Asian Beat: beadadoobee

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“Don’t stay awake for too long / Don’t go to bed / I’ll make a cup of coffee for your head / I’ll get you up and going out of bed.”

If you recognize that song as “death bed (coffee for your head)” by Powfu ft. beadadoobee, you are definitely a 2000s baby, and you are most certainly on TikTok. As a ’90s baby, I was skeptical and a little scared to hop on to the app for a variety of reasons.

When I finally signed up for the app last week, I was rewarded with viral dance videos, but also a wide variety of new music, including the song above by artist Bea Kristi. Born in the Philippines and raised in London, the 19-year-old singer has built a massive following, garnering millions of streams along with her song “coffee,” according to her Spotify biography. 

Kristi began recording music as beadadoobee in 2017 and already has amassed an impressive awards list, including a nomination for the BBC Sound of 2020 awards.

The name she chose for herself is interesting yet a bit of an odd choice. Upon investigation, it seems beadadoobee came from her “finsta” (short for “Fake Instagram”) account name, she told i-D.

“When my friend Oscar helped me release Coffee and The Moon Song, he just asked me what name I wanted to put it under on Bandcamp,” she told i-D. “I was like, ‘Just use my private Instagram name because I think it’s funny and it sounds like a Minion on acid.’ So he used beabadoobee. I thought no one was going to listen to that song anyway.”

Her music makes me want to sit by a lake and just journal the whole day. It has a raw, soulful sound, but don’t describe it as “bedroom pop,” she told The Fader. However, the lyrics are much more deeper than that, tackling issues and ideas that resonate with her Gen Z fans.

One of my favorite songs from her EP “Space Cadet” is the titular track. The smooth yet relentless beat is in tandem with the carefree, almost destructive sense of being a member of Gen Z.

“Let loose, we live only for a little while / In hindsight, we’ll die anyways / Extraterrestrial beings probably sitting tight / Waiting to blow our brains away,” she sings in “Space Cadet.”

She spoke about how a difficult past has influenced her music.

“I was young and a teenager when I was negatively influenced by a lot of things that college kids usually do, and it brought me to a really dark place that I felt like I couldn’t get out of,” Kristi told Teen Vogue. “It was a mixture of that and some childhood traumas I had to face. It was really hard, and it’s still really hard, but [the more I] grow, the better it gets.”

The original song “Coffee”  by beadadoobee recently became popular when artist Powfu lended his lyrics over the song as well. Honestly, I prefer the stripped-down, more mellow version of the song that beadadoobee created. The music video that accompanies the song, lacking the millions of views the latest adaptation has, is worth the watch. It’s a very personal, grainy video that offers an unfiltered view of beadadoobee as an artist. 

Writing is a form of therapy, beadadoobee said. her voice wistful and pensive in her music. 

“Writing has helped me take a shit ton of shit from my brain. Just having it out there helps me,” she told The Fader.

She also spoke about being a minority in her community as well, especially as the only Asian student at an all-girls Catholic school in London, she told The Fader. In her music, one can hear the wistfulness of wishing to be someone that you’re not, but also a stand in the ground for independence as well.

“I have always felt like an outsider, especially in a white-dominated school growing up, [where I was] surrounded by girls from privileged backgrounds,” she told Teen Vogue. “It was hard and confusing because there was a point where I wanted to be them, which makes me feel gross to say, but I managed to find an amazing group of friends who made it feel okay to be different.”

Beadadoobee’s music is a lifeline for anyone who dares to be different, not just Gen Z, and needs lyrical support to do so.

Three songs for your playlist:

  1. “Coffee”

  2. “The Moon Song”

  3. “Space Cadet”

 

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Asian Beat: Haley Kiyoko


Kimberly Nguyen is the associate digital editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at kimberly.nguyen@uconn.edu.

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