I have known Surrey-based artist Bee for a long time now…
and am always amazed by her strength and determination. She has gone through some hard time but prevailed; been driven by that love for music – bolstered by the support of her friends and family. Circles is a song she conceived a long time but has just been released. The reception from fans and new followers has been amazing and showcases a special, passionate voice in the music world. I was keen to ask Bee how she’s matured and changed since her early days; the artists and albums that have gone into her own music and whether she has aspirations to release an album soon. She discusses the music video for Circles and what it feels like knowing the song it out there. I ask whether she thinks women have to fight harder to be recognised and the acts she is tipping for success. It is a revealing and frank interview from a young talent who is going to have a promising and successful future.
Hi, Bee. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey, Sam, it’s been amazing! I released my new single and have been busy celebrating, haha!
For those new to your music can you introduce yourself, please?
Hi. I’m Bee. I’m a Folk-Pop singer-songwriter from Surrey and I’ve just released my new single, Circles! I’ve been songwriting and gigging for the last few years and it’s my passion. I play piano, guitar and ukulele – and I’d describe my songs as being from the heart.
I have been following your music for a while and love tracks such as Off with Their Heads. How would you say you’ve changed as a songwriter the last couple of years?
I suppose I’d have to say I’ve come to love and accept my music more. I used to constantly compare myself to other songwriters and fear judgement. But now, I see the importance of my individuality and I think my music reflects that.
Circles is another song I love and one, I believe, you are filming a video for at the moment?
Yes, of course! The song has now been released and can be found on all major online retail outlets, e.g. iTunes, Spotify etc., and the video will be released in the next couple of weeks.
Circles was actually one of the first songs I ever wrote – a long time ago now! I was stuck at music school and I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going.
All I knew was that I wanted to pursue music but everything I did seemed to go wrong – and Circles reflects that feeling of two-steps-forwards, one-step-back but knowing the hard work is needed to get to where you want to be.
Listening to the song, I hear soulful tones and a voice that carries a lot of emotion and passion. Who were the vocalists who inspired you young and the singers you follow now?
I have a huge range of singers who inspired me such as Norah Jones, Katie Melua and Carole King – who I grew up listening to – and now artists such as Ed Sheehan, Mumford & Sons; Gabrielle Aplin and London Grammar.
But, really, I try not to be like anyone else!
The last couple of years have been quite difficult for you but you are back in the studio. Does it feel good to be recording again and how have the events of the last year/two affected your songwriting and mentality towards music?
There’s been a huge amount of change for me over the last couple of years. I’ve been in and out of music and trying to find my way – which is another reason why I wanted Circles to be my first release this year as it’s really been how I’ve felt. As an artist, I’ve found the confidence to release my music to the world and realised it’s my truest passion. That and the importance of being true to yourself: not caring what other people think! Music is such an integral part of my life and who I am. I lost a part of myself without it. I just hope other people connect to my music, too!
Have you got any gigs planned for the coming weeks or later in the year?
There are a few things in the pipeline yet to be announced! But, expect some exciting events.
I am excited by the prospect of future material. Do you see yourself releasing an E.P. or album? Can we see a Bee record very soon?
I have another three songs all recorded already and I’m planning on releasing them this year as well!
So, there are lots of exciting things to look forward to and I can’t wait to share them all! Then my dream is to release a full-length album hopefully next year – so watch this space!
You are also exceptional when covering other songs and give them a very personal touch. Are you working on any new covers or sticking to original material?
I’ve recently been sticking to my own material but I’ve got plans for some cover videos to come out soon!
Looking back at your time in music, what have been your fondest memories to date?
Recording my music video for Circles has got to be my highlight.
I worked really hard on the dance choreography and the feeling of putting my pointe shoes back on was incredible; just doing what I love – performing. I can’t wait to release it!
There is often talk, in music media for example, that there are fewer opportunities for female artists – women have to work harder to get the same attention as men. Have you experienced this at all and feel there is an imbalance in the industry?
I have been fortunate not to have experienced this but, unfortunately, we see imbalances in every sector of society. It’s an issue that’s close to my heart and I’d love to be able to make a difference with.
As you are recording and planning head, are there any dreams and ambitions, as an artist, yet to be ticked? Any countries you’d love to perform in or a dream collaboration in mind?
Of course! There is so much left for me to achieve!
A world tour is a big dream of mine and especially to perform on the main stage at Glastonbury Festival. My dream collaboration would be with Ed Sheeran: I love his music and his authenticity and it would be incredible to perform with him.
If you had to select the three albums that have meant the most to you, what would they be and why?
The three albums that pop into my head immediately are…
Maroon 5 – Songs About Jane. I used to play it on repeat when it came out and it’s still one of my all-time favourites.
Mumford & Sons – Babel. The lyrics and musicality of this album blew me away. I connected to it on so many levels and I adore it.
Hozier – Hozier. This was such a great album, I went and saw Hozier perform it live at the O2 Academy in Brixton and it was one of my favourite concerts. His voice is so raw and his songs are so full of emotion.
Are there any new acts out there you recommend we check out?
I’m a big fan of Billie Marten – such a beautiful voice, so if you’ve not yet listened to her album, then I’d definitely recommend you check it out.
Another great artist is Sam Morrow – with his fearless lyrics and raw raspy voice.
Is there any advice you’d give to upcoming songwriters?
Don’t be afraid of what other people think! Be true to yourself and you can’t go wrong – people connect with authenticity.
Finally, and for being a good sport, you can pick a song (not one of yours as I’ll do that) and I’ll play it here.
This is one of my all-time favourite songs; the lyrics are phenomenal:
Mumford & Sons – White Blank Page, please!