Name: Betty Who
Work: Singer Songwriter
Lives: Los Angeles, USA
Award: 2017 Advance Global Australian Commercial Creatives Award
Describe what you do and why it’s important in one sentence.
I make music hoping it will bring people joy.
Describe how your music has evolved.
It is constantly evolving, just as I am as a person. It ebbs and flows as I learn more about myself and what I want to put out into the world.
You were trained as a classical cellist – how did you transition from classical to pop?
I have loved pop music for as long as I can remember. When I was playing the cello, it was clear to me that I didn’t have the passion for it to pursue it professionally. I loved it, more than I can tell you. But I loved it for me, I loved playing for me. Not for anybody else. I had started writing songs when I was fourteen. I remember my music teacher Mr Spencer telling me to not give up singing and to pay attention to the gift I had been given, so I did. Classical music gave me the tools and the capability to explore and create pop music that makes me proud
as a musician to perform every night.
What’s your advice for young emerging Australian artists looking to break into an international market?
Spend time abroad. Network in the places you want to develop a fan base. Play shows. Meet everybody. Those will be the people who keep coming to see you time and time again.
Why do you think it’s so important for Australians abroad to remain connected to each other and Australia as a country?
I’ve travelled to so many places in the world, and in almost every city there is an Australian face ready to greet you with a “how ya goin”. I think Peter Allen had it right. So many of us still call Australia home and it’s such a comfort to feel connected to that home wherever you go.
What does winning the 2017 Advance Global Australian Commercial Creatives Award mean to you?
It means so many things to me, but mostly I am so proud to be considered an Australian succeeding internationally. When I was growing up, it’s what I dreamed of. Travelling the world, playing shows, meeting people, and best of all, coming back to Sydney after being away and feeling that excitement I still get every time I land at Sydney airport. Plus, this might be the award my Mum and Dad are proudest of, so that’s a big deal to me too.
What’s the first thing you do after returning to Australia?
Get a coffee. You can’t get good Aussie coffee in America! And I go to my favourite restaurant in the world, the Malaya. My Dad has been taking me there since I can remember so we go at least two or three times every trip.
What’s your favourite city to perform in, and why?
New York City. It was another dream of mine to play there and it’s always by far the biggest show I do on any tour.
Meet Betty Who, the 2017 Advance Global Australian Commercial Creatives Award Winner and check out her acceptance speech below.
Meet Singer Songwriter Betty Who
Acceptance Speech recorded for the 2017 Advance Global Australian Awards
Betty Who's Mum Cynthia Johnson accepting the 2017 Advance Global Australian Commercial Creatives Award on her behalf