WHEN she was just 18, Becky Hill was given her big break by Jessie J on The Voice. Now aged 26, she’s determined to give a leg up to other female singers looking to break through into the mainstream.
‘I’ve been very lucky to choose who I wanted to work with. And the support on my tour comes from the incredible up-and-coming artist Rika,’ says Bewdley-born singer-songwriter Becky. ‘I know the audience will love her, and it’s great to have another female artist out on the road with me.’
Rika, a 19-year-old Londoner previously championed by BBC Introducing, will open for Becky on her biggest headline tour yet, calling in at 15 venues across Britain and Ireland.
‘I’m so excited,’ Becky laughs. ‘It’s going to be one big party. I don’t really have anything but big up-tempo dance-floor fillers, so we’re going to have to try to think of a way for the crowd to catch their breath.
‘I’ve been curating the whole creative concept, with a trippy vibe, all iridescent with bright colours, kind of like a kaleidoscope. We’re working with some great set designers and it’s simple but really exciting.’
If previous tours are anything to go by, there will be as much music made in the wings as out on stage. When Becky toured with Rudimental in 2013, she was part of an all-girl supergroup that sprung up as the guest singers jammed during sound checks.
Becky appeared with the MOBO and Brit winners on stage as a guest vocalist on their track Powerless each night, but offstage she developed a friendship and recorded tracks with Ella Eyre, Ann Marie and Sinead Harnett, who were also touring with the band.
‘I always love working with Ella and Sinead, who I met on tour with Rudimental,’ says Becky. ‘We’ve worked together since, and I feel so lucky to collaborate with such amazing artists.’
They nicknamed the group Vaginas Of Rudimental, and Becky shared an a cappella video of them singing Lorde’s Royals on her Facebook page. A raw, black and white cameraphone production showed flawless vocal harmonies, which needed no polish, and it became a big hit with audiences worldwide.
‘There’s sometimes an idea that women in the industry compete, but I completely disagree,’ she says. ‘That’s not been my experience. I have met some of my best friends.’
Becky is currently touring with Dublin crooners The Script, playing arenas around the country.
‘They’re amazing. It’s a really exciting thing to be supporting a band absolutely at the top of their game,’ she says. ‘I go out and watch their show every night, looking at their stagecraft and how they bring the audience in, even in massive venues.
‘They have two stages, which they alternate between and they are really good at making everyone in the audience feel like the only person in the room.’
Becky is well known for her collaborations. In 2019 she released her first full-length project, Get To Know, which brought together a host of work done with other artists. Among them were chart-topper Gecko (Overdrive), on which she joined forces with Oliver Heldens. Recent single Better Off Without You, written by Becky and produced by Shift K3Y, was a follow-up to catchy summer hit I Could Get Used To This with Weiss, and was added to Radio 1 and Radio 2 playlists.
‘For the tour, I have those four tracks from the mini album and the singles, so it’s going to be a huge celebration,’ she says. On the long run of dates, she’s particularly excited about playing a Birmingham show. ‘My family will all be there, and it’s great to be able to have my mum and dad at a show, without having to drag them down to London to see me,’ Becky explains.
‘They are massively supportive, and it’s great to know they can be home in a cab in 45 minutes.
‘Growing up, Birmingham was the nearest big city, and I remember going to see my first gig at the O2 Academy. It was James Morrison and I was about 14, I think. I went with my sister and felt so grown-up.
‘It’s funny to look back and think I’ll play the same venue. It’s the closest I’ll get to a hometown show.’
■ Becky starts her headline UK tour at Newcastle University Students’ Union on March 26; new single Better Off Without You is out now, facebook.com/Beckyhillofficial