Are you into angsty feminist bangers? Meet punk-rocker BEX
If you like discovering new and exciting musicians, I have a treat for you. BEX has really mastered the art of using her music for the greater good, creating unity and power with deep, dark bass lines and dissonant melodies. From TikTok to the stage, her debut single Tiptoe is only the start for BEX.
BEX spoke to us remotely about how she writes songs, that it’s never too late to change, and how lockdown ignited the spark of BEX as we know her now.
"Most people aren’t bad people, they’re just unaware of what they’re saying/doing and how it can affect other people."
First off congrats on your debut single release! What was the writing process like behind Tiptoe?
Well, I wrote it in the first lockdown - so quite a while ago. I had a lot of built up anger from when I’d previously been in a band where we had played a lot of gigs with other bands, mainly male groups, who were a bit weird towards me. The anger was built up from past experiences and I had to get it out someway. My thought exactly - I’m going to write a song and it’s going to be cool, it’s gonna be simple but angry. There’s always the constant - ‘you’re a girl so play this song because girls can’t play guitar’. It’s going to be simple, and it’s going to be angry.
I wrote it on guitar first. I completely forgot it was ever on guitar because now it has 2 basses in it.
"I’m all for people changing. I forgive, but I won’t forget."
How do you want people to feel when listening to the track?
Angry, but good angry, not bad angry. I can relate to this- sort of angry. I want people to understand what the track is about. I don’t want people to relate to it because it’s not a good thing to be able to relate to. I wish it never happened. I wish it never happened to anyone. But maybe, most women in the music industry can relate to it. I want it to be an anger release for everyone who can relate.
It’s not just a song for women, you can be anyone. Even if you’ve never experienced anything like it, you can think, ‘damn it sucks that it even happened’.
The people that the song is about- I give them the benefit of the doubt- maybe they didn’t realise. It’s probably a nicer way of being like you’ve made me feel like this. Obviously, some people do, do it on purpose. But some people may not realise and it’s a chance for them [to listen] and be like ‘wait this song’s about me? I didn’t realise I made you feel this way.’
There’s always the constant - ‘you’re a girl so play this song because girls can’t play guitar’.
But that’s the beauty of these things. You can grow as a person, you CAN do better.
I’m all for people changing. I forgive, but I won’t forget.
How would you like to see the music industry for women and gender minorities?
I think people need to be more aware. Most people aren’t bad people, they’re just unaware of what they’re saying/doing and how it can affect other people. A lot of us are too quick to assume someone is a bad person because they’ve said a bad thing once. I see a lot of it, especially on TikTok.You say the wrong thing once, and then suddenly everyone hates you. You just get cancelled. We all make mistakes, even the music industry, it needs to be more understanding and more inclusive for everyone..
It’s how you make actual change! Cancelling someone doesn’t suddenly make someone understand why what they did was wrong.
Do you feel sometimes you have to be more cautious with what you post because of cancel culture?
If I have something to say, I’m going to say it and express it in a song. It sounds quite cringey, but the minute you make a speaking video on TikTok or anything - that’s 5, 10 seconds, that someone has the chance to form a whole opinion of you - only on that 5, 10 seconds. So, I’d rather not do it. You could say one thing and fully believe in it, but someone can twist it and make it so that you said something else.
"Lockdown helped me find my style. I was a bit lost before that."
Your music speaks for itself! It’s exactly what organisations like us are for.
How did you get into music in the first place?
I’ve always been quite creative and crafty.. I love making stuff - whether that’s clothes, music, handmade crafts and of course baking! I like having a final product. My parents are musical as well, they have their own function band. My mum sings, my dad plays guitar.
When you’re around music from an early age, it makes sense you naturally fall into it.
It was never forced on me. My parents never said I had to play an instrument. I just wanted to. You see your dad play guitar and I’m like I want to do that. I want to be a 50-year-old man with a bald head playing guitar. *laughs*
"You have to know that you are powerful."
How has your style evolved before lockdown to now? Have you always been set on alternative music?
Lockdown helped me find my style. I was a bit lost before that. I know a lot of people hated lockdown, but I really enjoyed it. It gave me time, now I am thankful that I am keeping busy! It was really awful for some people, but for me it helped me build what I have now. My dad and I built a sound proofing box, so I could record my vocals from home.
It’s cool that you found your style from that! I’m glad it worked for you. What is the setup with your band?
I write all the parts. I write both the bass parts, drums and vocals. I have a bassist - Josh; he is part of the BEX project. He builds the pedals; he makes the sounds out of nothing- I don’t know how he does it! I lived with him last year, and you just walk into his room and there’s soldering iron and steam, and I’m like Oooh new sound!
Josh and I were in a band together before and we just get along really well. At the start of lockdown, we were at my parents' house. The other two we were in a house share, making music all the time.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
So many! The misfits 2.0 playlist on Spotify. It’s literally the perfect playlist. Every time they add new songs, it feels like it was there the whole time. Nova Twins, Scene Queen, Sickbrain.
Listen to misfits 2.0 here:
Both of us raved about how we LOVE Nova Twins, and how we were gutted that we missed Scene Queen- as BEX was playing The Great Escape in Brighton.
What was the last song that you listened to?
It’s currently halfway through, Just Tonight by The Pretty Reckless. We have this joke, when we were driving to Bristol for a gig, the band said I could be in charge of music, and they were like “omg you only listen to The Pretty Reckless and ABBA.”
Why not both? What advice would you give to gender minorities who want to enter the music industry?
You have to know that you are powerful. You have to smash it. Just have a big ego, why not? Confidence is the most attractive trait in anyone, I think. You’re taught you need to be validated, but you can validate yourself.
Who would be your dream collab?
Right now, I really really want to write a song with Nova Twins.
I’m manifesting that for you. I will lose my shit. It would be so good.