New Noise, a brand new featured section on Far Out, will see a renewed focus on the realm of new music as we look at some of the emerging artists you need to start adding to your playlist. These are the artists looking to make 2021 the year in which they step out of their shadows, armed with an arsenal of material ready to get the recognition that they duly deserve.
The first name that looks determined to have a year to remember is Baby Queen, aka Bella Latham. Five years ago she made the journey from South Africa to London at 18-years-old, with the only ambition at the forefront of her mind was how she would make her dreams of a music career become a reality. The bold decision to move across the world as a teenager is now paying dividends with Baby Queen being one of the most exciting artists in the UK right now.
Her first single, ‘Internet Religion’, arrived in May and it arrived at the perfect time as the world dealt with adapting climate amid a global health crisis, one which forced a large portion of society to alter their routines to one based around life online due to the pandemic. On the track, she pokes fun at the disparate personas between how people portray themselves on social media and who they are in reality. It was the perfect way to introduce herself to the world, showing the clearest indication that Baby Queen was an artist that the music industry was crying out for at this very moment.
The track was the opening number on her debut EP, Medicine, released through Polydor in November and gets the six-track release off to a fiery start. It’s a powerful introduction into the universe of Baby Queen. The infectious ‘Want Me’ is unapologetically like The 1975 and Latham delivers a chorus that Matty Healy probably wishes he’d written. ‘Buzzkill’ is intoxicating and the highlight of the EP, the track was written around the time she suffered a bad-break up, her music career was stuttering, and she almost returned to home South Africa. Thankfully, she stuck at her dream, and now it’s paying off emphatically.
“I haven’t had an experience of being an artist without a coronavirus, a global pandemic and a lockdown across the world,” she told Music Week in November. “So it’s not like I’m finding the industry to be strange, I literally signed my record deal over Zoom. I’m probably going to find it strange when coronavirus ends and I actually have to go out!”
“There’s so many things I talk about and so many things I think it’s important to talk about, but the main thing I stand for is honesty,” she then added. “I push my honesty, that’s what’s really interesting about what I do, that’s what people connect to and that’s what the world needs. If I’m not being completely honest about what I’ve been through, then I’m not writing a Baby Queen song.”
The vibrant and colourful guitar-led pop music that she has created is effortlessly dynamic. Baby Queen, who deals with serious topics throughout her lyricism, does so in a sincere yet witty and relatable fashion. While on the surface Latham appears not to take herself too seriously, that doesn’t indicate that her lyrics aren’t thoroughly wholehearted and, in truth, the sole reason why her songs are connecting intrinsically with a varied and audience.