FFO: london by way of south africa's anti-pop princess, baby queen
It's not like there's a shortage of women absolutely killing it in music - pop or otherwise - in 2020, but I guarantee that you all have room on your playlists for at least one more.
In rolls Baby Queen (aka Bella Latham), a sharp, remarkably relatable lyricist with a penchant for writing about the realest parts of life masked as what many outlets have already coined as "depression bops." The rest is history.
Having grown up in South Africa and moved to London at the age of 18, Baby Queen found it easier to figure out who she was, as a human and as a songwriter, once she was able to breathe in the UK. Despite the fact that she moved to England so young, it wasn't easy for her to realize that she still had all the time in the world to create the music that she wanted and to get it to the people who need to hear it the most. Over the last couple of years, Baby Queen has been recording songs like "Buzzkill," "Internet Religion," and "Medicine," all of which have had an impact on me, personally, as well as many other young people - especially women.
Her newest release, Medicine, is masterful from start to finish. A timely commentary on what it's like to be alive and fighting with your own mind today, Baby Queen uses impossibly catchy backing tracks to reel you right in, and then gets you with lyrics that make you confront the parts of your life that might make you a little uncomfortable, or that you need to come to terms with. A lot of her songs are about body image or mental health issues, and none of them make their listeners feel any less empowered, which I think is striking.
One of the most notable characteristics of Baby Queen is her strong connection with her fans. On this, Bella told NME, “When you write music that’s so open and so revealing, you’re sending out an invitation for those people to open themselves up to you in the same way. It’s very difficult to stand for honesty without being prepared to have a really close and open relationship with these people.” This openness, both personally and lyrically, and her willingness to get deep with her fans (whom she often refers to as her friends because, honestly, when people know you as well as they know her, aren't you friends?) is what makes her stand out in a crowd. It's also important to her that she become someone that young women can look up to - which she is doubtlessly succeeding at.
Marked as one to watch by the likes of Amazon Music and Dork, in addition to being invited to perform at Barn on the Farm and The Great Escape, it's evident that, despite how insane her 2020 was, 2021 is only going to widen Baby Queen's reach and present her with more unbelievable opportunities. This is an artist you'll want to keep an eye on.