The G-Man Interview : w/ Betty Steeles

Since Betty Steeles first popped up on 6 Music's BBC Introducing show back in August 2009 she has quietly (but busily) taken to the studio, layed down tracks and put the final, colourful touches to her debut album which is expected in Spring 2010.

The stress of the recording process now behind her, the stress of everything else can now begin for the wonderful Betty Steeles. Dates are being booked, agents are being consulted and, most importantly of course, interviews are being held.

In a music world where "they" simply insist on sticking artists in a barrel/genre, the only way I can describe Betty is :

- a singer with a wonderful ear for a melody

- an experienced vocalist with an effortless control over her voice. (something lacking in Pop singers these days where louder is apparently better)

- a lyricist who can weave both dark and light lyrics into a catchy song but never once attempting to be something she is not

And with that I give you.....

An Interview with Betty Steeles




Welcome to the G-Man blog Betty! This interview is the first in a series of interviews with various artists so I cannot help but ask, with 2010 being the dawn of a new decade, what other firsts did Betty Steeles tick off that metaphorical “To Do” list over the course of 2009?


My first busking in kings road, first solo gig in Copenhagen, first time sleeping in a high bed with a sofa underneath, my first ukelele festival, my first picnic in the rain.

And are there any firsts you are specifically aiming to achieve in 2010?


First record release, first tour, maybe first time sleeping properly outside at a festival! (gulp!!!)

How is the recording of the debut album coming along? Have all the songs been written and decided upon yet with it “simply” being a case of laying the tracks down or are you still in the thick of the creative process?

The recording of the album is very nicely finished thankyoooou. Ahhhh.... And they have been decided too! Oh decisions decisions!! My my!! It was fun to be creative and sometimes challenging writing the album, as you have to be disciplined at times to see a song through to the end.


The date in Camden on the 25th January seems to be the only show currently lined up. Is there a UK tour lined up or is it all about the album for now?

There will be a tour lined up soon. I'm in the process of sorting agents but I will definitely be playing out in a shop in the West End Feb 18th WyldPytch Records , The Enterprise Feb 20th. New ones are being added as I type….


January is infamous for Best of lists. Off the top of your head, what were your favourite 3 albums released in 2009?

Oh ummmm...
I mainly listened to other things that weren’t particularly released last year. Oh yeah I got the Fleet Foxes album. I liked that. Ummmm Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue, Bon Iver. Both very creative artists.





For most new artists (who are still in the process of building a fanbase) one of the most difficult tasks to overcome is to simply get people to listen but you have blown quite a few audiences away opening with your rendition of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine”. Do you find opening with a cover and nailing the song helps to gain peoples 100% attention which then gives your own songs a better chance of actually being “heard” by the audience?

No, not neccessarily. I don’t like opening with a cover unless you do those 3 song gig things as you haven’t much time to get your audience warmed up, then it's worth doing , a cover first if u feel they are a bit rowdy!

I like covers as people have always covered (songs) throughout time it's great, and I just do it my way. Haha that’s a cover! Frank Sinatra ha ha. I laugh at my own jokes quite a bit !!!



Without getting too personal, what is the nicest compliment anyone has ever paid you?

Being asked to sing at a friend of a friends wedding. I mean that’s a pretty special day for someone, that made me feel awesome and all warm......and bubbly like the champagne I was guzzling.

And on the other side of that, when things are getting a little too much for you what is it that you do to get back to your happy place? For example, I find when my creative touch goes missing and I am beginning to feel claustrophobic and on the verge of freaking out I tidy my room. Very simple and a bit boring I know but it is my personal way of wiping the slate clean, similar to an etch-a-sketch!!

Eat!, watch two and a half men, shop or window shop in my fav secondhand shops.
Read. Trashy. Girly. Mags.



When was the moment that you realised : “Yes. This is what I was meant to do.”?

I (had) written a song rap thing for a school tour when I was studying drama and dance at college, and thought, "This seems fun!", but no massive moment to be honest.

I have been asking all the questions here. Any questions for The G-Man?!!

Do you wear g strings?
Not every...I mean no. Definitely not.
Smooth or crunchy peanut butter? You cannot beat the crunch.
Favourite season? Ie autumn winter summer spring. Autumn. The weather is nicer. The colours are amazing and for some reason I am most full of life and get more done during Autumn.
Fave word to say beginning with c? Calypso!!!! I love those ice-pops!!


Check out Betty's myspace here : http://www.myspace.com/iambettysteeles

Performing "Gun" in Copenhagen :




Comments

  1. Congrats, Gary. That's a great new feature to the blog and she is fantastic too. Well done, keep em coming.

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