We spoke to Beabadoobee about Beatopia, touring and Taylor Swift…

Hey Bea! We’re so stoked to chat with you, thanks for freeing up some time for us. So, getting straight into it, Coachella and touring with Halsey, how was that?

Hot! It was a crazy experience, just really different crowds and places. I guess I’m still getting used to touring so much but it’s amazing when you’re somewhere new and people are into the show. 

You’ve commented before on how artists have this idea that every song on their album needs to sound stylistically similar. I loved this comment because it’s so apt, most people like more than one genre of music, so why should we expect an album to conform to just one style? You subvert these expectations in Beatopia, was it hard to get this kind of versatility in the album approved?

Honestly, we just felt free to make whatever we wanted to. Jacob my guitarist and I were locked up listening to all different music and got creative. I just felt free to make whatever I wanted. I love Fake It Flowers but with that I kind of followed this one sound as far as I could. I’m very proud of what we made this time.

What were your favourite moments making this album?

Just being locked away and tinkering and writing in different ways and working so closely with Jacob and Iain to make it perfect. I feel happy in the studio. 

You had three songs from Patched Up used in the highly adored Netflix hit Heartstopper – what was the response like to your songs being featured in it, and did you have any other involvement in the show?

I didn’t have any direct involvement in the show, no. I have seen it though, it’s cool to see the songs get used in different ways and I’ve always dreamt of my songs being used in movies and stuff. It’s also nice my older songs are getting another look; they feel like they’re from such a long time ago, but people can now discover them in different ways. 

Also, I noticed a while back that Taylor Swift uploaded a video to her social media accounts with your song See You Soon, which you’ve said yourself is your own favourite track on the album. How did you react when you found out? Were you expecting it?

Aaaaaah, how do you even react to that? Taylor is a queen! It was definitely surreal.

You allude to the idea that this album was a sort of ‘reclamation’ of your childhood fantastical world Beatopia after a nasty experience in school. Has producing this album helped you get back in touch with what one might call your ‘inner child’?

I think when you’re a kid you’re just free to be creative and you can tap into that side of yourself. I feel like my first album was thinking about all these traumatic things and revisiting them but on this record it was that creative side of my inner child that came through. 

There’s a big focus on acceptance and self-growth in Beatopia, which is no mean feat. I feel like it’s easy to jump on the self-love bandwagon, but it feels authentic in your album. How did you push yourself to start that journey?

I mean, it’s the same as anyone I guess, I’m still learning that and how to have that self-love. I’m most comfortable in these songs; that’s a place where you can just be yourself, so I think that’s why it feels honest or authentic. 

You worked with a lot of different artists on this album, helping you feel more appreciative towards the production process. Do you think you’ll continue working in this collaborative manner moving forward?

I had never really done that until the EP I put out that I made with Matty and George from The 1975. It was so much fun being collaborative that I was just more open to it this time. We got some amazing people on this: Georgia from Jockstrap, and Robbie from  Cavetown, who has the most amazing voice. My friend PinkPantheress is on there too. It’s just fun to do that with people and I’ve learned to enjoy it. 

Do you have any specific ambitions for artist collaborations you’d like to do in the future?

I think it’s always got to be natural. There are some I’d love to do but that would be telling, ha!

And, finally, what can we expect from your tour? I think I might just have to make an appearance at one of your dates!

Please do! I can’t wait to tour again. It’s so different when you do your own tour, you know that they’re your people and it’s going to be so exciting playing these new songs and some older ones. We’re really thinking about the show this time too, it’s going to be siiiiiiick!

Main image credit: Erika Kamano