Becky Hill

Becky Hill has announced her second album ‘Believe Me Now?’. Check out an exclusive interview with Hill below, where she talks self-belief, stepping things up, tackling sexual assault in her music, and potentially collaborating with Self-Esteem.

Due for release May 31, ‘Believe Me Now?’ is the follow-up to Hill’s 2021 debut album ‘Only Honest On The Weekend’ and features her Chase & Status collab ‘Disconnect’ as well as previously released singles ‘Side Effects’ and ‘Never Be Alone’.

Speaking to NME from a hotel room in Australia after playing her first ever shows in the country, Hill said: “I want to move into a space that says ‘global artist’ and not ‘happy accident’. To come halfway across the world and have people love my music, it makes me feel like none of this has been delusional.”

“I turn 30 next month and I’m really looking forward to it,” she continued. “My 20s have been quite turbulent and the music on my first album reflected that.”

Some tracks were written when she was 19 and going through a Robyn-inspired synth-pop phase, while others came much later. “The whole thing still felt very unsure of itself,” said Hill. “But I knew what I was after with this new album.”

Hill said that ‘Believe Me Now’ came together surprisingly quickly. “I guess that’s because I’ve spent 12 years honing my craft though,” she added.

It’s not just the songs that are more confident this time around either. “I feel like I’ve finally shed the ‘girl next door’ image as well,” she explained. “I was desperately trying to hang on to that because I didn’t want anyone to think I was too special or up my own ass.

“I didn’t want people asking, ‘Who the fuck is Becky Hill?’ but I’ve become this person that knows exactly who she is. I don’t need to downplay myself or my abilities because I finally believe in myself. You can hear that on this record.”

Working with crossover producers like PARISI, Mark Ralph, Toddla T, Maur, Solardo, MJ Cole, Jax Jones and Franky Wah, Hill’s goal for ‘Believe Me Now?’ was to make a record that straddled the worlds of dance and pop, she explained.

“I wanted an album rooted in dance production but I’m a pop girl at heart,” Hill told NME. “I wanted to make songs that could top the charts, but seeing me DJ at [Ibiza clubs like] Amnesia or Cafe Mambo doesn’t feel a million miles away from what the rest of the project is.”

“When Justin Bieber released [2010 debut single] ‘Baby’, everyone thought he was cheesy as fuck but then he worked with Skrillex on [2015 album] ‘Purpose’ and he became the coolest thing overnight. I wanted this album to do something similar. I still want people who discovered me on The Voice to like it, but I want to bring in people that listen to Chase & Status, Fred Again.., Four Tet and Joy Anonymous as well.“

Lyrically, a lot of ‘Believe Me Now?’ tackles loneliness. “It’s not something I set out to do but the overarching theme of the album is about trying to fill this void of feeling so isolated,” said Hill. “I wonder how much of that has to do with the pandemic, how much has come from loneliness within and how much of it is me missing family, friends and my partner because I’ve been working so hard?” she asked.

“I would love people to know that they don’t have to live in loneliness. And if they do, maybe they can find some beauty in that.”

Hill went on to say that she believes dance music is the perfect antidote to feeling isolated. “My whole experience of rave culture has been this sense of unity,” she said. “It’s such a beautiful feeling when you go to a rave, because it doesn’t matter what you’re going through, you can hopefully put it all aside for one night and enjoy life while surrounded by people all doing the same thing. I would like this record to offer that sense of togetherness.”

Becky Hill performs on Day 1 of Leeds Festival 2023
Becky Hill performs on Day 1 of Leeds Festival 2023 at Bramham Park on August 25, 2023 in Leeds, England. CREDIT: Matthew Baker/Getty Images

The title of Becky Hill’s second record ’Believe Me Now?’ was lifted from a currently unreleased album track called ‘True Colours’, co-written with Lauren Aquilina [Rina Sawayama, Little Mix] about their experiences of sexual assault.

“It happened when I was 21 and it was with somebody I really trusted,” said Hill. “I knew I could only write about it with somebody who really understood what I’d been through. I didn’t want it to be a sad song though, because the experience never made me sad. It made me fucking furious.”

She added: “It’s the hardest song I’ve ever written but it was also a super cathartic experience.”

Hill has tried to write ‘True Colours’ several times over the past eight years but the turning point came after she went to the police about the assault. “It’s probably the bravest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. I know it’s not something everyone can do but I felt such self-confidence from reclaiming that situation.”

“The album title ‘Believe Me Now?’ is directed at the people who didn’t believe me when I was younger and made me feel like I had to work to prove my innocence in that situation,” she said.

Becky Hill 'Believe Me Now?' album artwork.
Becky Hill ‘Believe Me Now?’ album artwork. CREDIT: Press

The title is also aimed at those that questioned Hill’s ambitions when she first started out. “I was constantly told I was just a feature and that nobody would ever really care who Becky Hill was,” she said. “I’ve been the underdog this whole time, and now I feel like I’m not anymore. In the UK, at least.”

She went on to say that ‘Believe Me Now?’ is also directed at herself.

“I truly believe that I’m doing this job for the little child inside of me that never thought she was good enough to do it,” said Hill. “I wake up every day trying to prove to her that she is absolutely fucking good enough, worthy and lovable.”

“The title takes on many forms of smugness and self confidence but there’s also a lot of compassion as well,” she continued. “This album means a lot to me.”

After a massive slot at Reading & Leeds last year that saw her playing just before headliners Imagine Dragons and Billie Eilish, this summer Becky Hill will play a string of massive outdoor shows and headlining Parklife Festival 2024 alongside Doja Cat, Disclosure and J Hus.

“The album wasn’t written with those big shows in mind, but I knew I needed to level everything up,” admitted Hill. “You can’t win two BRIT Awards and just be pootling along at the same rate that you were. You need to constantly evolve and be elevating what you do.

“Don’t get me wrong, that Parklife slot is terrifying but it feels way more achievable now because my arena tour in October is pretty much sold out. If I ever needed proof that this is working and I’m not delusional, it’s that many people buying tickets to come see me.”

She’s already started working with Studio Moross, who’ve previously collaborating with the likes of Spice Girls and Kylie Minogue on their world tours, to create a show that feels “really hedonistic”.

Becky Hill 'Believe Me Now?' photo
Becky Hill ‘Believe Me Now?’ photo. CREDIT: Press

‘Believe Me Now?’ comes at a time where female-led dance music is really having a moment with Hill shouting out the likes of Hannah Laing, TSHA Teesha, Sherelle, Nia Archives, Charlotte Haining and Emily Makis for taking the spotlight by doing their own thing.

“For a while, it felt like it was just me but what’s so beautiful now is there’s so much variety. Yes, there are still plenty of straight, white male DJs but there are also so many brilliant female-led dance acts coming through.”

However, Hill isn’t taking the credit for leading the charge. “I don’t feel like that’s my crown to take. All I’ve done is fucking hustled my ass off. I’ve pushed through every ceiling that I felt like I was given and am still given. I haven’t stopped and won’t stop until I’ve got global domination.”

“As an artist, I want to represent persistence and strength. If you keep going, you’ll get there,” she continued. “With ‘Believe Me Now?’ I’m excited to prove to people that I’m not just chaotic. I’m not this ‘girl next door’, I’m not this apologetic person and my success isn’t an accident. I want this album to be the badge that says ‘Becky Hill is here now’. I’m not going away anytime soon either.”

Last time Becky Hill caught up NME was on the red carpet of the 2022 BRIT Awards where she spoke about hopefully hanging out with Self-Esteem. Months later, Self-Esteem covered Hill’s ‘Remember’ in the BBC Radio One Live Lounge. Have the pair found time to get in the studio together?

“Funnily enough, my A&R messaged me two days ago asking about having Self-Esteem on a track – which I think is a pretty sick idea,” she said. “I absolutely love her. I went to see her in [West End musical Cabaret] and it’s brilliant. I’d love to collaborate with Self-Esteem and hopefully it’s happening but at the same time, I wouldn’t hold your breath. This is the music industry after all.”

‘Believe Me Now?’ is available May 31 via Polydor/Eko Records and can be pre-ordered here.

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.

The post Becky Hill tells us about new album ‘Believe Me Now?’: “I’m not the underdog anymore” appeared first on NME.


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