After years of music made in the bedroom and played online, beabadoobee emerges from its darkened corners and takes us into the wild, whimsical journey that is Beatopia in Manila.
When we catch up with beabadoobee, she is in transit from New Zealand where she had just played a show. The cacophony of airport chorus is not a bother at all, especially since for the past few years, a lot of the world’s conversations were locked in a darkened corner of a bedroom for the most part. While we’re not quite of the woods just yet, there has been greater movements as of late, which has allowed people to take on long-missed adventures. Embarking on the musical journey of Beatopia from America, New Zealand, and very soon, the rest of Asia, the Manila-born and London-raised singer and songwriter is already anticipating her stop in the Philippines to be “a very strange and wonderful feeling.”
“I’m really excited. I mean, it’s going to be really strange, because I don’t know how much people listen to me over there, but for me, the Philippines is my home and it has a special place in my heart,” she gushes. “I think it’s so much different touring a place that is your home.”
Admitting to feeling detached at times, which has become a point of creative and emotional genesis, there is something about the Manila leg that is giving her the fuzzies. “I’ve been saying, I’m probably the happiest I’ve ever been, and that’s probably biased, because I know I’m coming back home. And that’s a feeling I’ve never experienced before, because I’ve played shows in America or New Zealand, and those are all great, but where I spent so much time in, it’s going to be very overwhelming. Like my band meeting my Grandma, that’s going to be crazy,” she says with a laugh.
Beabadoobee In Her Own Terms
While beabadoobee is certainly looking forward to seeing her family and eating the food, she is most anticipating witnessing the people appreciating her music. “I think it’s really important to create memories with music. And it makes me really happy that people do that with mine, because I have this thing where I base all my memories and every part of my life with an album,” she relates. And for her, knowing that someone gets to plug in to her music and walk through the crowd, romanticize a moment in an imagined music video, or soundtrack fragments of their lives, is pretty damn special. “I base a lot of my life with music and it’s really cool that people can do that with the music I make.”
In the musical exposition of beabadoobee in Beatopia, which runs for 14 songs that run the range of fuzzy pop, whimsical melodies, and 90s grit and grunge, there is a lot to latch on to. For the consummate artist, this was not only a critically acclaimed best, but her most personal one. “Honestly, I’m just really happy that I can share the album that I really love to all the places I’ve never been before…and like, sharing my art to people. It makes me grateful that I get to make a living off of this and it’s something I really enjoy doing,” she says of her love letter to her younger self. Compounded by the pandemic, it proved even more cathartic and creative. “The pandemic made me feel, when creating this album, that I was creating this just for me. I was in this tiny room with my guitarist Jacob, just making this album together and feeling like it was for no one else’s ears but ours. It felt like there were no rules, no pressure, no expectations—we were just creating art. It was the most genuine way of creating art, which is why I love this album so much, because I was just really honest.”
Here She Is
As truthful as she intends to be, beabadoobee admits that it sometimes gets to her in a swell of overwhelming feelings, as is normal for anyone navigating adulthood. “Yes, people can relate to me, and it’s a wonderful thing. But a lot of people will know a lot of things about me and maybe entitled to have an opinion about my life because they know so much of it. Well, essentially, you still don’t, I just like to speak very honestly about my music, and I can’t help it. The way I write music is like a diary entry or therapy, and I think when you start doing something, you can’t stop, and that’s how I do it,” she shares.
“I think I’ve made some mistakes in the past where a lot of my music is very personal and like, a lot of my life is online. So, a mixture of that both can cause forest fires, really And especially with my relationships in the past, it was always been quite hard. And I realized how much impact it made when something happens in my life and people are talking about it online and I never knew that was the case for me, Beabadoobee continues. “But it always becomes worth it knowing at least one girl can listen to a song of mine and go, hey, I get what she’s saying and it makes me feel less alone. It’s a win-win, really.”
When beabadoobee starts to play at the highly anticipated Beatopia show at the New Frontier Theater in Manila on September 16, which is essentially a homecoming of sorts, it will be a wild ride of emotions for someone who was supposed to be a nursery teacher that didn’t think this was all possible at all. There have been many reactions she’s had to her music over the last few years from creating music in her bedroom to uploading covers online, but one such special memory she holds near and dear was from a show she did in London.
“This girl DMed me a few months later saying, she went to that concert and she was really nervous about going by herself because she was scared she was not going to make any friends. But she made friends with three other girls, who were at the show, and they all started a band together. They were all quite inspired by my music and I think that was really special, because the one thing I was missing growing up were girls who made music I wanted to hear, but girls who looked like me. There were a lot of really amazing female musicians, but they weren’t many Asian rock stars I could really look up to,” she says, beaming. “So, if I can be that person for at least someone then I think that’s sick and if I can inspire someone to pick up a guitar and start a f*cking band, that would be pretty cool.”
Hell yeah she did that, and by the looks of it, there will be more guitars hoisted in the air in honor of beabadoobee and the great musical imagination of Beatopia from Manila and beyond.
Presented by Live Nation Philippines, beabadoobee’s Beatopia Tour 2022 in Manila is set to take place at the New Frontier Theater on September 16, 2022 at 8:00 PM.