Get To Know: BEKA
Pop fans listen up!! We’ve got you new fav right here. Introducing you this week to BEKA!
Inspired by the greats like Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill and Quincy Jones, Nottingham local BEKA is making dreamy atmospheric pop music. After touring with HONNE and featuring on their tracks ‘Location Unknown – Brooklyn Session’ and ‘Crying Over You’, BEKA decided that lockdown last year was her time to release music in her own right.
‘I’ll Be There’ was her debut – a honest declaration of love and support to her husband during some mental health struggles. When speaking to Wonderland magazine, BEKA says the gospel-hued track “is the message you send to a friend when you don’t know what to say.” Something we’re sure a lot of us can relate to.
A collab with HONNE followed on ‘More Than Friends’ and her latest release before her EP (out tomorrow!!!) is ‘My One’. Upbeat and uplifting, the track perfectly captures the feeling of love and has a hook you’ll be singing on repeat! It really is a feel-good pop bop but still showcases her emotive lyricism that makes her so relatable. We’re so excited to hear the rest of her EP!
1. For those who don’t know about you and your music, tell us a little bit about who you are and where you’re from…
I’m BEKA, singer-songwriter, Stevie Wonder and tea addict (that’s a thing yeah?) and I’m from Nottingham - the mixed race capital of the world. I released my debut single in lockdown and am used to celebrating all releases from my living room with a Full English and prosecco because of it.
2. Who/what inspired you to start a career in music?
I think I was just always fascinated by the way I found music to be this real sort of magic (go with me), where it has these wild properties that heals you and lets you deal with stuff you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to and then bottles in a song for you to revisit later. I found the way that when it was paired to art or dance, we’d get shivers just watching it.
3. Who are your biggest musical influences?
The legends, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones and Lauryn Hill have all played a big part in influencing me. Back in the day my family were mad into Quincy Jones, MJ, Chaka Khan... so I found a lot of those sounds kept drawing me back through the different genres as I got into music itself and Lauryn’s lyrical genius still inspires me a bunch.
4. Tell us about the writing and recording process of your new release…
A lot of these songs started as a feeling, then a melody and bass line. At the time I started writing for myself I was really battling with imposter syndrome and working through how I could tap into the ideas I had in my head but got too 'shook' to get it out in front of others, so they’d often come out in the shower (my best songs always start there) or in the car, but always from feeling. All the songs on the release came from trickier times in my life in the past few years which coincided with me becoming an artist, so it helped to be able to let it out into the music.
5. What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
I think it was when I released my debut single ‘I’ll Be There’ knowing that writing it came from real tears and pain and days after releasing it, people messaged to say that it felt healing and they’d needed it. It’s such a humbling experience knowing that someone on the other side of the world feels a bit of comfort from your experience.
6. Who would you be your dream collaboration and why?
Ooo… I think it would have to be the queen, Alicia Keys. She is a figure of timeless empowerment and light and is a huge pioneer. The older I get, the more I admire her. If Alicia wasn’t free… Laura Mvula, on some film scores for a film directed by Ava Duvernay - sorry if that’s too greedy.
7. Have you met anyone and been totally starstruck?
I met/walked close to Maggie Rogers backstage at a festival once and was jaw to the floor mesmerised by her and played it so uncool, and stared… which on reflection is the only way to respond such a queen.
8. If you could only listen to one song on repeat for the rest of time what would it be and why?
Currently, as of this week, it would be ‘Give You Blue’ by Allen Stone. It moves me every single time. His vocal is wild, the chords, the lyric… everything… I’M GONE WITH EVERY LISTEN.
9. What’s on your playlists that people wouldn’t expect?
The soundtrack from If Beale Street Could Talk. I find soundtracks so addictive. I am mad for them because they’re feels, imagery, spine tingles, all in one… it’s mini explosions for my imagination. The arrangements for some of the lead pieces will leave you SHOOK…. But I’ve still never seen the film, so maybe that’s a bit awkward.
10. What can we expect from your live shows?
Aside from an attempt to get tea and prosecco on tap, for free, for us all … I want them to feel like a really safe and inclusive space. I’d love them to be the kind of show where you can ugly cry at and then dance like you would when you’re home, alone. Also probably some tears from me.
11. Have you got any fun livestreams/online events planned for this year? / When can we see you live?
I HAVEEEE and I’m mad excited to be able to say my first headline shows are happening 27th October in my hometown Nottingham and then 29th October at Colours London and tickets are on sale tomorrow! I hope you come… and dance… and hold everyone around you because we can again!