Jessica Anne Newham was born in 1991 in Sydney, Australia, where she was trained since age four as a classical cellist. Newham is also self-taught on piano and guitar, wrote her first songs at age 14, and began performing as a singer-songwriter at age 16. She moved to the United States in 2007 to attend Interlochen Center for the Arts, and later attended the Berklee College of Music. Newhan is now a New York-based pop singer known as Betty Who. Betty Who’s debut four-song EP The Movement was released on April 16, 2013.
Betty Who performed a 40-minute set tonight at Perez Hilton’s Pop-Up #3 CD Release Party at Webster Hall’s Marlin Room. Who’s band first took the stage, a bass-keyboard-drums trio, all wearing white shirts and pants and a red cardigan letter sweater. The front line (keyboardist and bassist) was comprised of very short black women. Who came on stage; she was a very tall white woman wearing a very short jumper skirt; she also wore all-white and a red cardigan sweater. The set was pure pop. Much of the music was danceable, but unlike much of current dance pop fare, the songs were refreshingly light on production. The musical arrangements were pleasingly simple, without layers of synthesizer sounds and without a constant electronic thump-thump-thump pounding in the mix. Betty Who’s music is a return to the basics. With a more targeted exposure, her pop songs and cheerleader look may appeal to an audience not yet old enough to enter the clubs.
Betty Who will perform at the Women in Music Annual Holiday Party at le Poisson Rouge tomorrow night, December 4, and two sold out shows at the Mercury Lounge on December 14. Visit Betty Who at www.bettywhomusic.com.