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The melody making newcomer soundtracking her teenage years.




Bea wears jacket by ACNE STUDIOS

Bea wears blazer by JOSEPH

Playing to a partially-filled room made up of mostly family members is what the majority of emerging artists expect when putting on their third ever live show. But for Bea Kristi - better known under her stage name Beabadoobee - things are a little different. Recalling the night to me over the phone, her third performance ever saw her support Dirty Hit label mates The 1975 for a sold out show at London’s Garage during BRITs week. “It was super fun,” she buzzes. “I didn’t expect anyone to know who I am or expect people to come and watch my set, but people knew me and they were being so lovely and so nice!”

Although surprised by the reaction herself, I am less so after observing the 18-year-old’s monumental last few months. Having only played guitar for a year, the self-taught songwriter sold out her first headline show in 24 hours and released an acclaimed debut EP, “Patched Up”. Not a bad feat to accomplish while still in her final year of school. So how does she fit it all in? “I don’t!” She exclaims. “I literally don’t. As much as I try and go to school and do my lessons and try to listen to the topics, it’s so hard to concentrate. I’m just thinking about other things, about the songs I want to finish. I don’t want to sound cringe, but playing guitar is kind of like a drug and if I don’t play for more than five hours when I’m at school, I get like an addict!”

So desperate to get her fix, she wrote her first song in-between classes. “I thought ‘Let me just play some random chords!’ and I did random shit with my fingers because I had no idea how to play guitar.” The result was her dreamy track “Coffee”. Uploaded by a friend, it subsequently blew up online and amassed hundreds of thousands of listens. “Someone said to me ‘Oh,

you’re that “Coffee” girl?’ and I was like ‘What? I don’t drink coffee!’” She laughs. “Suddenly I realised and was like ‘Oh fuck, that’s my song!’”

Releasing “Patched Up” late last year, it provides an unfiltered glimpse into Bea’s mind. Full of irresistible acoustic melodies and relatable stories, listening to the record sounds as though it’s straight from a coming-of-age movie soundtrack. Think Richard Ayoade’s Submarine, but with the added insight of coming from a real life 18-year-old singing about her fears and first love. No offence, Alex Turner.

I ask if soundtracking is something she’d be interested in: “100 fucking percent!” She replies. “I’d love to write, because, you know, my music is very just singing and guitar based and I think there’s a beauty with the simplicity of that. To make even just a few songs for a movie with just my guitar and my voice and maybe get someone to add some piano to, it’s such a dream of mine. A massive dream of mine.”

Now getting ready for yet another exciting year - including the release of a new EP, a string of shows and, of course, finishing school - Bea’s ready to reveal even more of herself to the world. “I guess in a way it’s therapeutic to me,” she muses. “The more I write about my vulnerability or about the things that I’m scared about, it helps my brain organise my feelings and makes me feel more safe. I do it for the people listening but at the same time it’s for myself. It just so happens that people relate to it and I realise that I’m not alone either.”

Bea wears suit by JOSEPH and top by TOPSHOP


With thanks to INDRA STUDIOS

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