Here's the thing: Becky Hill is amazing. She first caught the nation's ears in 2012 when she made the semi-finals of The Voice UK
, and since then she's been beavering away behind the scenes on her debut album, while also adding super-classy feature vocals to Wilkinson's drum and bass hit Afterglow
and Oliver Heldens' housey chart-topper Gecko (Overdrive)
Now it's time for the 20-year-old from Worcestershire to step into the spotlight properly with her debut single, Losing
, which she wrote with her best mate, and another of our favourite new popstars, MNEK. It had its first radio play on Thursday and thankfully, it's brilliant. It's the sort of classy dance-pop song that you'll want to listen to on loop - and want everyone on your Facebook to know that you're listening to on loop. Already kind of (very) obsessed, I called Becky to find out more about the song.
Losing is a massive banger. What's the story behind the song?
"The story behind the song... I was seeing someone when I was on The Voice
and he kind of convinced me, he kind of convinced me to trust him and I didn’t really want to because I’d just come out of a relationship that had ended really badly. I didn’t really want to get into something like that again for a long time, but he convinced me that he was cool and that I could trust him. We were really intense throughout the whole time on the show because obviously we were both going through something we had never been through before, and it was quite scary for both of us and we helped each other. You know, we were really there for each other, but as soon as he got voted off the show he didn’t talk to me again for two months. I didn’t hear from him at all."
"Yeah, he completely ignored me. I was ringing and texting him... nothing. So then I met MNEK for the first time and it turned out he knew this guy from working with him before, so I told him the story. You know, MNEK was kind of bearing my agony for a bit, and I said ‘you know what, I’m done with having failed relationships because what I keep doing is getting into these things and seeing it backfire; I'm through with losing'. That became our concept and we wrote the song in about an hour and a half. That was the first song we’d ever written together and two years later, MNEK is my best friend and there's this really beautiful relationship we have. So with this song, it almost feels like mum and dad are introducing their new-born into school and it’s quite nerve-racking putting it out there; it’s quite an emotional thing for us both."
Why have you and MNEK hit it off so much, do you think?
"I think because when we met, I was 18 and had just moved down to London, I was living with a girl off The Voice
who had two kids and I was just terrified really. I didn’t know anybody, I was from a little town called Bewdley [in Worcestershire] and I’d lived there my whole life. You know, I was trying to make a name for myself and everybody I’d worked with up to that point had been 25 plus, but then I met MNEK, who was 17 at the time, and I was 18, and it was a really beautiful thing how we just bonded. I don’t think he had a lot of friends in the industry either and we kind of bonded over the fact that we didn’t really know where we were or what we were doing. And obviously then when I worked with him, I was like ‘you’re an absolute genius’. I’m very, very lucky that I have him as my support in this industry. I think the world of him."
How would you describe the sound of Losing?
"I think it's kind of 90s: it's got a melancholic, soulful, throwback 90s sort of vibe to it. It's kind of young and energetic but it’s still got a heartbreak tinge to it. I dunno how I would describe it, actually, it's hard!"
Maybe heartbreak disco? One of those sad songs people love to dance to.
"Exactly, yeah, it's a sad dancing song really."
Do you think the guy who inspired Losing will know it’s about him? Do you think he'll work it out?
"No, he’ll have no idea. I’ll tell you what, I don’t even think he thinks about me. I don’t even think he remembers me, I actually don’t."
When he starts hearing you on the radio, and reading about you everywhere, I think he’ll remember then.
"I dunno. We left it in a weird place. After that two months of ignoring me, he got back in touch and we met up a couple of times and he was really cool but, you know, I haven’t heard from him since. It’s a really weird one. He’s quite self-centred and self-absorbed, but he’s a lovely guy really and I wish him the best. But I don’t think he thinks about me at all."
You've also been writing with Little Mix recently. How did that come about?
"So, MNEK texted me and said ‘I’ve got a writing session with Little Mix, do you want to jump in?’ and I was like ‘yeah I’d love to!'. I really admire Little Mix because they make an effort to be part of the writing process and I don’t feel like there's a lot of girlbands who will do that. It’s not like they just listen to a lot of tracks and pick which one they want to sing, they're a real part of it. Uzo [MNEK] brought me into the session because I'm a female of their age; he's great at relating to things but when there are four girls in the room, I think he finds it a little bit difficult! So the session was a really nice balance between me and the girls moaning about how shit boys are and MNEK kind of putting that into a poetic songwriting form. I had such a fun day with those girls; we're actually meeting up again soon to finish the song off and I’m really looking forward to that."
Could you say what the track's called, or does it not have a title yet?
"Um... I don’t think they’ve given our baby a name yet."
Was it kind of awkward going into the writing session with them: four girls you'd never met before?
"No, it wasn’t awkward actually. When you go into a songwriting session as an artist, you have to be so straight up with everyone you're working with - because I think you have to tell them something personal about yourself to write a good song. I've always been like 'This is what's going on in my life, this is what's happened, I've slept with this guy or whatever'. You have to be proper honest to write a good song. So when the Little Mix girls came in, one of them was having troubles with this guy who hadn’t text her in a day or something, so I told them a story about a guy who didn’t ask me out for a drink and we just had a massive bitch about how guys are really shit. Then it was kind of like ‘let’s write a song about that’. I mean, I don’t find it difficult writing with people, but I've never really been in the studio with an artist who, you know, who hasn’t given me a lot to work with. I've written with Conor Maynard too and he was also really great."
Oh really, how did that come about?
"Well, we share the same label, and we’ve obviously met at the BRIT Awards and stuff, so we ended up doing a couple of tracks together. Conor was a bit of a difficult one because he’s got a girlfriend and he’s happy and he’s got quite a nice life and all the rest of it, so when we were writing, we just went off the mood of the track. But like Little Mix, I think Conor's really talented as a popstar: he gets involved, he knows what he wants to say and he knows what does and doesn’t work."
Losing by Becky Hill will be released on November 16.