Becky Hill is BACK. The 22-year-old from Bewdley has been keeping a low profile since she released Losing in 2014, but with a brand new single, Back To My Love, out now, and an album in the works, it’s time to get to know this little lady with a huge voice again.
Is her name ringing bells? You’ll probably know her best as the voice from Wilkinson’s Afterglow and Gecko’s Overdrive (her first #1). Or, you know, from The Voice, where she made her name as the most rebellious reality-show contestant ever.
So after bonding over our Midlands hometowns (I’m from Birmingham, she’s from Bewdley) and our mutual bad luck - I’ve just had my purse stolen, she’s smashed herself into a door (‘I went back to my flat and nearly passed out with a lump on my head’), Becky spilled on everything, from crying in front of 6 million people to Meghan Trainor’s tin-foil coat…
How did you feel moving to London?
I had no friends, I lived with a girl I’d met off The Voice and I’d go home every weekend. It took me a long time to get into London life, but it’s home now. Sometimes I feel like I’m too weird for Bewdley, but I feel too normal for London – there’s always someone weirder than you.
Do you have friends around you now?
I have, I don’t know how I managed to find them. There’s MNEK, Shift K3y, Kate Stewart, Ryan Ashley and Leo Kalyan.
Do you collaborate a lot with your mates in music?
I’ve done a lot of features, but I’m writing them as well. I’d feel weird about if I was just getting tracks sent through the door and singing them.
Do you write for other people?
I do, I wrote Gone Missing with Shift K3y, me and MNEK did Last All Night with Oliver Heldens and Kate Stewart. I have no problem with watching them sing the songs I’ve written for them, as long as I know I can sing mine - it would kill me if I had to write songs and watch other people sing them. But my music sounds very different.
I always describe it as left-field interesting pop, kind of like electro soul. I wanted a melting pot of four artists; fun and high energy like Passion Pit, youthful like Ellie Goulding (album one), that classic writing like Ben Howard (album one) and the left-field element of Bon Iver.
Who else are you enjoying?
Jazmine Sullivan. I’d never heard of her before, but I was in Forever 21 in New York buying a jumper – I’d gone from skirts in LA to -4 New York! - and I heard Dumb.
Is there anyone we wouldn’t expect you to listen to?
I’ve been travelling back through time and listening to a lot of Anastasia. But I’m really into my drum’n’bass. That was the reason I was so excited about doing Afterglow with Wilkinson – I’d been a fan of them since I was 16, so it was the trippiest to work with them.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Performing with Rudimental in Malta, we played to 55 thousand people. They told me I was like an excitable puppy!
That’s a lot!
Yeah, I’d only been on three or four planes before as well. My first plane trip was to Slovakia. That was intense. I’d never experienced heat! It was like being a warm bath, but with no water.
So is an album in the works?
It’s been written. I’m stupidly proud of it, I’m glad I made an album I liked and not one I thought would sell.
Did you have the chance to do that after The Voice?
No, but I did get the chance to play clubs as ‘Becky Hill off The Voice’.
You’re easily the most successful person to come from The Voice…
It’s weird because if somebody else was to be successful from The Voice I’d be a little bit jealous, but I think it’s a massive shame, because the people on my series were incredible. Leanne Mitchell was the nicest, most down-to-earth, talented vocalist, we had Bo Bruce and Tyler James… but I can understand why after that sort of show you wouldn’t want to do music.
I think with music reality TV shows, they either turn you on to music fearlessly, because if you’ve been on TV in front of 6 million people crying, it can’t go much worse. Or you can never want to look at music again. When I came off the show I was working behind a bar. It was difficult. I was close to depression at one point.
How did you feel after the show?
At first I didn’t want to put my name on the Wilkinson track, I didn’t want people Googling my name and saying ‘who’s Becky Hill’ and finding out I was that girl on The Voice.
You have to change your mindset. For ages, I hated that people would bring up The Voice, but I think someone actually had a go at me and put it into perspective – ‘if it weren’t for the voice, you wouldn’t be here, your life wouldn’t have changed, you would probably have gone down to some music school and got drunk for three years but you didn’t, you got yourself a career’.
Quickfire! First and last gig you went to?
The first was James Morrisson when I was 14. I had a writing session for him and I told him - he said it made him feel old. The last gig was Jack Garret in Brixton, with Little Simz supporting.
First and last album you bought?
The first was Elephunk by Black Eyed Peas. The last was Jazmine Sullivan.
What songs will you be blasting this summer?
I always play old songs, early '00s, preferably around 2006. Freemasons – Run Down Love, and all those gym classics.
The song that makes you cry and smile?
Damien Rice nearly broke up my entire relationship at 16, just because I was singing some lyrics and my boyfriend thought it was about him. I cry to This Year’s Love by David Gray. Balling. What makes me smile… No, Meghan Trainor. It’s cringe. That tin-foil coat...
What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?
This would have been the most awful job for me because I’m the least organised person I know, but I wanted to be an exhibition organiser for big artists.
Back To My Love is out now – buy or stream it here