NXTSTYLE’s 2020 Songs of the Summer: Baby Queen “Buzzkill”
INTRODUCING NXTSTYLE’S ‘SONGS OF THE SUMMER,’ HIGHLIGHTING OUR FAVORITE TRACKS WE’VE DISCOVERED THIS SUMMER. OVER 70 SONGS FROM NEW AND INDEPENDENT ARTISTS FORM OUR SUMMER 2020 SOUNDTRACK. TODAY WE FEATURE SINGER/SONGWRITER BABY QUEEN. THE UK NATIVE HAS AN INCREDIBLE KNACK FOR WRITING AS SEEN IN HER SINGLE “BUZZKILL” AND COMPLIMENTS THOSE SKILLS WITH AN IMPRESSIVE KNOWLEDGE OF TAYLOR SWIFT FACTS. SHE’S JUST TWO SINGLES INTO HER CAREER AND WE’RE SO EXCITED FOR WHAT’S TO COME. LEARN MORE ABOUT BABY QUEEN IN OUR FEATURED INTERVIEW.
“BUZZKILL” IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES THIS YEAR. IT’S SO CATCHY AND FEELS LIKE IT CAN RELATE TO PEOPLE IN DIFFERENT WAYS. TALK ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT AND WHAT YOU HOPE FANS CAN TAKE FROM IT.
I got the idea for “Buzzkill” when I was at a party in East London with my friends and I was really sad at the height of my depression. I think I started crying and my friend was like “here we go again,” and I was immediately super in love with this idea of being a killjoy. It’s very much a song about my own depression and just a very honest account of what that experience was like for me; and I think it’s that honesty that I hope will connect with people. I want anybody who is sad out there listening to the song, to know that they’re not alone and that it’s okay to be sad at a party. In fact, it’s cool to be sad at a party.
AS A LISTENER THIS SINGLE CONNECTS ME TO THE CHALLENGES AND MOOD OF 2020. IT’S LIKE 2020 IS THE PARTY, WEAR A MASK AND MAKE THE MOST OF IT, BUT CAN’T IT BE OVER ALREADY? WITH THAT SAID ARE YOU FINDING THAT THE PANDEMIC AND ALL ITS CHAOS HAS INFLUENCED YOUR SONGWRITING AT ALL?
I hate 2020!!!! It genuinely sucks. It’s weird though, I feel like the pandemic has influenced my writing indirectly. I’m definitely not writing about coronavirus, but I think being inside, being isolated and spending so much time online and living in the future, there is a certain discontent that grows and a certain longing. I think the subjects I’ve been writing about recently are based more on idealistic beliefs and observations that they are on current real life experiences, which I’m getting a little bit tired of. I love writing about things as they happen, and as you can probably imagine, there’s not much going on right now!
WHAT WOULD BE THE ULTIMATE SYNC PLACEMENT FOR “BUZZKILL”?
I would love to hear “Buzzkill” on a Marvel soundtrack. Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn + “Buzzkill” is my actual dream.
FOR ME WHAT SETS GOOD FROM GREAT IS THE CONNECTION AN ARTIST HAS WITH THEIR LYRICS. I WANT TO BELIEVE THAT THE ARTISTS IS FEELING THEIR LYRICS AND I FEEL THAT YOU SELL THAT POINT SO WELL THROUGH YOUR CONVICTION IN THE RECORDING AS WELL AS YOUR ROLE IN THE “BUZZKILL” MUSIC VIDEO. IT’S LIKE THEATER AND EVERYTHING CONNECTS. WHEN CREATING A SONG WHAT KIND OF CONNECTION OR CRITERIA ARE YOU LOOKING FOR TO MOVE FORWARD WITH IT AS A SINGLE?
I love this question!! And it’s a difficult one to answer, because a lot of the time you don’t really know what it is about a song that does it for you which is why it’s so hard writing singles. You never really know, but I think the lyric is the thing that sets a great song apart from a good one. I get to a certain point in writing a song where I feel as if I’ve said everything that needs to be said about a topic, and that’s when it starts to feel really good. I think the best songs are the ones that are the most honest, or the ones that underneath the surface, really show the humanity. It’s always “what is the point of this song and is it fulfilling its purpose?” Or “what is it effecting or changing?” There is nothing I hate more than a throw-away line or an unnecessary lyric. I think it’s really important that if you have three minutes to say something, you really say it.
YOUR MUSIC REMINDS ME OF A MODERNIZED VERSION OF 90’S ALTERNATIVE. A TIME WHEN ARTISTS WERE UNFILTERED, UNAPOLOGETIC AND FLAT OUT CONFIDENT IN THEIR ART. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE MUSIC AND WHAT ARTISTS IF ANY DO YOU GRAB INSPIRATION FROM?
More recently, I’ve started defining this era of my music as anti-pop. It seems like the easiest and most succinct way to say it in passing because it’s intrinsically pop music, but it doesn’t play by the rules of the genre – it’s kind of like pop music for people who hate pop music. I think I’ve been inspired by artists who can write music with massive popular appeal that is also deeply personal and deeply honest. The 1975 is one of my favourite bands and I think Matty is a really good example of this. I’ve been listening to a lot of Little Simz lately as well and I think everybody who knows I exist knows how I feel about Taylor Swift. I love great lyricists, and I think it’s the most important thing about what I do.
IN YOUR BIO YOU SAY YOU KNOW A LOT OF FACTS ABOUT TAYLOR SWIFT. WHAT’S ONE INTERESTING FACT ABOUT TAYLOR THAT MANY OF US MAY NOT KNOW?
I just posted a video on Instagram where I listed as many Taylor Swift facts as I could in 40 seconds. I know that’s a really uncool thing to do but if you are by some small chance interested in Taylor Swift facts, I’ve got it covered! Something you guys might not know- ok so she learned guitar from this computer engineer that came to her house when she was 12 and asked if she wanted to learn a few chords…. and now we have folklore, so I love him for that.
WHETHER IT’S AN ALBUM, BEING AROUND CERTAIN PEOPLE, OR AN ACTIVITY, WHAT IS ONE THING THAT HAS HELPED YOU MOVE FORWARD DURING THE PANDEMIC? ANYTHING YOU CAN SUGGEST FOR OTHERS?
It sounds so lame because I hate people that talk about exercise, but I think it’s one of the easiest ways to feel good about yourself when everything is so out of control. I think routine has been so important to me. I’ve always had depression growing up, so if I don’t get out of bed one day, it’s a really bad downhill slope. Having the same routine every morning is so powerful, and I don’t think it’s spoken about enough. It’s important for sanity’s sake to feel like you have some sort of control in amongst all the uncertainty, and the one thing you can control is yourself. Also- stop drinking so much!!! It never makes anything any better for longer than 5 hours!
OF THE TALENTED ARTISTS, SONGWRITERS, AND PRODUCERS OUT THERE IS THERE SOMEONE YOU WOULD REALLY LOVE TO COLLABORATE WITH?
Omg!!! Jack Antonoff, Chris Martin, St. Vincent, Taylor, Lorde, Joel Little. Those are probably my top picks.
WHAT CAN FANS EXPECT FROM YOU IN THESE FINAL MONTHS OF THE YEAR?
Lots and lots! I’m working really hard at the moment. We’re releasing a lot more music this year, and my two favourite songs are only coming out closer to the end of the year, so it’s going to be exciting. The songs all touch on different things; I don’t really like to sing about the same thing twice. The next single is called “Medicine” and that’s out this month, so we’re looking forward to that.
IS THERE A CHARITY THAT MEANS A LOT TO YOU THAT YOU URGE OTHERS TO LOOK INTO?
There are so many incredible foundations that support people who suffer from mental illness, and having had depression, that’s something that’s really important to me. I love what YoungMinds does in their support of the youth, and I think the Samaritans are incredible. Adwoa Aboah has an incredible organisation called GurlsTalk which is a safe space for females to share experiences and ideas with each other. I’ve been to a few of the events they’ve hosted in London which are really inspiring. Most of all right now, I encourage everybody to continue to support Black Lives Matter even after the media attention around it has died down. This is a conversation that we cannot afford to stop having.
SONGS OF THE SUMMER
- 1) Fontaines D.C “Televised Mind” – I love this band. I worked at Rough Trade record store in east London before I signed with Polydor and their last album Dogrel was our album of the month. They’re brilliant live. I think they’re going to be huge!
- 2) Dominic Fike “Cancel Me” – Obsessed with this song. I love and hate cancel culture. I find it completely ridiculous. This is like a really cool sarcastic tune and I’ve been walking around for days singing “I hope you cancel me!!!!”
- 3) Taylor Swift “August” – No words for this one. The entire album is a work of art. I just think this is the best one for summer aptly titled “August.” It’s about a summer love affair.
- 4) Haim “Don’t Wanna” – Iconic song. Iconic album. I love these girls!
- 5) Carlie Hanson “Stealing All My Friends” My producer King Ed played this for me in the studio today and my jaw hit the floor so I had to add it in here. I’m absolutely furious that I didn’t write it myself.
Listen to all of our featured artist’s favorite songs of the summer on our special Spotify playlist.
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MUSIC IN 2020 INTERVIEW SERIES
WE INTERVIEWED MUSIC PROS AND TASTEMAKERS TO GET THEIR PERSPECTIVE ON WHERE MUSIC IS HEADED AND TO DISCOVER WHAT NEW MUSIC THEY’RE LISTENING TO.