Baby Queen, c’est le nom qu’a pris Bella à son arrivée à Londres, à 18 ans, après avoir grandi à Durban, en Afrique du Sud. Ses premières chansons, elle les tire de son expérience dans le monde en carton d’Instagram. En résulte, un personnage sur-plastifié, au nuancier rose bonbon, saupoudré de paillettes multicolores. Le tout, enveloppé dans une satire sociale burlesque où est dépeinte une superficialité ultra-connectée comme dans son premier EP « Medicine« . Rencontre avec la Queen 2020.
What’s Baby Queen in 3 words ?
Honest, chaotic, profound
To make fun of superficiality, you excessively use pink, glitters, hearts, and frills. Are you not afraid to be defined by that ?
I’m not afraid to be defined by pretty things. I think the only thing that really defines an artist is their music, and more specifically, their lyrics and the words they are choosing to share with the world. I think anything beyond the music is just dressing it up and painting a world that can bring the music to life. Anybody who chooses to define me by something that isn’t my music, doesn’t get it.
When you got a character like « Baby Queen », with a strong image, isn’t it hard to let him go when the camera and mic are gone ?
I’m a massive people-pleaser, so the idea of putting on a pantomime in front of a camera is something that feeds into my social life too. I’m constantly performing when I’m around other people and I often find life exhausting because of it. It’s not hard to let go of, but I have to spend a lot of time alone to build up the energy to see people.
A couple days after the release of you EP Medicine, you’ve done the opening act of Yungblud ? Your experience of this virtual gig ?
It was incredible and it felt like it was a mix between an actual live gig and a music video. It was really amazing to play these songs live with my band for the first time and to get such a positive response from Yungblud’s fans who are incredible. I’m very excited play real-life shows next year.
There is some touches of grunge pop coming from the 80’s in your music, but your subjects are really in : like woman empowerment, addictions, social medias. Why this thema are in relation with your style of music ?
I think the style of music a person makes is something they don’t really get to choose – or at least, I didn’t get to really choose that. I learnt how to write music from Taylor Swift so my music will always have pop inflections melodically and then my lyrics come from real life experiences. I really like the how the depth of the lyric contrasts the sound of the music. I think it’s what makes the music so exciting to me.
You play guitar, bass, piano, ukulélé, you sing. What’s your next instrument ?
The satire on bad people, it’s your weapon to help young girls, who don’t find their role in the society. Do you feel that your music could help to spread and to grow your message ? Do you think that your convictions could be delivered another way ?
Music is my way of understanding how I feel about the world I’m living in. I understand how I feel only bu writing about my feelings. I don’t think I have the power to change our relationship with social media, or body dysmorphia, but what I can do is be honest about the reality of these issues, which will hopefully help other people feel less alone.
What does it mean for you being a Queen in 2020 ?
A queen is somebody fearlessly living their truth, uplifting others and standing up for what is right. Munroe Bergdorf is my favourite 2020 queen.