Beth Keeping San Francisco Interview

Beth Keeping San Francisco Interview

Taylor Swift meets Nina Nesbitt

Beth Keeping is a singer/songwriter from Surrey, UK. Drawing influences from both traditional country storytelling and modern pop music, Keeping delivers a fresh and modern take, creating songs that speak about real situations. Her honest lyrical approach and emotive vocals have built her a reputation as an artist to watch in the UK music scene.

Inspired into the music industry by artists such as Delta Goodrem, John Mayer and Martyn Joseph, Keeping found herself travelling the world, writing and recording in the UK, Singapore, Ireland, Estonia, Andalusia and America. Her debut EP Fool, which was recorded in Nashville, showcased her love for country music and its powerful ability to depict vivid stories through sound. However, her most recent single 'Building Bridges on the Dancefloor' marked a move towards more mainstream pop, whilst reserving her signature authentic anecdotal lyrics.

'San Francisco' narrates letting go of a moment or person and wondering what may happen if you could only have another chance. Keeping wrote the song after a five week backpacking trip across South East Asia found her connecting with someone from San Francisco. A missed opportunity left the singer thinking, "I'll probably never see you again, but if I'm ever in San Francisco would you care?" The emotions are captured through Keeping's use of genuine lyrics and heartfelt vocals. Cascading with delicate pop soundscapes and floaty melodies, the track which is reminiscent of Taylor Swift meets Nina Nesbitt glistens brightly, creating an infectious pop anthem. 'San Francisco' garners influence from Lauv and his capacity to emit a pop essence, with emotive and detailed lyrics that make you feel like you're there in the song with him. Keeping reveals, "I want to write about real situations, to create music that makes people breathe a sigh of relief and say 'Thank goodness, I thought it was only me who felt that way'. Valuing honesty and realness in my writing style is key – it's important to me that my music recognises and deals with both the fun and the difficult times of life".

As founder of 'Write Like A Girl', an initiative that puts the spotlight back on female songwriters, Keeping is an advocate of championing the rights of women and equality in the music industry. Keeping shares, "It's an idea I've had for years after I woke up to the gender imbalance at networking nights I was going to. In fact, only 17% of songwriters in the UK are women (PRS for Music, 2018)". Currently running monthly showcases in London, she will embark on a second 'Write Like A Girl' tour in November 2019. Keeping has also seen success winning a PRS songwriting prize in a Mayor of London GIGs competition, as well as reaching #3 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart for her debut EP.

Interview with Beth Keeping

Question: Can you tell us about San Francisco?

Beth Keeping: The song is about looking back on a moment with someone and accepting that it's in the past and you need to move on, but also casually wondering what would happen if you had another opportunity. I wrote it about an experience I had while travelling across South East Asia earlier this year.

Question: How does it feel to be compared to Taylor Swift and Nina Nesbitt?

Beth Keeping: They're both fantastic songwriters and total girl bosses so I'd say pretty good!

Question: Can you tell us about Write Like A Girl?

Beth Keeping: Only 17% of songwriters are women, so Write Like A Girl is about championing women who write and providing them with a voice and a platform. We run regular writers round showcases in London and are doing our second UK tour in November, which is exciting!

Question: What do you hope to achieve through Write Like A Girl?

Beth Keeping: I hope that by having talented female songwriters play at our shows we can demonstrate how women bring a unique voice to the writing table, and hopefully inspire others to write too! I also want to create an environment where women build up and encourage other women, so we've just introduced a new feature to our shows where the performers take a moment to compliment each another on something they appreciate and admire in their writing style. My hope is that we can model how women can support one another other without feeling threatened by someone else's talent or seeing them as competition. We all have our unique gifts, and recognising and supporting someone else's talent shouldn't take anything away from our own.

Question: How would you describe your music?

Beth Keeping: It's a fusion of pop music and country storytelling lyrics. I'm a sucker for a catchy melody, but I also really admire the discipline of Nashville lyric writing so I try and bring this into my songs where I can.

Question: What motivates you most when writing music?

Beth Keeping: What I love most about songwriting is when someone hears a song that they relate to, and they breathe a sigh of relief or crack a smile because they feel like they're not alone in their situation. That's what I want to achieve in my writing.

Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?

Beth Keeping: I like performing at small acoustic gigs like our Write Like A Girl nights because it gives me a chance to share the story behind the song and connect with people. I love the creative process the most though – from the first idea on paper to recording the final track in the studio. It's always exciting to see an idea come to life!

Question: Which is your favourite song to perform live and why?

Beth Keeping: I love performing a song from my last EP 'Strangers in the Same City' because there's a great drop in the bridge where I can really draw the listeners in and get them hanging on the emotion of the song.

Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?

Beth Keeping: I'm loving Lauv and Sasha Sloane at the moment – their lyrics and vibe are just great. I'm also listening to a lot of country music because I'm about to go to Nashville for a writing trip.

Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?

Beth Keeping: My teenage idol was an Australian artist called 'Delta Goodrem' - I was crazy about her for years and she inspired me to start writing. The honesty in her second album 'Mistaken Identity' about her battle with cancer really stuck with me, and I think that's influenced the way I approach music today.

Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?

Beth Keeping: I'd love to say Delta... but it would actually be Elton John, he's such a legend.

Question: Can you share your socials?

Beth Keeping: Yes! You can find me at @bethkeeping on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Interview by Brooke Hunter