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The Phillipine-born Singer Who Got 'Coffee' Stuck In Your Head Has A New Album

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Beabadoobee - how was that?

BEABADOOBEE: Pretty good. Beabadoobee. Beabadoobee - I mean, anyone can say it the way they want to.

SIMON: OK. Beadabee (ph) - could you say it one more time?

BEABADOOBEE: Beabadoobee.

SIMON: Beabadoobee.

BEABADOOBEE: Yes.

SIMON: Beabadoobee is a name from Bea Kristi's Instagram account, and her voice has become the accompaniment to innumerable TikTok videos.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "COFFEE")

BEABADOOBEE: (Singing) Don't stay awake for too long. Don't go to bed. I'll make a cup of coffee for your head. It'll get you up and going out of bed.

SIMON: Bea Kristi wrote that song, "Coffee," for - I guess we can say a lover. In the do-it-yourself era of Generation Z, Bea Kristi has continued writing and uploading music from her bedroom in the London suburbs, and that caught the ears of record labels and has led to international tours. Now Beabadoobee is out with a new album. It's called "Fake It Flowers."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CARE")

BEABADOOBEE: (Singing) I don't want your sympathy. I guess I've had it rough. But you don't really care, care, care, yeah.

SIMON: Beabadoobee joins us from her bedroom and studio in the suburbs of London. Thanks so much for being with us.

BEABADOOBEE: Thank you for having me.

SIMON: So where do you begin your story? How did this all start for you?

BEABADOOBEE: I always loved music as a teenager. And then I got kicked out of school and my dad bought me a guitar because he saw how sad I was. I started playing, and the first song I'd ever written was "Coffee." And I put it out. And, I mean, I didn't expect any of this to happen.

SIMON: May I ask, why did you get kicked out of school?

BEABADOOBEE: I mean, it was a mixture of bad behavior and grades, and they know I smoked in the toilets loads, so yeah.

SIMON: So what did you find music did for you?

BEABADOOBEE: It kind of made everything make sense for the first time, something I was finally super passionate about. And playing guitar and writing songs was kind of like therapy to me. And it still is kind of like therapy to me.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SORRY")

BEABADOOBEE: (Singing) Said I had to see you, but I don't and I won't - and I won't.

SIMON: Your song "Sorry" - where's this song come from in your life?

BEABADOOBEE: Lyrically, it's actually about really touchy subject about someone I knew who kind of went down a spiral. Just don't do drugs, you know? And, yeah, I guess it was just - it was kind of a big part of my life and me apologizing to that person for not being there 'cause sometimes it gets too hard to watch.

SIMON: Yeah. You mean when someone you care for is not doing well by themselves, it can be hard to be close, can't it?

BEABADOOBEE: Yeah. When you see them kind of deteriorate as a human being.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SORRY")

BEABADOOBEE: (Singing) I guess that's what happens to the best of us - the best of us.

SIMON: How have you been doing during these times?

BEABADOOBEE: I've been trying to look at things positively despite this weird time. I would've been on tour for this whole year. And I feel like after being home and spending time with myself, I realized I wasn't actually ready to go on tour mentally. And I'm glad that I've had this time to just sit and live in this album - you know, "Fake It Flowers" - because I don't think a lot of artists get to live and appreciate their work, you know?

SIMON: Have you repaired relations with the school? Are you still friends with people there?

BEABADOOBEE: God no. I hate them.

(LAUGHTER)

BEABADOOBEE: But I still speak to all my friends there.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WORTH IT")

BEABADOOBEE: (Singing) This is too bad to boast, but this is my way to float. And if I shut up, I'm scared I'll drown. But maybe that's the best for now.

SIMON: What do you think music could do for people in a time like this?

BEABADOOBEE: I think it gives them hope, you know? I wrote this album - you know, despite it not being about what's going on right now in the world...

SIMON: Yeah.

BEABADOOBEE: ...I wrote it in my bedroom when I was trying to figure myself out, and I still can't figure myself out, but in every song, there's hope. There's light at the end of the tunnel. It's going to be OK at the end. And I think that's what everyone needs. And I think you can relate to that feeling of wanting things to get better. But it's really important to just stay positive during these uncertain times and to listen to music and to dance and to be happy - you know, find ways to be happy and creative.

SIMON: What song should we play you out on - something from your album?

BEABADOOBEE: I'd like to play "Dye It Red" because it's really fun and it makes me dance in my bedroom.

SIMON: Well, that's a great one. And we have people listening in bedrooms all over America. Get ready to dance.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DYE IT RED")

BEABADOOBEE: (Singing) So let me cut my hair and dye it red if I want to. I haven't felt myself so comfortable. I'm not stopping. I think I'd be better off...

SIMON: Bea Kristi, Beabadoobee - her album, "Fake It Flowers" - thanks so much.

BEABADOOBEE: Thanks for having me.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DYE IT RED")

BEABADOOBEE: (Singing) You're not even that cute. And maybe it's time... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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