Betty Who is probably the best thing to happen to pop music since Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake got together.
Australian born singer-song writer, Betty Who, (Jess Newham) is a strikingly beautiful 6-foot-something blonde with sparkly eyes and a killer laugh. She is about as cool as they come…classically trained in cello, unbelievably charismatic & charming, and best of all, incredibly humble. Not only does Betty Who make pop music that makes you want to dance in your underwear, she would love nothing more than to join you in your boogie session.
I sat down with the lovely Betty Who to discuss her growing fame and a few of her favorite things… Beyoncé, Selfie Sundays, love for throw back 90’s jams, Harry Styles, and her favorite thing above all, her fans.
The hit single, "Somebody Loves You" off her debut EP, 'The Movement' went viral this fall after Spencer Trout posted a You Tube video proposing to his partner, Dustin, with a flash mob dancing to Betty Who inside a Utah Home Depot. 2013 has been on quite the whirlwind after serious momentum following her debut EP, 'The Movement,’ graduating from Berklee College of Music, and signing to RCA Records.
After the success she has had this year, we can only expect wonderful things to come for Betty Who in 2014, starting the year off with a tour and the release of her debut full length album. Check out the newest track she is on with producer, friend, and fellow Berklee classmate, Peter Thomas, “All Of You” (feat. Betty Who), premiered on EARMILK and keep an eye out for this rising star!
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If you don’t know about Betty Who yet, get ready, not only will you fall in love with her infectiously fun music, after you know more about her, you will want to be her best friend.
EARMILK: How’s it going, what have you been up to today?
BETTY WHO: I’m Great! I’m at my house right now – my drummer can’t make the show tonight, so I have a sub. I had to go shopping for an all white outfit for him, in my show all my band wears white.
EM: So exciting you signed with RCA – when did that happen and tell me about it, that must have been such an exciting day!
BW: I signed with them like September 15ht or 16th? It was pretty fucking cool. I met with a bunch of labels and it was down to a couple of them, and we ended up with RCA. It was really an easy choice though; I loved them from the beginning. From the first meeting we had in like May, I got the best vibes from them.
EM:So you recently moved to New York – where were you before that?
BW: I moved over the summer, from Boston. I finished at Berlkee in over the summer and then moved to New York.
EM: I love the Starsmith remix of “Somebody Loves You,” all of the remixes are awesome actually, which one is your favorite?
BW: I really really like it as well, but oh my gosh, [laughs] that’s picking favorites, that’s sort of like asking which one of my children I love more. I really love them all. I am actually so happy with everything we have gotten back, which is so cool I can’t wait to see what else people make.
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EM: Speaking of amazing things done with your music,what was your reaction the first time you saw the amazing flash mob marriage proposal to "Somebody Loves You," I watched it this morning and was weeping by the end, its amazing!
BW: Yes, that’s how it should have gone. Oh my god, I wept, I wept a thousand weeps…When it came out, my entire twitter mention feed was going crazy. Its adorable, are you kidding, I was sitting at my hair dresser’s and just cried, I absolutely love it.
EM: What would you say are your biggest musical influences and your favorite music these days?
BW: I am super influenced by singer-songwriters, so I really love Joni Mitchell, Carol King and Michael Jackson. Right now, I’m listening to a lot of Carla Bruni and KING…those are the two bands I’ve been listening a lot, and Miguel. I love Miguel. And then there is Beyoncé, but I’ve been listening to Beyoncé everyday my whole life. I saw her over the summer in Boston…and it literally changed my life…she’s an angel, I was like dying. I might get a What Would Beyoncé Do Tattoo, literally WWBD tattooed on me somewhere.
EM: Okay, let’s play the desert Island game…We’re on a desert island. And you can bring: 3 albums, 3 foods, 3 movies, and 3 celeb hotties with you…what/who would you pick? ...and you don’t have to be Macgyver or Lost about it, the island is really accommodating and fun.
BW: (laughs) Okay! Awesome, love it
EM: Let’s start with 3 Albums…
BW: Oh Man, this is a hard one! Probably…. ‘Thriller’…..Oh man (sighs)… ‘Blue’ by Joni Mitchell, and….the last one this is really tough, ooooh I’m really nervous, um ‘Future Sex Love Sounds’ by Justin Timberlake.
EM: Okay now, 3 Foods: remember you don’t have to bring a cow, you can bring a cheeseburger, we’ll even throw in a pickle
BW: Okay, (laughs)..a cow…First I would bring, hummus, for sure lots of hummus….can I say sushi? But if it's one specific roll... I’ll go with a Rainbow roll. There’s a ton of shit in rainbow rolls, I feel good about that choice…and the 3rd one, Green Tea Coconut Ice Cream. Its so good, you have no idea. I don’t eat dairy, and so it’s this mind blowing vegan ice cream, its amazing and totally replaces real ice cream.
EM:Let’s move on to 3 Movies..
BW: Shit! This is really hard…(laughs). Oh, Beyoncé Live at Roseland DVD, I’m so serious, its my favorite DVD of ALL time. And then I would bring, maybe A Cinderella Story, you know? with Hilary Duff….and then, Gentleman Prefer Blondes.
EM:OK and now for the most important question of all – 3 celebrity hotties you’d bring to your desert island
BW: Ooooh! This one is easier – Harry Styles, Nick Jonas, and….Shemar Moore. Those are my 3 celebrity crushes that are like so real and deep, that they are starting to take over my life (laughs).
EM: You Kill it on Instagram, LOVE your Selfie Sundays, they always make the Sunday Scaries a bit better – what is your favorite way to interact with your fans?
BW: I’m so glad you like them! I obviously prefer in person at shows, but of all of the social medias, I love Instagram, just because I have so much fun with the pictures, putting shit all over the pictures, love the photo editing apps
EM: This might be rediculous, but my mom and dad love your music, have you gotten that before?
BW: Oh my god, all the time, seriously all of my friends keep telling me that all the time! They’re like “my mom is obsesseddd with you!” I want to make a whole line of t-shirts that say, MOMS <3 BETTY WHO. But, love that your dad is a pop slut.
EM: What’s your favorite moment with a fan?
BW: There are 2 that I’ll tell you. The first was at my sold out show in Chicago, and there were these two guys who were standing in the bar in front of the venue holding up a sign “WILL GIVE BLOW JOBS FOR 2 BETTY WHO TICKETS” and I was like, you’re amazing, let me put you on the list. And the other just happened this weekend! I was on a plane coming back from Thanksgiving and the girl in front of me was like, “Hi are you Betty Who?” And I said, “Oh my gosh! Yes!” and she asked to take a selfie with me, and was like “my friends are going to freak out! I was at your show in Chicago, it was amazing!” So that was really fun taking a selfie taking a photo with a girl on my random American Airlines flight. I felt pretty cool.
EM: Best on stage memory?
BW: I played a show on my 22nd birthday in Chicago, and in in the middle of the set. Randomly the entire crowd started singing happy birthday to me. And that was an amazing moment. This whole sold out show was singing to me and I thought, none of you know me, this is the most amazing thing in the whole world. I thought I was going to loose it.
EM: Oh my god that would have made me weep, I’m such a wimp, and every thing makes me cry
BW: Oh me too, you know what gets me, the soldiers coming home from war videos, but I saw it happen in real life…. I had a couple friends come in for Thanksgiving. And I was waiting for them at the airport and I saw this soldier in uniform who was getting off the plane. His mom and dad were standing near me waiting for him. He saw his mom and started SPRINTING towards them and jumped into his mother’s arms. She’s sobbing and he’s holding her. And I just LOOSE IT. My friends come up to me and I’m like I’m so sorry I can’t hug you I just saw the most amazing thing ever.
EM: That is amazing, Are you working on any music now or are you focused on touring?
BW: I’m almost done with album that is coming out in the Spring! That is the big plan, really exited about it.
EM: Have you collaborated with anyone awesome for the new album?
BW: Yea! There is a song on there that I wrote with Ghost Beach, they aren’t featured in in, but we wrote it together.
EM: What can we look forward to with you in 2014, tell me about your tour!
BW: Its going to be really exciting. Can’t wait to play my first California shows, I'm really looking forward to that. And my album, can't wait for my album!
After chatting with Betty Who, it is clear that not only is Jess Newham a very talented young artist, but she's one of the coolest cats out there. Be sure to be on the look out for Betty Who in 2014, she will be one to watch.