Welcome to The Come-Up, where rising Gen-Z talent checks in on their way to the top. Here, Spotify-favorite singer-songwriter Bea Kristi (aka beabadoobee) walks you through her album Fake It Flowers and her lifelong dream of being a nursery school teacher.
Name: Bea Kristi [known professionally as Beabadoobee]
Hometown: I grew up in West London, so that’s where I’ve lived most of my life. I’m originally from Iloilo in the Philippines.
Rising sign: Scorpio
Phone background: My phone background is my boyfriend. I thought it was quite funny because he looks a bit like a puppy with crossed eyes.
Where you’ve seen me: Lots of people will have seen me in West London, but even more people know me from my new album Fake It Flowers, which was released in October.
Where you’ll see me next: I don’t know. Probably Camden. I like going to Camden, so they’ll probably see me there. And I’m always working on new music.
Cause(s) I’m passionate about: My brother has autism, and in the future I’d like to do something to bring more attention to that. Obviously, everything that’s happening right now for creative industries is dumb, especially with the government in London. I’m really passionate about that. Black Lives Matter — I think everyone took a stand during the time, so I would like to think that everyone feels passion about that.
Fictional character: I would probably say the guy from Corpse Bride because he’s really hot.
Comfort food: Oh, my god, I fucking love gnocchi! It feels so naughty; it’s just so carby.
Role model: I actually have too many. I would probably say Kimya Dawson because she is one of the main people who inspired me to start playing guitar. I just love the way she writes her lyrics and how simple her chord progressions are. I feel like she’s the best; her songs are the best to learn if you’re a beginner guitar player.
Song I know all the lyrics to: Natasha Bedingfield, “These Words.” I love it.
Hobby: All I do is write music. Writing music is my hobby as well as my job. I also like watching loads of films. I guess you can count that as a hobby, but I’m not a film buff.
Three items I can’t live without: My songbook, my headphones, and my guitar.
Curse word: I say “fuck” a lot.
Role: I’m really proud of this one, actually. They chose me to be Mary in the school Nativity. I was Jesus’ mom. I gave birth to Jesus.
Pet: I had loads of dogs in the Philippines. Like, loads of dogs. My first pet was a Shih Tzu called “Coco.”
Couple I stanned on screen: Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Their films are so cute.
Teen show I loved: I remember being obsessed with Freaks and Geeks in high school and watching it multiple times, consecutively.
Audition story: I was seven and auditioning for the school talent show. I sang “Lucky” by Britney Spears and put glittery eyeshadow on and wore a fur coat (it was a fake fur, of course). I made a dance routine and everything. I came third place, but it's okay. To be honest, the guys who won sung Elvis.
Time my alarm goes off in the morning: I have about 10. I’m not even kidding. If I’ve got somewhere to go at, like, 9, I set my alarm for 7 because it’s a gradual wake-up for me and I have to get ready as well.
Time I saw myself represented on screen: I remember discovering the band Lush and watching Miki Berenyi. She’s this amazing Asian woman from the nineties with this fiery red hair, and I thought, “Oh, my god, that’s so badass.” I dyed my hair red and pretended I was her. I didn’t really have anyone to look up to that looked like me during high school. I discovered her when I had already started making music, but, you know, at least I did, and she’s amazing.
Show I binged: The Simple Life with Paris and Nicole.
Movie I saw: Babyteeth. It’s really good. It’s about a girl who has cancer, and I cried so much at the end, but it’s a good cry. It makes you appreciate life so much more. It’s amazing. You should definitely watch it. It’ll make you really happy.
Book I read: If I’m being honest, I don’t read. But if I’m going back in time, the last book I read was probably Muddlepuddle Farm by Michael Morpurgo. It was because the book looked really sick, but when you open it, it’s really just pictures. It’s so fun.
Person I texted: My boyfriend. I sent him a smiley face.
Weird Instagram buy: I’ve never bought anything off Instagram. It’s crazy. I don’t really buy a lot of things.
Last time I felt proud of myself: Probably, right now, this morning. I feel like a lot has happened after the album. I’m so extremely grateful for everything that’s happened to me. It doesn’t feel real. It does make me feel really proud that all of this is happening to me. It’s very strange, but also fucking cool.
How I want to change the world: I wrote Fake It Flowers for 15-year-old me and girls that felt and feel like me when I was 15. It’s the idea that you can do what whatever the fuck you want and not to let anyone tell you that you can’t. I think being an Asian woman in the industry at times can be really cool, but also I think I’ve been through a lot of things that made me stop believing in myself in a very stupid way or made me kind of question my success. I don’t want anyone to feel like that. I want people, especially girls, to feel empowered. I wrote this album to make them feel that as well.
How my generation will change the world: Because my generation is on social media so much, we soak up every piece of information and know so much about the world. We have these platforms to speak out about our opinions, so we’re louder. We don’t give a shit. We’re socially awkward, but we’re cool as fuck because we actually give a shit about politics and the world and what’s happening. We’re using our voices to change things.
Dream role: I always wanted to be a nursery teacher. That’s been my dream since I was, like, fourteen. I still want to be a nursery teacher.
I’d star in any movie with: Imagine being in a film with Chloë Sevigny. She’s such an icon. Or Mark Ruffalo — maybe back in the nineties when he was super hot.
If I weren’t acting/singing: I’d be a nursery teacher, one hundred percent. I’m still gonna be a nursery teacher in the future. That’s my goal. It’s going to happen!
Dream dinner guest: Billy Corgan. I think he’d be kind of weird, but he’s a genius. I think he’d be really fun and interesting.
It's a cliché, but this year was supposed to be our year — full of independence, opportunity, or at least a few weekend afternoons spent with more than 10 friends with fewer than six feet between us. But with COVID-necessary social distancing, a shitty job market, and closed campuses, 2020 hasn't given us much to work with. Past generations have had to deal with a recession, social upheaval, and changing norms: We've had to deal with all of it at once.
So, what now? What do we do with our careers, our relationships, and our lives? How do we move forward when we're still stuck in our high school bedrooms? These stories are for us — filled with the resources, blueprints, and people who are finding ways to turn all this garbage into something like lemonade.