Q: “The Thing About Us” is a relatable, honest, and catchy song about falling in love with your best friend only to quickly realize that theyʼre not the one and that youʼre not ready to commit. What was your creative process in making this track?
BEKS: Thank you for those words, that’s so nice. I’m so happy that the story of the song is clear and relatable. The process of making the track started with the experience, which was in and out of love in 12 weeks. Upon that ending, I processed the experience by writing a demo in my bedroom, which was just the lyrics, melody and a few chords. I then reached out to writing/production duo Cam Nacson (Sad Boii) and Tamika Nacson (XIRA) and I sang them the melody and lyrics acapella in a little studio within a music school in Sydney. By the end of the four-hour session, we’d laid it all down. I revisited the studio for BV’s and to refine the lead vocal and that was it. I knew we’d make something great, Cam and I really share a love of 80s synth sounds so we engaged that passion and it took off from there.
Q: The songʼs chorus is cleverly written. Have you always had a knack for songwriting? How old were you when you first started writing songs?
BEKS: Thank you! I wrote my first song when I was 9. It was a radio jingle for a hair salon in my town of Bundaberg, Australia. From there, I was a regular on the Country Music Scene and only returned to music as an adult. How I returned was when I was selling handbags out of the back of my care along the East Coast of Australia. I would drive for hours every day listening to CDs and when I got bored of them (I think I listened to Bertie Blackman’s Album ‘Black Cats’ at least 30 times), I started singing my own songs I’d make up. I had no idea about music production so when I’d stop at a Motel, I’d use kitchen utensils to make a beat and sing into the fan to make vocal effects I’d record on my phone. I sent these raw cavewomen like recordings to a production studio who sponsored me to have them made into proper songs and from there it’s just been a journey of learning. I learned the drums and was in a rock duo, then I learned the guitar and was the frontwoman guitarist of all-girl band RACKETT and toured Australia with the Darkness. Now I’m solo and make pop with a collaboration focused approach, it helps me to continue growing and learning.
Q: Weʼre loving the music video for “The Thing About Us”. How did the concept for the video come together? Which scene was your favorite to film and why?
BEKS: You are too sweet! I made the film clip based on my personal dating experiences. Using the basic ‘failings’ pattern I wanted to express the growth and maturing awareness I have about my expectations heading into a relationship and depict this through a ‘premonition. The video clip has a twist, it all looks loving and generic on the surface but in reality, it’s nothing more than red flag spotting. Ironically, the song is about a short-lived relationship that started on a dating app and the actor I cast was in fact not an actor, but someone I was seeing I also met on a dating app. (FYI, I’ve quit the dating apps). The film clip seemed cursed in a way because we had this fake fight, but the things we were mock yelling about ended the relationship in real life just after shooting.
Q: Before you were Beks, you were in an all girl punk band named RACKETT. Tell us about that experience and what did you learn from it?
BEKS: RACKETT was a blast. The best thing about the band was creating something with talented women and building it from nothing to touring Australia and playing everywhere from major theatres opening for acts like The Darkness and The Growlers to rural pubs. It was tumultuous at times, being the manager and lead vocalist of the band was a lot of pressure and energy to exhaust. After a few lineup changes, I guess I was just ready to stand on my own and see what I could make.
Q: Who would you most like to collaborate with, if it could be anyone in the world?
BEKS: Charli XCX! She’s my idol, icon, unknown mentor. She’s inspired me in so many ways and I would love to work with her.
Q: Your debut mixtape is set for release mid-2021. What can we expect to hear on it?
BEKS: So, since making my mixtape a few things have changed, mostly it’s gone from 8 tracks to 21 tracks in a few months and I got a manager to help me navigate the body of work. It’s blown out from a mixtape to a double album so all I can say is I’ve got heaps to come starting with singles and the mixtape or what is now a double mixtape is TBC. Be assured, what’s coming next is huge and I’m putting everything I have into making it perfect. x
Interviewed by Brynn Hinnant