"My songs really helped me, but I don't need them to just be for me anymore.
I'm finally ready to share them."
Growing up in Manchester, like most youngsters Beth had learnt recorder from a young age. She begged her parents to let her graduate to the flute and fell instantly in love. “The second I started playing it, I just wanted to do more and more of it. I loved the flute from the moment I got it.”
Hours spent practicing in her lunch breaks and after school, for auditions, concerts, competitions and music exams, continued throughout her schooling. Eventually, she was playing small gigs with a friend after school. Musical talent runs in the family: Beth’s father is a talented pianist with a natural ear despite not reading music, and her grandparents too played, while her maternal grandfather was a piano tuner. “It definitely runs through our blood.”
In her early teens, Beth wrote her first song. Songwriting came naturally because of her classical background which enabled her to understand melody and to write freely at the piano. Music may have been her natural gift, but after years of non-stop practice, Beth found her lifelong passion began to wane so she took a step back to focus on her academic work. She began to feel overwhelmed by pressure and at 16, Beth was diagnosed with anorexia.
“That’s what was really killing me,” she recalls. “It was like a ticking time bomb. It was getting to the point where this pressure was making me ill. I couldn’t function because I was so scared of not being able to do everything perfectly.”
It was when she switched to a dance course that her creative side, which had laid dormant while she focused on her academic studies, was sparked once again. The pressure was instantly relieved.
“It was a great decision to make that switch because it really helped me get back into music,” she says. “Being in that creative environment kick-started me. If I hadn’t been so unwell I don’t think I would have been forced to make the decision that I did. I might still be in that same place, ridiculously stressed out because of the unachievable expectations that I was trying to live up to.”
Once dance had reawakened her creative side, Beth started to find her way back to music as a source of enjoyment and self-expression, songwriting in new genres of music far removed from her classical roots. With songs flowing from her, she began her recovery, and that battle with the need for perfection is reflected poignantly in her forthcoming EP.
“There is nothing that has helped me as much as music has,” she says today, with a smile. “You can do as much therapy as you want, but music is completely freeing. You start alone with whatever you are feeling, put it in a new song and start to process emotions without having to get anyone else involved. You get the chance to let them out in the way you want to. It’s definitely helped me explore myself.”
“My songs really helped me, but I don’t need them to just be for me anymore. I’m finally ready to share them.”