A decade in the making, the artist talks new album Only Honest On The Weekend.
Becky Hill began her rise to fame when she appeared as a contestant on the first series of The Voice in 2012. Just two years later she had made history as the only contestant to score a number one single (with Oliver Helden’s and MNEK’s “Gecko (Overdrive)”), and she’s been releasing a stream of dance-pop hits ever since. She’s dominated streaming platforms as well as the radio – in 2019 she was the second-most-streamed UK female solo act, and she has 18 million monthly listeners on Spotify with over 1.5 billion combined streams. Hill is often introduced as a “leading female vocalist in dance music” – and that she is, but she’s also so much more.
“I have always felt more than a female vocalist in dance music. I am an artist that makes dance music and wants to be a part of dance culture. Being referred to as a ‘female vocalist in dance music’ can be quite frustrating for people that are artists, but are only seen as vocalists because they’re female,” she shares. “I’ve written all my songs, I’ve sung all my songs, I’ve performed all my songs. Just because I’m there with a male counterpart whose song it is, doesn’t mean I’m any less worthy of that success and that credit.”
Becky Hill sits down with Wonderland to discuss collaborating with Ella Eyre, and what it’s taken to finally unleash her multifaceted sound into the world.
Talk us through the vibe of your new album, Only Honest On The Weekend. BH: The vibe of the album is super personal, what I like about the album is that every song I’ve got can be related back to a time in my life like a diary entry. It’s kind of 60/40, dance to pop music… I’ve got a few ballads on there, which is very different to what people will have heard from me before, but it’s a super personal album. I wanted to be able to give people a soundtrack to their pre-drinks, their hangover days, getting ready to go out, being on a night out, being on the way to work, or being on the tube. I’ve been in quite a privileged position where I’ve been able to put such a long time, nearly a decade, into writing this album. It has been an incredible experience and hopefully won’t take that long doing another one!
How is this album different from the music you’ve released up until now? Are we going to see a different side of Becky Hill? BH: I’m really excited to put out a body of music that reflects me as a person and as an artist. I think for a long time I’ve been trying to conform to what is popular in the charts, and as much as I love my dance music, it is not the full picture of my artistry. I’ve always written pop music, I’ve loved artists like Robyn, and Robyn is a great reference actually because she started doing R&B, then she did kind of synth-pop music, and then went into dance music herself. I love how unboundaried she is. I’m excited to give people the ballads, the slow tempo songs, the more personal songs, amongst the dance floor bangers.
You collaborated with a lot of different people on the album, from Sigala to David Guetta, who was your favorite person to work with and why? BH: My favourite collaborator on this album has to be Ella Eyre. I fell in love with her the moment I met her when we were both on tour with Rudimental, and our friendship has blossomed over the years. We used to get a lot of comparisons, back in the Rudimental days, that our voices sounded really similar and we wanted to put our voices on a track together so people could really understand the differences between us two as vo- calists and artists. I have absolute respect for that girl and she has very much guided me through this industry and changed the way that I view my job and how I view myself and I’ve got a lot to thank her for. I’m so glad we get to do this collaboration on my album, and hopefully, it won’t be the last!
You came out as queer in April, can you talk about that? Has that been liberating? BH: I think I’ve been really lucky with coming out as queer. This was a decision that I’d come to as a 27-year-old. Queer is such a beautiful umbrella to be a part of and I’m really grateful that it’s been so welcoming. I love the LGBTQIA+ community, I al-ways have done. I’ve felt like an ally for a very long time, and it is so nice now to be fully aligned with the community as a queer person and it’s so nice to have that name for myself. I’m still very confused (laughs)
but we’re getting there.
Do you think the industry needs more queer representation? BH: I think the industry needs more diverse representation as a whole. I think the queer community, as well as people of colour in the music industry need more representation. We need to celebrate queerness, we need to celebrate Blackness, we need to celebrate marginalised people as a whole and lift them up, and I think that isn’t just in my industry but it’s in everybody’s.
What’s next for you? Any exciting plans for the rest of the year? BH: I have a tour coming up in October which is nearly sold out, and I’m going to try and write a Christmas song as well. From there on it will be world domination! So expect to hear me on all the radio stations, on all the TV channels, and hopefully once travel opens back up again, all across the world as well.