Soon she switched to writing pop songs about teenage boys, and once she met producer Peter Thomas, a musical career was given a foundation. The four songs that comprise "The Movement" were written at various points in 2012: "Somebody Loves You," for instance, was written right after Whitney Houston passed away in February of last year, and Who tried to honor the pop superstar while drawing upon a recent breakup. "When we were writing it, I had had enough distance from that relationship to have a moment where I could say, 'Okay, not everything was bad,'" she says of the bubbly single.
The songs on "The Movement" shimmer with a self-assuredness extremely uncommon in an unsigned artist issuing her first EP: "High Society" twirls around a handful of arresting hooks, while the ballad "Right Here" teases a technicolor crescendo to release its quiet tension. While Who and her manager have been approached with label and publishing deals, the singer-songwriter is more than happy to be making music on her own terms for now.
"I want to stay unsigned for as long as I can," she says. "I'm very aware that radio play is something that comes along with being a signed artist, and that would be the dream. But I think for right now, the music industry is changing -- you hear people like Macklemore get on the radio without a record deal, and Hoodie Allen is selling out halls with 5,000 people… If I can find a way to continue getting my music as far-spread as I can, I don't need a label."
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Following the Apr. 16 release of "The Movement," Who will perform at a release show in her current hometown, Boston, on Apr. 18, alongside French Horn Rebellion. A New York show will follow on May 3, and the singer is in negotiations with a booking agent, with an eye fixed on a potential summer tour as she continues writing new songs with Thomas.
What do you think of Betty Who's "The Movement" EP? Give it another listen and sound off below.