Born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, singer-songwriter Jessica Anne Newham is something of a self-taught prodigy, having learned to play guitar and piano by the age of 16. Shortly after enrolling into Boston’s Berklee College of Music, she teamed up with producer Peter Thomas, who paired Newham’s evocative lyrics with a more bubbly, electronic-influenced sound. From there, Newham adopted the moniker of Betty Who, and set to work on a string of EPs and singles over the last few years.
Now, it seems like Newham’s hard work is finally paying off, as she’s slowly begun her rise from New York’s eclectic club underground into the greater realm of pop-dom. Case in point: this summer, Betty who has a bevy of festival dates, including her triumphant debut at Lollapalooza. In celebration of her sudden dart into the mainstream, Dodge has named the plucky young songbird as one of several rising talents in its #NextUp campaign.
Before you check her out during Lollapalooza, Dodge is giving you an inside look into the talented young songwriter with an intimate performance and Q&A. While she’s known more for her electro-pop stylings, Who strips things down for a rendition of “Somebody Loves You”, from last year’s The Movement EP. Backed by only electric guitar, Who’s impassioned vocals take center stage, a potent mix of playfulness, heartache, and sensuality, an easy-going croon that achieves balance between satiny smoothness and organic vulnerability.
For the Q&A portion, Who discusses growing up in both Australia and the U.S. (specifically California), the influences of Kylie Minogue and Delta Goodrem, how her songwriting style changes with every new song, what it’s like working in the studio, coping with homesickness, her love of being a resident of New York City, and much more.
“Somebody Loves You”:
For more on Betty Who, and other artists in #NextUp, head here. Dodge is also helping to hook you up with even more festival coverage via their “Darting to Festivals” campaign, which you can further explore here.