Beabadoobee, otherwise known as Bea Kristi, is an 18-year-old singer/songwriter born in Manila in the Philippines but bred in London. Her music is like sinking into a bath of warm honey: it’s soothing and velvety to the touch, then sticks with you for days to come. Her voice is soft and her aesthetic is rough but warm. It’s comfortable to listen to.
A 17-year-old Bea Kristi first picked up a guitar when her father brought home a second-hand instrument. She’d played the violin for 7 years before, giving her a musical platform to stand on, yet wrote her first ever song, the chill love-song ‘Coffee’, which blew up with 300,000 YouTube views on a fan uploaded video before she knew it existed. Only one year later, she has released two albums and four EPs, and opened for The 1975.
Her latest album, ‘Loveworm’, was released in April of this year. The accompanying music video only just came out on YouTube, delving a little deeper into the story behind the album: a rough patch between Bea and her boyfriend, Soren. It contains the satisfyingly messy aesthetic I have come to look forward to in all of Beabadoobee’s work.
At only 18-years-old, I am sure we can expect more of her earworms in the future as she makes music for herself. “It’s so hard to not be a fake bitch in this industry… I went into this thinking this was going to go nowhere. I was just doing it for fun. So every time you make art, do it for fun. With no expectations.”
In terms of Women To Watch, I’m not sure she fits exactly. She is more ‘Women I Can’t Work Out Why I Didn’t Know Years Ago’! Carolina plays a relatively recently created instrument called the Theremin. It is played by moving your hands away from it. Incredible, right? It’s completely electronic, and… Well, I’m not remotely an expert, so I’ll Carolina explain it to you.
“The theremin is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact from the player. It is played without being touched.”
I know what you’re thinking. Kitkat, this is Women To Watch not Instruments To Watch. But the reason she is so worth knowing about is that she created her own technique of playing the Theremin. Theremin players could always tune the instrument to their surroundings and how they wanted, but really played by ear. Carolina decided that she wanted a way to know that she was playing a C# without her Theremin having to be plugged into it’s amp. Her technique is now used by Theremin players all around the world, and Carolina is only 31 years old!
Even forgetting this, her music itself is so transfixing and beautiful. Not that I practise meditation that frequently, but I can imagine that it would be ideal for clearing your mind and losing all thoughts to. At least, it does that to me without my even trying. She matches her voice with the electronic Theremin, both monophonic instruments with no levers or buttons to change note. They slip in an out from each other so well that at times it is actually hard to tell if she is singing or playing.
Being an instrument played by hand movements, it is just as beautiful to watch as it is to listen to. If you have ever read one of these and skipped all of the videos – that’s okay! – today is not the day to repeat that.