At a school full of some of the best musicians and performers in the world, it can prove to be undeniably difficult to break through all of the talent and get anyone to notice you. Nonetheless, every now and then, a Berklee student becomes one of the musicians that everyone at Berklee seems to know. Jess Newham, better known as Betty Who, has quickly become just that. Naturally, with her most recently released single, “Fire with Fire,” making us want to just skip all of our homework and dance around our apartments every day, we had to snag her for our artist of the month for November.
Check out our interview with Betty Who below!
Berklee Groove: How did you originally get started in music?
Betty Who: I started playing cello when I was four years old, so I was but a babe when I took an interest in music.
BG: Why did you choose to attend Berklee?
BW: I knew I wanted to study songwriting and Berklee was the only place in the world I could see myself doing that at.
BG: What is the most important thing you’ve learned while at Berklee?
BW: You have to get really good at time management while you’re here, and I was the opposite of really good at time management when I arrived. That was a harsh but important lesson for me to learn while I’ve been here.
BG: Who are your biggest music influences?
BW: Easy: Joni Mitchell, Michael Jackson, Foster the People and Vampire Weekend.
BG: Where do you draw inspiration from for your songs?
BW: I don’t like writing about what I don’t know. So everything that happens to/around me throughout the day is active inspiration.
BG: What’s the story behind your single, “Fire with Fire”?
BW: Fire With Fire is about, for at least one night, forgetting about everything that is overwhelming or underwhelming or challenging and just kissing somebody or dancing or laughing because that’s what we have to do sometimes.
BG: What are your ultimate goals as a musician and a performer?
BW: I want to make people dance, and laugh and feel transported from their every day lives to a different world. Performing live has always been my favourite part of the job, so I’m so excited to start gigging around Boston. I want my shows to be an explosion of energy and warmth.
BG: What can we expect next from you?
BW: We have a few remixes. The next single will be “Somebody Loves You” and I’m so excited about it. I’m having a lot of fun putting everything together.
BG: What do you want our readers to know about you and your music?
BW: I’m a 6’2” (6’7” if I’m in heels) stanky-leg expert who likes to sing indie-pop music and bake vegan treats that sometimes taste good.