Beth McCarthy’s story so far has been sickeningly high achieving at such a tender age. Infamously Beth was a strong contender on BBC 1’s The Voice UK, singing to the likes of Sir Tom Jones and powering through the competition with her mentor, fellow Yorkshireman and Kaiser Chief Ricky Wilson.
Since the show’s end, Beth has played countless gigs and festivals, supporting bands such as ELO on their UK Tour, HAIM and The Black Keys at Latitude festival and Shed Seven at The Barbican. She has taken part in numerous charity events such as A Night To Remember and The Voice of Charity, and during all this has still found time to venture down to London to write and record her original material.
Now, just days after her eighteenth birthday and in advance of this Saturday’s big coming of age gig; Bethtival, we catch up with Beth McCarthy to talk about her journey so far, her future and Taylor Swift.
You have achieved an awful lot at such a tender age, what have been the highlights of your career so far?
If I’m honest, my entire career has been a highlight! It’s just been a constant high for me over the last few years so choosing the ‘best bits’ isn’t easy! But it was ace to support ELO on their UK tour and being able to perform at the Barbican in York was a dream come true. The Voice was an amazing experience, but you can’t really compare that to everything else. I guess I’m just lucky to have done so many awesome things.
- Do you see yourself going in a new direction at all?
I wouldn’t say ‘new’ direction as such, but I’m looking at making my sound a little bigger than what people are used to. I’m currently working with producers to find the ‘sound’ that works for me, beef it up a bit rather than it just be me and a guitar. It’ll still be me though, just a bigger version of me!
- Could you talk us through the creative process for you?
Haha I wish I could talk myself through it! The creative process is a weird one for me. I get inspiration from everywhere and everything so it’s pretty all over the place. I think the main thing is just to be real with my writing. Obviously I’m still trying to write songs that are catchy and ‘commercial’ and all that rubbish, but I’m more bothered by whether or not people can feel from them or relate to them. I want to not only tell my story through my songs, but other people’s too. And in terms of sound? I kind of go with the process of ‘chuck everything we possibly can at a song until it sounds right’ - It works!
- Do you have any releases round the corner?
Hopefully! Like I say, I’m working down in London at the moment and that’s all brand new stuff. Now we’re getting towards the finishing line in terms of the writing and recording of those songs so hopefully there will be a release in the near future!
- What are your ambitions for the coming years?
Well, in the short term I’m really looking at publishers/management/labels..all the big time stuff that I’m probably going to need sooner rather than later. But I try not to look to far in to the future because I think it takes away from the excitement of now. So much is happening for me right now and hardly anyone gets to live their dream at 18, so I’d be daft not to enjoy it. As long as I continue to be happy and love what I’m doing, I can’t really wish for anything more.
- Could you tell us about Bethtival: What inspired it and who is playing?
Well, I’m FINALLY turning 18, which really is a huge turning point in my life in a lot of ways and I wanted to involve all the people who have got me to where I am in my music. I decided the best way to do that would be to host a huge birthday gig thing on the weekend of my big day, so I’ve booked out The Duchess in York for Friday 26 June. The event is festival themed (hence ‘Bethtival’) because a party isn’t a party without a theme, and it’s the same weekend as Glastonbury so I figured it was a good way to get people into the festival spirit! I have three support acts - Ruby Joy (14 year old singer/songwriter who’s awesome) Laura Kindelan (15 year old singer/songwriter who’s very different to Ruby but just as awesome) and Montego Bay (7 piece pop/rock band who split up around a year ago but are regrouping for a one night only gig because I pleaded with puppy eyes for aaaages). Then there’s me and I’ll be playing all my new songs with a backing band for a one off sneak peak before they eventually get released.
How can we get tickets?
The Duchess website (HERE), or simply from the door on the night. Myself and all the acts playing also have tickets to sell so if you see us in the street give us a shout!
- Who would be your dream support slot/ co-headliner in the future?
I’m not gonna lie, I’d love to support Taylor Swift. Haha! I just think she’s ace! I guess I wouldn’t mind a support slot for the Kaiser Chiefs either..may have to start with those puppy dog eyes again.
- Are you doing any festivals this summer?
Not as many as I’d like to be doing! Life has been so hectic recently that time has just flown, so I haven’t had chance to apply to many festivals. I’m playing Latitude, though, which is really an amazing festival to be a part of. I’m also doing little local ones like Apollo fest, and Tramlines in Sheffield. So I’m just dipping my toes into the festival circuit this year. I’ll be diving in next summer though..Beth's Website