Beabadoobee: The 1975 taught me how to cope with fame

By Jimmy Blake
Newsbeat reporter

image captionBeabadoobee was among the names on the Sound Of 2020 poll

With a Brit nomination, a spot on pretty much every "ones to watch for 2020" list and nearly three million monthly listeners, Beabadoobee's year is off to a strong start.

The 19-year-old is also on tour with label mates The 1975, with Matty Healy calling her "the most exciting thing in rock" when he gave her the Under the Radar prize at this year's NME Awards.

But for someone who writes, in her words "everything in my bedroom" she's happy to acknowledge the attention can be "super overwhelming".

"I didn't really expect any of this to happen," she tells Newsbeat.

"I was in the green room at a show in Brighton not long ago and I said to my bass player 'imagine this was the green room for The O2'.

"It was terrifying just even thinking about it like that."

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionBeabadoobee won the Under the Radar prize at the 2020 NME Awards

In that same moment the singer stops to remind herself of something her counsellor recently told her.

It's a refreshingly open approach to being interviewed, showing the comfort she has in speaking about her mental health.

"They say every time you get nervous, replace that word with excitement because they're very similar things.

"So instead of saying, I'm terrified... I'm excited to play O2."

image captionSam Fender has spoken about the importance of looking after young artists

Her recent rise to fame is, understandably, a world that Beabadoobee is taking time to get used to.

It's something plenty of up-and-coming artists have spoken to Newsbeat about recently.

From acts like Sam Fender and Tom Grennan discussing being "perpetually terrified" of burnout, to the label behind Foals suggesting that "the industry is still learning how to support" artists - it's clear the physical and mental health of artists is becoming a growing issue for management.

Serious discussion was sparked around the issue in 2016 when the organisation Help Musicians UK published a report titled "Can Music Make You Sick?" and the results caused concern.

More than 71% of musicians polled said they suffered from anxiety or panic attacks, 68.5% said they had issues with depression.

image copyrightGetty Images

It's something Beabadoobee's label Dirty Hit, which is also home to the likes of Wolf Alice, Pale Waves and King Nun, is taking seriously, too.

She says the team "feels like family" and that "everyone helps each other".

"When I play a show... I go out and try to meet as many people as I can.

"But you can't meet everyone... I appreciate every single person that listens to my music and I want to meet them it's just really hard, mentally and also physically.

"They help me out when I feel sad or overwhelmed... they tell me it's normal and understand completely."

She spoke often with Matty Healy, who told her to make sure she is comfortable with what's being asked.

"He says 'You always have to put yourself first'.

"Sometimes it's really hard to care about yourself more than you care about other people... That's something I'm working on."

image copyrightGetty Images

The singer says Matty's advice has also spread to her song-writing.

"He told me if I'm looking for inspiration, I should listen to my music, and try and hear it from a different perspective.

"So I've been banging out my tunes... I think it's important. You should love what you do."

She's planning on taking that confidence boost on tour, bringing a lot of energy to her performance.

"I've got a wireless guitar for the arenas - so the first thing I'm going to do is a marathon by myself on stage.

"I've got a second guitarist now too so I could stage dive, too!

"But maybe not this time because it's massive and I could hurt myself - we'll see... stage dives are coming."

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