Q+A: 5 Minutes with Bec Sandridge
This Pride Month, we’re feeling especially proud. That’s why we’re speaking with rising LGBTQIA+ artists all month about their music, influences, and what ‘pride’ means to them. Today, it’s Bec Sandridge.
Bec Sandridge wants to collaborate with Robyn. It’s easy to see why, and it’s a collaboration that’s entirely plausible given Sandridge’s penchant for cry-on-the-dancefloor style pop. Though Bec’s sound is a little harder edged; more fuzzy guitars than modulating 303 throbs, what she does share with Robyn is her ability to craft an emotionally weighty narrative without sacrificing the hooks (and vice versa). On her debut album, she fearlessly dove into her own despair to explore heartbreak, anxiety, and the failure of a relationship through her music. Her latest single, Cost Of Love, does the same. Failure, at its core, is queer success and Bec is the embodiment of turning your failures into your triumphs. We sat down with her to chat about her music, the music she wishes she’d made, and what Pride means to her.
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
I guess I just love the space that the arts provides for people to become their ‘truest selves.’ It kind of preserves and facilitates a beaut space for play, and I think that the older we get, the more we sometimes forget how important the concept of ‘fun’ and ‘play’ is.
Who or what are some of your major influences?
I feel like I grew up listening to a lot of singer-songwriters and disco. My Dad is a real Cat Stevens/James Taylor man and my Mum loves Donna Summer and Fleetwood Mac and I’m a real bi-product of that in some ways… More recently though, I’ve been really into Maggie Rogers new record, Caroline Polachek and I’ve found myself dipping back into Souisex and The Banshees, New Pony Club and some more fuzzed out pop punk tracks…
Was there a point in your life where you realised music was your calling?
When I was younger, I used to walk around with a cassette recorder taping my voice for days on end. I think that’s when the obsession with sound started. I then bought a blue acoustic guitar off E-bay and learnt the entire back catalogue of Blink 182 from a guy across the road… But it wasn’t really until later as an adult that I fell in love with song-writing… I didn’t really realise that you could be a full-time songwriter so I began studying English and Sociology.
What’s your favourite song in your catalogue, and why?
I love the lyrics of “In The Fog, In The Flame”… “I know wind can change a good tide, I wonder when your love ran dry“… I think this song is quite sentimental to me. It’s the first bad gal of mine to be spun on radio and it’s also kinda when things started kicking off for me and with that, it feels a little nostalgic.
Have you been performing live recently? How has that been for you, post-lockdown?
My band and I played at a festival near my hometown on the weekend which was so nice. I always love playing smaller, regional towns! I feel like playing post-lockdown has been so, so odd. I haven’t really done anything in three years performance wise, I kind of avoided live-stream gigs and just stuck to recording at home and worked on writing a soundtrack for a theatre company. It still feels like a bit of a shock to be honest! But a good one.
Tell us about your connection with your fans?
I feel really lucky that people who are into my music have stuck with me over the last three years whilst not releasing music – wee Fandridges must be the world’s most patient people, I swear! haha…
Bec Sandridge X Robyn, let’s go!
What does ‘Pride’ mean to you?
I think carving out intentional time to celebrate who you and your queer pals have become is the best! I think it’s a shame that it doesn’t happen more regularly to be honest. But I guess it’s about acknowledging how far we’ve come individually and also how far we’ve come as a community and also looking to the future and thinking about how we can do better!
How are you celebrating this Pride month?
I will probably spend it watching Netflix docos on the couch… making out with my girlfriend. The usual.
How do you think the discourse around LGBTQIA+ artists has shifted?
I think there is seemingly more acceptance and / or flexibility around how people label themselves which is cool and maybe sexuality isn’t the sole focus of the artist anymore, but rather a facet of the person.
What work still needs to be done?
I think there’s still a lot of work to be done around BIPOC + trans issues. More visibility, more platforms and more amplifying of those voices who are still unheard and underrepresented.
Do you have any goals to shift the industry through your work?
I think just being conscious of representation within my own team (from my band, to stage crew and sound people) and making sure it’s as diverse as possible. Also, just making sure my live shows are safe spaces and accessible for all.
Top 3 pride anthems?
Standing In The Way Of Control – Gossip
My! My! My! – Troye Sivan
Simply The Best – Tina Turner
Who’s on your current playlist, and who should we be listening to right now?
At the moment, I love Maggie Rogers’ new stuff, Dry Cleaning, Ngaiire and Soccer Mommy.
What are you currently working on? Are you able to share the news?
I’m about to put out a new EP, have a score for a theatre show coming out at Sydney Opera House, and I’m working on my next album!
If you had the power to turn back time and write any song in the world, which one would it be and why?
I wish I wrote Tina Turner’s Simply The Best because it is just that.
Watch the music video for Cost Of Love below. Download and stream the single here.
Follow Bec Sandridge