[Photography by Therese + Joel]
There's no doubting that Betty Who is one of 'the young and the restless' musicians looking to make waves this year. Thanks to two gay men at a Home Depot, Who's first single, "Somebody Loves You" was the soundtrack to one of the most endearing flash mob marriage proposals of last year. In an extended interview, the singer opens up about what it was like to be part of Dustin and Spencer's magical day and what she has planned for her second EP.
Out: How did you first learn about Spencer and Dustin’s flash mob proposal?
Betty Who: My manager emailed it to me. It was the first time I had ever seen it and it was still a private link. I think they wanted to make sure it was OK to make it public. I remember weeping in my hairdresser’s salon after I watched it.
You had advance notice that this video is going up on YouTube, but did you have any idea it was going to be this viral sensation?
I did not. I mean, it is kind of one of those things like, “Oh my god, you have to see this, it's the most amazing thing in the world.”
When I saw it, I showed all my friends and my family and emailed it to everyone being like, “Oh my god, this is the most beautiful thing. This will make you believe in true love, what is even happening?!” And then, of course, I checked back a couple hours later and it had a couple hundred thousand views and I was like, “Wait, what’s happening?”
Is it weird to “go viral”?
Well it wasn't really me going viral, it was just a platform for me as opposed to me being the face of the viral video, so it was actually kind of nice. I'm not directly associated with a viral video. But I still got a bunch of exposure from it. It worked out kind of perfect.
What was it like to meet Dustin and Spencer?
I had never spoken to them before my appearance on VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live, and when I met them on show, it was so wonderful. We just wanted to hug each other, and we just kept smiling. We ended up having dinner later than night and that was perfect. Later, they reached out to me and asked if I wanted to sing at the wedding.
Now that you’re apart of this ever-changing world of viral memes on the Internet, is there pressure to keep up?
I think it’s less pressure about the Internet and more pressure about the quality of my music. I hope that the next thing that I put out people will like as much if not more. However, that’s not always how it works and I have to be prepared for whatever. And that influences my approach to making music. I just want to make music for me and if that doesn’t do as well as I hoped then that’s too bad.
Were you on social media before all the viral madness?
I was on Instagram and Facebook. Twitter was not my thing. I did not like it at all, and now I love it—because you kind of have to.
I didn’t like Twitter at first because it was a pain in the ass, but I figured out how to be really excited about it. I love how easy it is to interact with fans and I think that’s the beauty of it. Now it’s like I'm killing it. I'm killing the Twitter game.
Have you picked up any famous followers?
Oh my god, RuPaul followed me and I almost died! It was so funny because, first RuPaul followed me and then tweeted something at me. And then I was having a panic attack.
What can fans expect from your upcoming EP?
I think it is kind of an expression of the last couple months that I have had. I think the second EP is a little more emotional, a little more heartbroken.
Is there a particular track from the new EP that you are really excited about?
I sat down with Ghost Beach and we wrote this really cool song that I have been describing as my “Ashanti-meets-Ja Rule-meets-Phil Collins.”
You were born in Australia and moved to the U.S. when you were 16 years old. Have you been back since you moved?
I have only been a couple times, and the trips have always been too short. It’s so hard to get back there because it’s not like you can take the red-eye and wake up and not be jet-lagged. The last time I was there, I was 19 years old. So I really am hoping to get back as soon as I can. I'm really looking forward to my first Australian show.
One last question we like to ask people we interview: What is your spirit animal?
This is really lame but probably, like, a house cat because, in general, if I could spend all day sleeping in the sun, being pet [by others] and then being fed that would feel right to me.
Watch the official video for "Somebody Loves You" below: