Betty Who was born to be a pop star. The singer, who was born in Australia and moved to the U.S. as a teen, has been making music all of her 23 years, and sounds like the sweet love child of Katy Perry and Robyn. Her second EP, Slow Dancing, is out today, and the first single (below) is the official iTunes single of the week. She talked to OKMagazine.com about what fans can expect, and what makes for a perfect pop song.
OK!: What can fans expect from this EP?
Betty Who: It’s going to a really natural progression from the first EP. It’s hopefully going to be exciting, and hopefully make you dance a little more!
OK!: Is there a theme running through it?
BW: I think I imagine it as “High Society” ending it on the last EP, and then we pick up with “Heartbreak Dream.” It’s [about] coming out of a relationship and going into another, and saying, ‘This is not where I need to be. You’re not helping me. We’re not growing together in any way.’ And then the last song ends up being in a place where one day I will find somebody who loves me, and it’ll be totally easy. It’ll be totally fine.
OK!: You have been working on music your whole life. When did you know you wanted to be a musician?
BW: I started playing cello when I was 4. It’s been forever. I don’t think there was a point in which I was like, I want to do this for a living. It was who I was and what I was doing, and then I said, Wait, this is all I’m doing! And it’s great!
OK!: Did you ever consider doing anything else, and what would it be?
BW: I’ve thought about what I would do and what it would be like to be other people. I think I considered going into something like teaching, or I was always interested in medicine, and then it ended up being that i was at a school for performing arts. It wasn’t even an option. I’ve thought about things I could e doing, but it’s like, why would i do that?!
OK!: Yeah, you probably think all of us who work in offices are crazy!
BW: I had a day job the summer after high school where I worked 9-5, Monday through Friday, and I have never been so unhappy! [laughs]
OK!: What was it like to move to the US as a teenager? How did it influence your career?
BW: It definitely opened up doors for me. Being in America made the dream into a reality, almost. I didn’t really know that at the time, but when I moved I think it felt natural. My mom is American, and I went there a lot as a kid. I was so excited! It was the best thing I could have done.
OK!: What do you think makes a pop song successful?
BW: I think it’s definitely, for me, about honesty. Telling a story that people can relate to, or if you’re not telling a story, at least making an emotion really clear. Pop music is called popular music for a reason. The beauty of pop music is that everybody likes it. No matter who you are, you know most of the words to “California Gurls.” The thing to make it work, and stay around, to make it relevant for a long time, is to make it true and honest and moving in a way. Whether it’s, ‘I just want to dance,’ or ‘Oh my God, my boyfriend broke up with me.’ Whatever the emotion is, as long as it’s real.
OK!: Aaron Paul tweeted about your show in LA. Who are the celebs that excited you the most when they reached out?
BW: It’s funny, because all of the quote-unquote celebrities that are my fans are actually my friends. [YouTube star] Tyler Oakley was one of the first people who had a lot of followers who started telling people about me. I had put out a free EP and nobody knew who I was, I had 90 followers on Twitter. And he’d be like, ‘This girl is incredible. Get on it before anyone else does.’ Tyler Oakley found it because of a friend in Los Angeles, which is where [Glee‘s] Kevin McHale found it, and Sophia Bush. Aaron is a friend of my former tour manager. They help a lot, when they tweet about me! So I’m super grateful. They don’t have to do that.
OK!: Being a huge pop fan, whom would you love to collaborate with in the future?
BW: Man, I am obsessed with Miguel. I really love his music. I would really, really love to sing with Sam Smith.
OK!: What is your favorite pop song of 2014 so far?
BW: Probably “Magic,” by Coldplay. I heard it, and I was like, wow, this is such a beautiful song. And then I heard that him and Gwyneth Paltrow broke up, it totally opened up into this incredibly sad, beautiful song. Now I haven’t been able to stop listening to it. It’s so emotional and so beautiful and so heartbreaking to me.
OK!: What’s next for you?
BW: I’m on tour right now, and the EP comes out. I have a couple weeks off, and then I go on tour in the UK. A lot of touring, lots of album-making. That’s the rest of my year!
Do you like Betty Who’s music? What’s your favorite pop song of the year so far? What makes a pop song successful? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @OKMagazine.