most requested song before I was signed was anything to do with Calum Scott. I never really played my own music often, I wasn't majorly confident in doing that at the time I performed in the caravan park.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
My creative process, more often than not, is to write a song on a topic I've been thinking about during the day that I feel needs to be written down and played into a song. When I have a deadline on writing a song, I usually go through my thoughts and write about something that bothers me or that i'm passionate about, the creative juices usually start flowing then! When it comes to actually writing it, I always start with chords that give me the same vibe as the topic whether that's sad or happy. I can usually get something going pretty quickly after that.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
The kind of messages I get across in my music so far are about love, loss, heartbreak and not being alone. My main goal for my music is to give people music they can relate to and that could also help people. Since the release of Blood Is Thicker Than Alcohol, I've had many people message me or who've seen me out and about and say that they could relate to my music on a personal level and really helped them. THAT is my aim.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Thankfully, it's just me so I don't disagree with myself... too often. I suppose when writing songs, it could be easier with band members because there's more people to bounce ideas off. I don't think it's all too bad being a lone ranger though, I do like my own company sometimes!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
My plan for the future is just to do the best of my ability in the career I love and do better everyday. You get out what you put in! I have 3 more singles coming out this year that I think people will like so keep an eye and an ear out!