You’ve probably heard about Kesha’s legal battle with her former producer, Dr Luke; she alleged that he sexually assaulted her, but because of her recording contract she was unable to release any new music without his involvement. Then her case was dismissed. Sad, sad stuff.
For years we were denied any new Kesha music, having to settle for playing her old material on a Spotify loop, all the while wondering if she’d even WANT us to be listening to it.
But, dear Animals, Kesha is BACK. Her (amazing) new single Praying dropped on 6 July and, since then, we’ve had two more tracks from the glitteriest lady in pop. Here’s everything you need to know about Kesha’s comeback so far…
Praying is her first single in nearly four years
And my goodness was it worth the wait. “This song is about me finding peace in the fact that I can’t control everything — because trying to control everyone was killing me,” Kesha wrote in her Lenny Letter. “It’s about learning to let go and realise that the universe is in control of my fate, not me.”
In fact, it drops on 11 August, and includes two collaborations with Eagles Of Death Metal plus one with Dolly Parton.
“The reason I wanted to name this record Rainbow is because I kind of associate healing with kind of going back to my child-like mind, before I got all twisted and turned and beaten and heartbroken and all those things,” Kesha explained in a recent interview.
“Everything was magical and I didn’t understand it and the world was so big and beautiful and I trusted everyone and everything and it was just so perfect and wonderful.”
Praying isn’t the only therapeutic song on the album
Of Learn To Let Go, Kesha said, “This song is about washing away what doesn’t work for you… Vulnerability has never felt so freeing and cathartic.”
Woman, meanwhile, is “an anthem for anyone else who wants to yell about being self-sufficient and strong.” Kesha did, however, take the time to remind us that her inner wild child is still there.
“It’s important for me that people know that there are a lot of emotions on my new album Rainbow – but the wild fun energy that first inspired me to perform has not, and will never, go away,” she wrote on Instagram.
She has plenty of support from her fellow celebs
Just take a look at some of the tweets championing Kesha over the past few weeks:
The 2 new songs @kesharose dropped are FIRE!!! So happy for her perseverance & for comin back even stronger!!! 😘❤😘
Taylor Swift was just 16 when she brought out her first album, Taylor Swift, at which point she’d been writing songs for four years #teengoals.
Before she was singing about moving to New York and possibly going out with Harry Styles, Swift bottled up the ultimate teenage experience and poured it all out while strumming on a guitar. Her earlier albums contain a lot of solace for anybody trying to work out dilemmas at school, with friends and, yes, with boys.
So, to celebrate one of our fave singers (and perhaps hopefully a new album this year), here are the best lyrics to live your teenage life by – and the songs they come from.
1. Life is bigger than kissing the person you fancy
A valid lesson for life, not just adolescence, and yet one that can always fade peskily into the background when hormones are really doing their thing.
Swift, who has built a career on singing about kissing the person you fancy, included this nugget of wisdom in Fifteen, a cautionary ballad from her second album, Fearless. In it she captures everything from the first day of school to first dates, kisses, and heartbreaks and includes the sage advice: “But in your life you’ll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team”. And you will.
2. Whatever you’ve done, you can pick yourself up and start again
Bizarrely, Swift’s introspective Speak Now album track Innocent is said to be written about Kanye West, who famously interrupted her while she was collecting a gong at the 2009 MTV VMA ceremony. In it, she tells him that it’s ok, we’ve all done bad things, it’s never too late to start again. Swift called the song an “open letter” to “someone I forgive for what he said in front of the whole world”.
Granted, not many of us have been publicly shamed by famous rappers on a world stage, but the essence of Innocent works both ways: firstly, be the bigger person and forgive that fool who’s hurt you. Secondly, you can always overcome your demons. As Swift sings in the song: “You’ll have new Septembers, every one of us has messed up too.”
3. Accept your fears, but be brave and do it anyway
Fearless is the most Swiftian of Taylor Swift love songs. There are the essential bingo cards of wet pavements, best dresses and late night drives, but really the imagery of this swooning country number pales in comparison to its message: we’re all scared of stuff, but doing things regardless can be wonderful.
Swift was 16 when she wrote Fearless, and hadn’t really even been on a proper first date. But that didn’t stop her from thinking about what love might look like.
She also explained the true message of Fearless, which is something people of any age can understand: “Fearless doesn’t mean you’re completely unafraid and it doesn’t mean that you’re bulletproof. It means that you have a lot of fears, but you jump anyway.”
4. Know when to stand up for yourself
Listen, this is where artistic license comes in: I’m not suggesting you hire a crack squad of assassins to go and lick your ex-boyfriend’s forks. Obviously. But there is something to be said for Swift’s furious country rock song Picture to Burn, which hints at the possibilities of her vengeance when she’s been wronged.
Sometimes people will do bad things to hurt you, and there’s nothing wrong in asserting yourself – even if that’s in the form of a quiet chat, rather than a pyrotechnic music video. As Swift frequently explained this song on stage: “I really do try to be a nice person… but if you break my heart, hurt my feelings, or are really mean to me, I’m going to write a song about you.”
5. Everybody feels like an outsider sometimes
The Outside is not one of Swift’s best songs, or her most fun. But it is the first she ever wrote, at 12, about the fear and loneliness she felt going to school – which she claims was far greater than anything she’s felt since.
The good news is that, had she not felt that way, she wouldn’t have written songs, channelled her energy into music and given We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together to the world. But it just goes to show that even international pop stars can feel sad and small at 12, just like the rest of us mere mortals. And maybe your school days aren’t the best of your life?
As Swift said in an interview: “[I was] a complete outcast at school. Some days I woke up not knowing if anyone was going to talk to me that day. People always ask, How did you have the courage to walk up to record labels when you were 12 or 13? It’s because I could never feel the kind of rejection in the music industry that I felt in middle school.”
6. It’s okay if your mum is your best friend
We know, she’s annoying. But your mum’s also been through a lot of this stuff before and knows you probably better than your mates do. Swift had a really good relationship with her mum, especially when she felt lonely at school, so she surprised her for Christmas in 2011 with The Best Day, and a montage of home video clips (sob).
As she explained a few months later, she wrote the song while “remembering all the times that we had when she was my only friend when I was 13 and I couldn’t understand why my friends were being so mean to me. She would just take me on these adventures and we would drive around and go to towns we’d never seen before.”
7. Appreciate you have a lot to learn, and it’s going to be fun to find it all out
Ok so 22 may seem like a long way off at the moment – and that’s because it is – but Swift’s infectious song about a transformative year of her life was written as a celebration of accepting the journey you have ahead of you.
As she told Billboard: “I like all the possibilities of how you’re still learning, but you know enough. You still know nothing, but you know that you know nothing. You’re old enough to start planning your life, but you’re young enough to know there are so many unanswered questions. That brings about a carefree feeling that is sort of based on indecision and fear and at the same time letting loose.”
While right now your options of having “breakfast at midnight” might be more sleepover-based than frolicking around New York, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take joy in all of the exciting things ahead. As Swift sings: “We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. It’s miserable and magical.”
8. Don’t forget it’s ok to be a kid sometimes
We know it’s tough right now. Adulthood: either it feels like you’re getting there too quickly, or not quite quickly enough. Swift was barely an adult when she wrote Never Grow Up, but she did so for the younger girls in the crowd at her shows while exploring her own confusing feelings about growing up.
The song is fairly self-explanatory in that way, but her simple advice tugs on the heartstrings at any age. While you’re busy trying to do all that stuff actual adults get to do, don’t forget that there’s a lot of really wonderful things about being younger too: “Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room, memorise what it sounded like when your dad gets home”.
9. Those school bullies will never be as cool as you
It is a truth universally known to those who survive and leave school that the class bullies wind up kind of loser-y, while the nice, smart, kind people get to go and do cool things. Swift realised that, whatever she did, there would be people talking trash about her. Then she wrote a heel-kicking country kiss-off about how little she cared.
Learn the words to Mean. Sing them loudly, because victory shall be yours – one day, at least: “Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me / And all you’re ever gonna be is mean.”
10. Just keep doing your own thing
Shake It Off signalled Swift’s official move from country to pop music in 2014, and while the video met with controversy, it quickly became a giant dancefloor (and YouTube lipsync) hit. In it, she tackles all the accusations thrown at her by critics and the media – going on too many dates, having nothing in her brain, etc – and tells them that she couldn’t care less, and will continue to bang her own drum regardless.
If you can manage to do the same thing during your teens, you’ll be absolutely fine.
Have you always dreamed of becoming a world-class voice-over artist with millions of YouTube subscribers? Or wow-ing the judges on the X Factor with your superstar performance? Or getting up on stage in London’s West End and blowing the audience away with your musical theatre skills? Well, we know the feeling!
That’s why we’ve collected together our all-time favourite apps to transform you into an all-singing, all-dancing superstar sensation. From apps designed to get you really good at comic sketches, like Dubme, and training you vocally, like VoCo Vocal Coach, through to those that are all about fun singing showdowns, like Sing! Karaoke.
Let us know if we’ve forgotten any of your favourites in the comments below.
Best for all-singing, all-dancing, all-EVERYTHING: musical.ly
If you haven’t heard of musical.ly already then, well, where have you been? Under a rock? Not to worry, we’ll fill you in. This free app is really fun, really addictive and really great if you’re an aspiring actor, dancer, singer, voice-over artist or YouTube sensation.
You can use it to do all kinds of things, from perform songs, lip sync and make your own sketches. To get started, just pick some music or a performance, then either sing or speak or just lip sync over the top of it – that’s just the beginning. The fun really starts when you’re editing it after because you can speed it up, slow it down, add filters, stickers, pretty much anything!
The other great thing about musical.ly is it has a really strong community, so you can learn from others, follow your favourite stars and even get lots of followers yourself and become a musical.ly star in your own right!
Best for training your vocal chords: VoCo Vocal Coach
If you take your singing seriously and have something to perform or practice, this app helps you prep your vocal chords when you’re on-the-move. It serves up a bunch of warm-up exercises to your phone along with audio and visual demos, like scales and arpeggios, that’ll suit beginners, all the way through to more advanced singers — so you won’t outgrow VoCo, no matter how good you get!
There’s just one problem with this app — it’s iPhone only. Sorry Android users, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Best for Android phone video editing: PowerDirector
There are plenty of great apps to hold your hand through songs, teach you the basics and allow you to lip sync. But what if you want to create videos of your singing, dancing and performances with a bit more freedom?
If you’ve got an iPhone you must, must, must download the iMovie app to play around with your video clips, chop them down and add music to them. But if you have an Android smartphone, it’s not as easy to figure out the best video app. Well, don’t worry, because this baby is here to make your life a whole lot better.
PowerDirector is a really good video editor but, unlike some other video apps, it doesn’t take long to get to grips with the basic controls and features. You can really quickly trim clips, arrange them in any way you like and get access to some cool transitions, too.
If you love karaoke, then Sing! is for you. It’s karaoke for your phone, which means it’s a really fun way to sing-a-long with your mates, but you can also use it to have a vocal showdown with the Sing! community all over the world, or just sing solo to practice.
The app has more than 800,000 tracks all of varying skill levels, so whether you’re starting out or already at superstar status, there’ll be something there for you. You can record yourself and keep all of your tracks too, so over time you can keep tabs on your progress and see how you’ve improved. The best bit? It’s totally free!
Download Sing! Karaoke for iOS and Android phones.
Best for advanced harmonising: Sing Harmonies
If you’re at a more advanced level of singing, then Sing Harmonies could be your new app BFF. The goal of Sing Harmonies is, well, to do just that. It wants to teach you how to sing harmonies like the pros. It serves up lots of four part vocal arrangements that’ll help you to identify different harmonies at once, like bass, tenor, alto and soprano. You can turn the volume up on each separately to better understand how they work together — then sing them for yourself.
Unfortunately this is another iOS-only app, sorry Android-ers. But the makers of Sing Harmonies promise they’re making a version for you really soon. It’s also not free, you’ll have to pay £1.99 for this standard of vocal training!
Best for voice-over artists and silly dubbing: Dubme
Although you can use musical.ly for funny dubbing videos, if voice-over and bad lip-reading is your favourite kind of performance, then get an app made specially for that. We love Dubme, an app that allows you to make tutorial videos, voice-over videos, create short stories or jump on the totally LOL-worthy bad lip-reading trend. As you’d expect, you can record your voice over all kinds of tracks, add music to videos and then upload your creations to YouTube easily afterwards.
Dubme is another iOS only app, but fear not Android-lovers. Dubsmash is a great alternative for Android users (and iOS users too if you’re not a fan of Dubme) and it’s super popular with celebs.
So there you have it. Whether you want to perfect your pitch or sing-a-long with other wannabe artists all over the world, this list should have you covered. Just make sure to share your creations and talents with everyone — but only when you’re ready, of course.
Love music, but don’t fancy the unpredictable future of a wannabe pop star or jobbing musician? That doesn’t mean you need to settle for a quiet life! There are plenty of cool, musical careers out there to aim for – and none involve needing to impress Simon Cowell…
The music PR
So you didn’t make it as a rock/pop/grime star? No sweat. You can still live the high life with a job as PR for a rock/pop/grime star: a role that offers you all of the perks of being in the music industry, and slightly less of the pain. You represent whatever band or artist you’ve been assigned – which basically means writing press releases and emails that will convince the journos, stage directors and record producers of the world that your guys are worth investing in.
This demands a fairly decent knowledge of the music scene; if you’re the gal who can talk about chart-topping indie rock albums from before she was even born, then this is the job for you. There’s not much music-making, of course – but you do have to shoulder a lot of responsibility for the success of their tour or album: from the initial launch right through to their gig at Brixton Academy, which will live or die by your marketing efforts. You’ll need to be a good networker – the sort of gal who’s friends with everyone, instantly and for ever – and a decent communicator too. Honesty, creativity and energy are your stock in trade.
Essentially these guys are the directors of the music world. They’re the ones musicians submit their original score to for approval and improvement. What you hear on iTunes or Kiss FM is the product not just of Ed Sheeran, but Sheeran and his music producers advising him on how to mix the song, modify the lyrics, pick a rhythmic background (a producer will generally be responsible for selecting session musicians to play rhythm section accompaniment) and audio master the final version before it’s set free into our radios and ears.
They’ll probably have guided him on content: what the public needs or wants from a new album, and how to pull it off – which means producers are often musicians in their own right. They work closely with the musicians themselves, to get the best version of the track in the first place, then they work with post production audio engineers to ensure the sound meets professional standards. Throughout the process their job is to ensure the track and the album is on point: pleasing to the public, while true to the artist’s vision – and within budget. A head for figures as well as fugues is key.
The A&R rep
Are you the girl who calls a summer hit in April? Did you have Issues on your phone before it was even on iTunes? If so, then you may want to consider turning your prophetic ears toward Artist and Repertoire, better known as A&R: the job of sniffing out the talent and recommending them to the label you work for, before anyone else can offer them a better deal.
This is a lifestyle career: you’ll spend a great deal of time propping up the bar with other A&Rs at music venues across the country, trying to unearth the next Charlie Puth. Knowing your way around music websites is also pretty crucial, because the holy grail of a musician might be a 17-year old living in a semi in Hull. She’s not going to be playing at the Roundhouse any time soon, so you’ll need to be savvy on social media and SoundCloud. Getting into A&R isn’t easy – many get into it by setting up their own blogs and taking the initiative in recommending acts to labels off their own bat, without formal employment – but if you’ve the ear and the stamina for it, it’ll be a load of fun.
Artist managers get a bit of a bad rep in Hollywood (think Billy Mack’s long-suffering manager in Love Actually) but there’s actually a lot more to their role than bag carrier and reputation salvager.
From working on photoshoots, to dealing with their lawyers on contracts, to sorting studio sessions, to liaising with PRs and producers, you are as responsible for the success of the artist’s career as the artist themselves. You work with them on their own professional (and sometimes personal) development, and you work with their label to make sure the music and the image are on point. It’s your job to take the raw talent and polish it till it shines.
Ever wondered how the soundtrack for Big Little Lies wound up being so fleek? Because matchmaking quality telly with quality music is an actual, real-life job. Yes, somebody was paid to sniff out songs from Charles Bradley, Michael K., Leon Bridges, Irma Thomas, and place them at the most devastating moments of the show.
Music supervisors need to stay within budget, check the copyright is all above board and that the artist is getting paid properly, and consider the overall effect of the soundtrack on the film. It’s creative to an extent, but if you want to cut the mustard, knowing who is who in the music biz, who owns the main catalogues and where to find cheaper alternative recordings will set you ahead of the pack.
Hang the DJ – it’s the radio producer who more often than not decides on a show’s playlist. Working with broadcasting assistants, presenters and engineers, the radio producer is involved in the entire process of creating ‘audio content’, from dreaming up ideas and getting them launched on air right through to post production and dealing with audience feedback. Some producers even play presenter or reporter, so you’ll need a fair number of skills under your belt for this one – but it’s hugely rewarding.
The world of radio has changed almost beyond recognition even in the space of your lifetime, and if you’ve a knack for storytelling, a passion for music and you like both technology and talking, there is really no better place. Unlike some roles in the music industry you will find it a lot easier if you have a degree (and even better a post grad in something media-related) up your sleeve.
You know that spine-tingling, hair-raising, lung reverberating feeling you get at a gig when everything – the vocals, the beat, the melody – comes together in one great ecstasy of harmony that’s better than anything you’ve ever heard on the album? Well it’s not just the musician who’s responsible for that sweet spot. A lot of it’s down to the sound engineer, whose responsibility it is to control microphones, sound levels, and outputs in order to ensure the best quality of sound.
Being pitch perfect is preferable, but it’s not a necessity. Neither is a qualification in radio, music, television and audio. Like anything to do with music or performance, practice makes perfect, and many successful sound engineers have simply learnt on the job, from helping backstage at school and university shows setting up amps and things, to working the set in local bars and jazz clubs.
There are different specialisations, according to whether you are recording, editing, mixing, or mastering a track – but to be honest, unless you’re the sound engineer to Adele you’ll probably be fulfilling at least two, if not all of these duties yourself. You’ll need to be adaptable, well versed in a wide range of styles of music, and get on well with everyone: most of this work is picked up by word of mouth and reputation, not a CV, so sell yourself well.
There’s no winging this one: if you want a career in music therapy, you will have to be qualified at both graduate and post-graduate level. You’ll need to be all the things you associate with a therapist – caring, analytical, organised – but you’ll also need to be highly musical, in order to devise creative ways to help your clients communicate and deal with their issues through sound.
That warm feeling you get from playing in a band or singing in a choir with your mates? That’s the feeling music therapists tap into, in order to inspire wellbeing and confidence in those suffering from anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, learning difficulties and other psychological challenges: enabling clients to find new ways of expressing themselves and communicating with others. Your post grad will be in music therapy (obvs). Your undergrad could be in medicine, nursing, psychology, education, music – anything, really, as long as you can prove some sort of relevance to the career.
A new and exciting area of research, bioacousticians are responsible for studying the sound production and hearing capacity of the world’s most sharp-eared animals, and finding ways of recreating it for human benefit.
Ultrasound and sonar scans for medical and industrial use can be improved by this technology, which draws upon the auditory systems of many animals, but mainly insects, deep sea creatures and bats. It’s not for the squeamish (unless you wind up studying whales and dolphins, which can happen). But it’s perfect for people who are as geeky about science as they are music – and who might want to earn slightly more than your average muso. You’re best off with a degree in engineering, ecology, biology, and then a masters in something related. It’s no easy job to fall into, but it could be amazingly rewarding.
It’s the time of year when hundreds of thousands of people descend on a field in Somerset to lie in the mud and listen to their fave artists. That’s right, it’s Glastonbury. But this year, the ever reliable British summer fooled us all and it was… well, sunny! And hot! What is this sorcery?
So, what happened this year (aside from everyone looking ridiculous wearing wellies in 34°C heat)? We’ve rounded up the best moments from Glastonbury 2017. Here’s everything silly, special and sartorial that happened this weekend…
Legendary indie whingers Radiohead performed a set, but left a lot of fans confused about when the performance actually started…
A record-breaking 15,000 people gathered in formation on Friday to send this message of peace to the world. Beth Llewellyn, who organised the event, told the Metro: “I thought ‘Why don’t we get together in the fields, and make this sign around the Stone Circle with people whose intent is for peace and not to be threatened by the few?’
As for the outfits, there was a showdown between rainbow unicorn sparkle ensembles, and laidback super-chilled normcore vibes. Lauren got excited when she saw Alexa Chung wearing a cowboy hat and firmly believes that it helps her theory that we will all be wearing cowboy boots before the year is out. You heard it here first, folks.
Day two bought more outfits and BFF vibes from Cara and Margot, who some how look cool enough to be intimidating, and yet also a bit like they’d invite you to sit with them if you were eating your lunch alone.
Ed Sheeran closed Glastonbury with an amazing set that had the entire crowd waving the torches on their phones above their head (how, how did they still have battery?). Plus, more than four million people were watching the performance from the comfort of their sofas.
There was a bit of controversy on Twitter with people accusing Sheeran of lip-synching, but he quickly squashed those rumours by saying it was because of a loop station that lets your record and playback a piece of music in real time. It’s a bit of tech that’s becoming popular because it allows solo artists to create multiple levels to their live music (yeah, we Googled it).
So, that’s Glaso for another year! There won’t be one in 2018 because they have to let the fields recover, so I guess see you in 2019 team! And in the meantime, here’s how to have a festival in your own back garden. Because: showers and toilets.
posted May 28, 2017 by Lily @ betty
We’re going full Americana today. We’re basically transforming our life into an episode of Riverdale (but with less murders, obvs), so throw on your varsity jacket and let’s get cracking.
Step one: cook up some of these buttermilk blueberry waffles by the talented Joy the Baker. She’s such a pro at brunch, she’s written the book on it. Literally. Her new book Over Easy is dedicated entirely to brunch (it’s the most important meal of the day, we’ve heard).
Step two: you could serve them with bacon… but how about some Haim? The band with the best hair in the biz has a new release, Want You Back – check it out for some serious smalltown folksy vibes.
Step three: re-watch the entire series of Riverdale for clues, while we wait for the new season to air. Perfect Sunday.
posted February 27, 2017 by Emily Vincent
Girli, the teenage punk rapper-slash-pop star who is being tipped as one of 2017’s most intriguing musical talents, may be jetting off to Los Angeles hours after I call her up, but she’s still paranoid about losing her passport. The 19-year-old, who is known to her parents as Millie Toomey, has spent the past year in a whirlwind, blending turning 18 and A Levels with becoming the new Lily Allen, while spending the summer living in a flat by herself.
It’s the kind of life many teenage girls dream of. But it’s one that’s even more remarkable considering that Millie spent her first years of secondary school dealing with bullies and waiting for her period to turn up, venting her anger by organising awareness against sexual harassment and, at 13, speaking in the Houses of Parliament – “wearing an untucked shirt thinking I was the coolest person ever”.
Both of Toomey’s parents were actors, so performing was always on the cards. But she only turned to music at 15 after becoming fed up of “never actually changing anything” as an elected member of Youth Parliament for Camden, north London, where she grew up. “I thought, that’s not the best way to change things. I remember going to school and everyone was like, ‘There’s that goodie-two-shoes who’s always telling everyone what to do. I was like, ‘You know what, I’m going to prove you all wrong.’” So she formed a girl band.
When her bandmates decided to concentrate on going to university, Millie, then 16, decided to keep making music by herself. Her first effort? “A song made by sampling the sound of Japanese girls shouting at someone.” From here came Girli: the hyper-pink, provocative, unashamedly bolshy and completely, fiercely feminist alter-ego, which won her a record deal within a matter of months.
I spoke to Girli about about school, periods and becoming a pop star.
Going from a youth politician to a pop star sounds like something out of a teen movie we’d want to see. How did that happen?
“I realised that it wasn’t the best way to change things. I was 15 and I’d been doing politics for ages and I had a teen realisation where I was like, actually, “Everyone’s against me”. I always felt like I was on the side of teachers and politicians, because I thought they were there for me. But they weren’t there for me, they’re there for themselves, and it got me really angry. I started hating politicians and everything they stood for.
I started really hating school at that point because I felt like there were a lot of people who didn’t get what I was about and a lot of things were changing and I thought, no. I wanted to be able to go somewhere after school and just rock out. I started making music with my band and I cut all my hair off as a rebellion. It was an outlet.”
How did you form a band?
“I got together a band from joinmyband.com, the dodgiest thing ever. Luckily I didn’t get any dodgy ones, but found these three girls and we played indie rock punk. It was really rubbish but it was fun. The girls left me to go to uni, they didn’t think the band was going to go anywhere. I still maintain that we could have headlined the O2 one day, but whatever.
Then I started making songs on my computer and messing around on my own and Girli was born. I think it must have been two years ago now. A few months later I got label interest. I was playing loads of gigs and I was going to loads of networking events and stuff, desperately trying to get a manager. And I met this guy who had been a rapper, he was a rookie manager and he started managing me, which was a bit of a disaster really, because he was super young as well and it was kind of messing around. Then I got a new manager who knew what he was doing a little more and started putting out more music on my own and the label got involved.”
I had a lot of fun at your Camden show – whose idea was it to string tampons from the ceiling?
“That was such a fun gig, everyone was so up for everything. I threw a Donald Trump pinata at them and they were so up for it! I always like to involve sanitary products in my shows. I used to chuck them out at the crowd. I think people think I do it to shock, and really I just do it because I don’t think that tampons or periods should be something that’s taboo. It’s just something that comes with being a woman. I feel like if I string tampons up at my show it’ll help people be like, “oh, tampons – whatever.””
So, tell us about your first period…
“I remember being really upset because I was really late in having my period. Obviously now I’m like, “huh! Upset! Could have gone a few more years without bothering with it!” But I remember all of my friends and all of the girls in my class were like, “oh my god, period talk”, and I had to be like, “yeah, totally, LOL”, when I had no idea what was going on. I felt like such a baby.
I had just turned 15 and I got my period at home. It wasn’t a messy story: I went to the loo and was like, “oh, blood!” And I remember walking out and my dad was standing outside and the first thing I said to him was, “Dad, I’m a woman now”. And he just looked at me and said, “no, you’re not.”
My mum was a legend, she was prepared. She was like, “Here are some I had earlier,” and revealed a whole cupboard of sanitary products.”
Do you have a period craving?
“To be honest, it’s just a craving for everything. I just eat like a horse when I’m on my period. But in general, chocolate is always the go-to. Chocolate all day, every day.”
Can you tell when it’s coming?
“I just start to feel a bit heavy and sluggish and I sync with all of my female friends. Whenever it’s coming, we’ll text and say, “I feel like my period’s coming along”, and as soon as someone says that we’ll jinx it and we all just get out periods like 10 minutes later.”
What about period pains?
“I don’t get terrible pains but I do get bad mood swings. I got my period on my birthday, which was like, two days ago, and I was like, “are you f***ing kidding me?” Because obviously it’s your birthday and you’re meant to be in a good mood, and I was just being really pissy to my mum.”
One of your best new songs is dedicated to your sister, and has loads of lovely advice in it. Would you give yourself the same tips if you could?
“If I could look back, I’d just say to chill out. Because I worried way too much, I still do. But I think that’s the thing that gets most teenagers, you just worry so much about the future, like, “do I have to decide who I want to be now?” or “should I feel a certain way?” and being 13-15 is sometimes really rubbish and that’s just a normal natural growing up and getting used to your own skin and finding your people. It’s so normal.”
“My sister is having a tough time at school, and so did I – I got bullied at school and hated school a lot of the time – and that’s why I did well at exams, because I just decided to study and get away from it all. Then I started the band. Just pushing through and remembering that on the other side you’re going to have a great life. That’s the most important thing.”
Bullying sucks big time. What was your experience of it like?
“The move from primary to secondary really stressed me out. I was so anxious. I had to go to therapy and I really wasn’t a very happy kid, and there was a group of girls who just preyed on me like demons. I would come to school and everything I did or say they would comment, they’d try to trip me up and it was constant, there was no escape. Now, I look back and I think, I’m actually doing stuff with my life and I have really good people around me and I have no idea where they are. I think being tormented like that, it made me want to weird people out even more!”
What’s the most embarrassing thing that happened to you at school?
“I was about 12 and this boy asked me to go to the Year 6 prom. And I’d literally never been asked by a boy to go to anything, and I was like, “Yeah, sick!” Then this other boy, who I’d had a crush on for ages, like years, asked me as well. And being 12-year-old, savage me, I was like, “well yeah, this is a better offer”. So I went back to the first guy and was like, sorry mate. Then he was like, “you bitch!”. The guy who I’d fancied for ages found out and came up to me and said, “Oh, you’re a dick” and took away his offer.
And I ended up going on my own. Which was actually great.”
Girli’s new single, Girl I Met on the Internet, is out now.
posted February 13, 2017 by Lily @ betty
Do you remember in Mean Girls when Cady wins Prom Queen and rather than just accepting the award she takes the tiara off her head, snaps it into little pieces and throws it to people in the crowd? You know, this bit:
Well, that happened IRL at the Grammy’s last night. And it was spectacular.
After winning the Grammy for Album of the Year, Adele came to the stage to collect her award. But in a curve ball literally NO ONE saw coming, she told the audience, “I can’t possibly accept this award… I’m very humbled and I’m very grateful, but Beyonce is the artist of my life”.
No, YOU’RE CRYING.
But how did Bey react to this moving tribute? Like a damn Queen, obviously.
(FYI this is exactly how Beyoncé looks at me in my dreams when I offer to do a duet with her.)
Not just content to dedicate the award to Queen Bey, Adele took it one step further and broke the award in half. And look at how excited she was by her own bad-assery. Just look.
Seriously, could there be a better start to Galentine’s Day?
So this week, bugger Valentine’s, let’s all be more like Adele – let’s take a moment to appreciate the fellow Queens in our life. We might not be able to share a Grammy with them, but we could probably split a brownie.
Here’s the video of the full acceptance speech and just a heads up, you should probably keep some tissues nearby. Just sayin’.
posted February 10, 2017 by Lily @ betty
PSA: The Grammys are this Sunday and we CANNOT wait.
The Grammys always tend to attract some sort of scandal or controversy (T. Swift and Kayne; Beyonce’s first Beyby; Pharrell’s hat… fond memories, all). To every gossip columnist’s disappointment, Kim & Kayne have clicked ‘Not Attending’ this year – but don’t panic, because there’s still plenty of potential for drama at this year’s ceremony.
Here are the top 10 things we’re crossing our fingers and microwaving the popcorn for.
1. Lemonade wins the album of the year, Beyoncé launches an actual Lemonade brand off the back of it. $7 a bottle, it replaces Fiji water as the must-have schoolbag bottle totty.
2. And that she refer to her twins as ‘Beybies’. Do it for us, B.
3. Kim Kardashian is beamed onto the stage via hologram and announces that she’s pregnant. With triplets. Or Quadruplets.
4. Lady Gaga wears another kickin’ crop top during her performance and schools anyone who tries to comment on her body. Again.
5.That everyone will cry at an incredibly moving tribute to Prince, and David Bowie. And George Michael. And Leonard Cohen. Man, 2016 was a rough year.
6. The Weeknd and Selena Gomez make their red carpet debut and do something stupidly adorable.
7. James Corden is hosting, and we know that man can sing. We can’t be the only ones hoping he gets involved with a musical number – ideally the rap from American Boy, a la Smithy, but we won’t be choosy.
8. Katy Perry is meant to be performing, and word on the street is that she’ll be singing a new track that’s meant to drop TODAY called Chained to the Rhythm. Brb, got to refresh YouTube for the millionth time today.
9.That Justin Bieber changes his mind at the last moment and decides to show up with his adorable dog, Todd. Preferably with both of them dressed in matching tuxedos please.
A video posted by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on
10.It’s not often that we’d bet against Adele, but we hope that Kelly Clarkson wins a Grammy for this live performance because it is bloody incredible. Physically impossible to watch without tearing up (or, you know, full blown, sobbing onto your keyboard). We’re not the only ones obsessed with this performance, it racked up nearly 25 million views on YouTube and 83 million views on Facebook. C’mon Kelster.
Check back in on Monday to see if any of our wishes come true! And wish extra hard for Todd the dog, guys.
posted February 1, 2017 by Lily @ betty
Some days are sad days. Days where it’s a little harder to get out of bed. Maybe it’s because you’re dreading going to school, maybe you’re scared about the state of the world, maybe you just remembered Alan Rickman is dead. Maybe you’re just feeling a little, well… weepy.
We totally get those days. Hell, we started Weepy Girls’ Corner for those days. The days when all you want to do is crawl under your duvet with a box of Kleenex, a jar of Nutella and a Pinterest board of unlikely animal friendships.
And sometimes, crying along with a favourite song – whether a massive, snotty, gulping-breaths kind of cry or a silent, staring-out-the-window-like-a-tragic-heroine kind of cry – is the very best medicine there is. So if you’re having a Weepy Day today, here are some of our favourite songs to weep along to.
Go on, get it all out.
First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes
“I’m glad I didn’t die before I met you
But now I don’t care, I could go anywhere with you
And I’d probably be happy”
We’re crying because: LOVE IS SO BEAUTIFUL, Y’ALL
All Too Well – Taylor Swift
“You tell me ’bout your past, thinking your future was me.”
We’re crying because: sometimes you wish you didn’t remember everything so clearly.
Mississippi Goddam – Nina Simone
“All I want is equality
For my sister my brother my people and me”
We’re crying because: this beautifully angry song about race is still relevant, in 2017.
Beautiful – Christina Aguleria
“I am beautiful
No matter what they say
Words can’t bring me down”
We’re crying because: beauty is about how you feel on the inside.
When Somebody Loved Me – Jessie, Toy Story 2
“Through the summer and the fall
We had each other that was all”
We’re crying because: we miss our childhood toys. That Furby deserved better.
Colourblind – Counting Crows
“I am ready
I am… fine”
We’re crying because: We’ve all said we’re fine when we aren’t.
Say Something – A Great Big World, Christina Aguileria
“Anywhere, I would’ve followed you
Say something, I’m giving up on you”
We’re crying because: caring about someone who doesn’t treat you right is exhausting.
Angel – Jack Johnson
“But you’re so busy changing the world
Just one smile can change all of mine”
We’re crying because: love makes people into idiots. Really happy idiots.
Not about Angels – Birdy
Found something real that’s out of touch
But if you’d searched the whole wide world
Ho oh oh would you dare to let it go?
We’re crying because: life is so unfair.
The Stars of Track and Field – Belle and Sebastian
“Could I write a piece about you now that you’ve made it?
About the hours spent, the emptiness in your training”
We’re crying because: some people
Hurt – Johny Cash
“What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end”
We’re crying because: sometimes life is properly painful.
Fix You – Coldplay
“When the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace”
We’re crying because: I mean, seriously, who isn’t crying at this point.
Delicate – Damien Rice
“So why do you fill my sorrow
With the words you’ve borrowed
From the only place you’ve know”
We’re crying because: it’s ok to want to keep things to yourself, alright? SHUT UP.
All By Myself – Cèline Dion
“I think of all the friends I’ve known
But when I dial the telephone
We’re crying because: sometimes we all feel Bridget Jones-level lonely.
Literally any song – Adele
And if you’ve still got some tears left? We all know who to call.
We’re crying because: Oh, who even knows anymore.
Sending loads of hugs your way, guys. And fetch a spoon for that Nutella.
posted January 27, 2017 by Lily @ betty
Ok, winter you were fun for a while, but it would be really nice if you’d bugger off now so we could all have some time to regain the feeling in our toes.
Here are some of the other things we’ve been reading, watching and loving this week.
Taylor Swift and Zayn’s song was released
Finally, after weeks of teasing, Swifty and Zayn have released the music video for their brand-new song “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.” There’s a lot of brooding looks and coloured lighting, but let’s be real, we’ll probably keep watching it all day.
The boys in your class might be getting more allowance than you
Yep, according to a report by Childwise, on average, boys between the ages of 11 and 16 receive £17.80 allowance a week, compared to girls of the same age, who get £12.50. Not only that, the report found that boys are encouraged to have more financial independence than girls. Ladies, it’s time to get negotiating.
Miss Canada, you’ve got our vote
Siera Bearchell, the woman who represents Canada in the Miss Universe pageant took to Instagram this week to talk about something really important: self-worth. Her message for everyone out there? Stop focusing on who everyone else wants you to be and embrace who you really are. Well, we’re backing Miss Canada for the win.
A photo posted by Siera Bearchell (@sierabearchell) on
H&M to donate millions to refugees
Over the holiday period, H&M made a pact to donate 5% of proceeds for every gift card that was sold in 4000 of their stores to help refugee children. They’ve dedicated the money to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help them provide education for children who have had to flee their homes. If you want to learn more about the UNHCR, you can read about them here. But in the meantime, we’re watching this adorable video that UNHCR Philippines put together – it’s giving us all the feels.
“I think you’re old like dirt”: Bad Lip Reading
Need something to make you laugh? It’s seven days since President Trump was inaugurated, and it’s been an, er, interesting week. You may have seen the actual inauguration, but have you seen Bad Lip Reading’s version? It’s full of gems like: “the new kid smells like falafel and wants to shave my moustache” and “you think I won’t fling three eggs at you?” We promise it’ll have you in stitches.
Harry Pooper and the Chamber of Secrets
Every so often, JK Rowling answers a question you never even knew you had. This week on Pottermore she revealed that wizards used to…poo themselves. TMI? Maybe. But hey, now we know.
The nail polish challenge
This week, Lily and Anjali messed around with the NailsInc nail polish that came in this month’s bettybox to do a nail polish challenge. Let us know who you think won in the comments section!
Have a great weekend, we’ll see you Monday!
posted December 13, 2016 by Alice Vincent
Christmas is a matter of DAYS away. Food, school holidays and watching your Nan get giggly on the sherry awaits.
But it can be difficult to feel the warm glow of festive tidings when you’ve got a huge project due in January and the Christmas adverts have been on repeat since November. Sometimes too much glitter-dusted advertising and endless spins of Mariah Carey can leave you as cold as the weather outside… so here are 10 alternative ways to find your Christmas spirit this year:
1. Discover some different Christmas music
Even the biggest Christmas fan can be left exhausted by too many repeats of I Wish it Could Be Christmas Every Day, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t season-appropriate music out there to get you in the mood.
Start with A Very She & Him Christmas, a collection of calm and contemplative covers of well-known Christmas songs by Zooey Deschanel and musician M Ward, before moving on to Surfjan Stevens’ beautiful Songs for Christmas or the gloriously retro A Motown Christmas. Or head to Spotify and search for [insert genre of your choice here] + Christmas: someone will already have done the hard playlist work for you.
2. Go fantasy party dress shopping
Yes, you have to go Christmas shopping, and yes, it will wipe out your allowance (unless you make your own). But while you’re there, take some friends and go and try on the most badass outfits you can find for parties – imaginary or otherwise – you’ve got ahead of you. Head to the fitting rooms and try on something you’d never normally buy. The shops are full of Christmas music and sparkles, so it would be positively rude not to (and if you really like it, well, you know what to look for in the sales).
3. Have a Christmas craft afternoon
Paper-chains, cutting out snowflakes and covering things in glitter; set aside an afternoon to decorate your bedroom like it’s 1975. You’ll be amazed at what you can make from stuff you’ve just got lying around your home. If you’re stuck for inspiration there’s loads of brilliant ideas on Instagram and Pinterest, but here are a few to start you off: cute toilet-roll reindeer, this awesome wrapping paper Christmas tree and these cute egg box flowers.
4. Bake something
It’s cold and gross outside, and the endless scroll of Instagram and Snapchat are making you feel sluggish. Get off the sofa and into the kitchen: baking is a great way to beat boredom or give yourself some screen-free time (floury fingers don’t work on a touchscreen).
The last of the autumn leaves might be falling, but there is still plenty of wintery wonder to be found in the great outdoors, especially with people putting up their Christmas lights. Go and find a bit of outside; whether that’s your local park, the posh bit of town or somewhere a little further afield. The best thing about shaking a leg? Heading somewhere cosy and comforting afterwards to warm up – even if it’s just your living room.
6. Get the lighting right
Whether you’ve subscribed to the Danish trend of hygge or not, low lighting can transform a room and conjure the right level of Christmassy cosiness. Whether you opt for some fairylights, light a few candles (make sure you’re always in the room when they’re lit, though, that’s candle 101) or both, you can create a sense of festive magic by placing a few twinkly things in the right corners of a room.
7. Do something for someone else
It’s a cliché but it’s true: sometimes the best thing you can do at Christmas is give back. Whether that’s as simple as helping out a friend or sibling with a problem or some homework, donating your time to a charitable cause – such as helping out at a charity Christmas fair – or spending some of your hard-earned cash on a donation to your supermarket’s food bank. That warm, fuzzy feeling inside? It’s not indigestion, it’s festive goodwill.
8. Have a Christmas film afternoon
Simple, but usually effective. Grab a mate or get your family together, pick a few of your favourite Christmas films or maybe a new one (although you can never go wrong with Elf), load up on snacks and switch your phone onto airplane mode. Don’t forget the blankets.
9. Help out with the Christmas feast
No, Father Christmas doesn’t arrive on Christmas morning and help the chef of the household – that’s a grown-up who has spent a ridiculous amount of time and money thinking about how to make everyone too full to move by 6pm on the 25th.
So surprise whoever’s in charge in the kitchen now by offering your help with the catering over Christmas (there’s that goodwill again) and, as the big day approaches, get involved with peeling potatoes or making pigs-in-blankets. You’ll be surprised by how much fun you can have – and it’ll make the finished product even tastier.
10. Plan something fun for the family to do over Christmas
Christmas takes a lot of thought and coordination from those that are running the show, so lighten the load and have something beyond presents to look forward to by planning a surprise for when the telly gets boring. Perhaps it could be a game of Just A Minute themed around family memories and in-jokes. You could suggest a film to watch that the others may not have thought of, or make your own crackers. You might even wind up starting a new Christmas tradition!