Alt-pop’s new anti-hero Baby Queen releases her new single “Dover Beach” today on Island Records / slowplay, and it was featured on BBC Radio 1’s Hottest Record.
Her latest “Dover Beach” – a widescreen smash with flecks of The 1975 and optimistic dream-pop like M83 – chronicles the time in October 2020 when she headed to a place she had long dreamt of visiting. Bella says, “In school I was obsessed with this poem called ‘Dover Beach’ by Matthew Arnold and I always wanted to visit the Dover cliffs, so I went there alone on a writing trip in October last year. I actually wrote the melody and lyrics of this song while I was sitting on the beach. It’s about being infatuated with somebody and seeing them everywhere you look. I was kind of pissed that I went to look at the beach, all I could think about was this person, hence the lyric “you stole the view of Dover Beach.” It’s another internal struggle with my own insecurities and a sort of acceptance of the fact that I can’t escape my daydreams of this person, even if I go to a different place.”
The 23-year-old South Africa-born, London-based artist (real name Bella Latham) arrived in the alt-pop sphere barely a year ago but has already carved her name deep into its fabric with her crooked sceptre. Since her first release “Internet Religion” last summer she has dropped a steady slew of singles that place her at the forefront of a musical movement.
She has previously released the singles “These Drugs” and “Raw Thoughts.” Last year she released her Medicine EP.
Speaking with typical candor, Baby Queen aka 23-year-old Bella Latham says, “I wrote this song when I was in a really bad place which was characterized mostly by this idea that I wasn’t a good person and didn’t deserve good things. I think for so long, there were so many parts of myself that I was refusing to acknowledge or pay attention to, and when you ignore your own pain or refuse to face up to your mistakes, you can get yourself into a self-destructive cycle, which is ultimately what ended up happening. I think escapism is necessary, and we all find our escape in different places, but some are just healthier than others. I knew I was taking a risk when I decided to be so uncomfortably honest in these lyrics, but I also knew I had to share this story with people because we all have a monkey on our back and self-destruction is a stranger to nobody. I really want people to know that there is a better life waiting for them should they choose it. If you can learn to like yourself and learn to understand and accept every part of yourself (even the darkest ones), then you won’t feel the need to run away. You really do have the strength to build the life you want to live, and I think I can be proof of that to somebody. “
The video for ‘These Drugs’ also drops today. “The idea for the music video came from the first line of the song, which is one of my favourite lyrics I’ve ever written: “I don’t wanna do drugs anymore. If you saw me through the eyes of a bathroom stall, your skin would crawl.” I became really obsessed with the idea of only ever seeing somebody through the eyes of different bathroom stalls. I think if somebody were to watch actual footage of me in every London bathroom stall I’ve ever been in, they would see some of the most euphoric moments of my life, as well as some of the darkest – and I really wanted to re-create that. I came up with this idea to build four completely different bathroom stalls with different energies and narratives, and to just allow the actions to happen naturally inside each one,” Bella says. “I’m really proud of this video, because it was directed by my genius of a creative director at Polydor Semera Khan and my amazing creative commissioner Saorla Houston. I really believe in them and think they’re incredible, so one night I said ‘guys why don’t you just do it? Why don’t we just do this together?’ It’s the best shoot I’ve ever been on the set of.”