Betty Who Returns To The Studio For Second EP: Exclusive

"I only have four songs out -- that just seems kind of cruel," the Australian-born pop singer tells Billboard.

Four months after releasing her deliciously fun debut EP, "The Movement," Betty Who is already returning to the studio to record a follow-up EP.

The rising pop talent's next release is due out in "very early next year," with a single due out in late September. The EP will include the songs "Giving Me Away" and "Alone Again," which have been performed at Who's recent live shows.

"I can't wait to have new music out," the singer (real name: Jessica Newham) told Billboard on Monday while on the way to her first day of studio time in Los Angeles. "When you're in the process of creating, there's always that thing where you want it to be done, so people can understand what you're going through to get it ready. That's kind of where I'm at now."

"The Movement," which Billboard premiered in full last April, offered four shimmering tracks with a distinctly bright voice and arresting pop textures. The EP spawned a pair of critically lauded singles, "Somebody Loves You" and "You're In Love," with music videos that have garnered 117,000 and 284,000 YouTube views, respectively.

Since the "Movement" release, Who has moved from Boston to New York, performed her first official live shows and been steadily writing new material. The singer and her team discussed recording a full-length, but decided that making a "part two to the first EP" in L.A. was the right move. "We also didn't want to make people wait a year for more material," she says. "I only have four songs out -- that just seems kind of cruel." 

Who is working with longtime collaborator Peter Thomas -- who recently co-penned songs for Selena Gomez and Victoria Justice -- on the new EP, and describes the songs as more "articulate" than the "Movement" tracks. The 21-year-old chalks up that clarity to the fact that the new batch of songs were primarily written over the past six months, whereas "The Movement" came together slowly over a few years.

As for her new lyrical direction, Who says, "I was in an unrequited love-type relationship when we were putting out the first EP. A lot of the songs were about being in love with somebody and not having them love you back, and learning from that. I think, because I've been so busy, I haven't really been distracted by men and by my relationships as much as by work… There's definitely heartbreak in the second EP, but it's a little less consuming."

On Wednesday (Aug. 21), Who announced her next headlining show, a "single release party" at New York's Knitting Factory on Sept. 13. More tour dates are coming soon, including the singer's first shows in Chicago and Washington D.C., and she says that some discussion about joining a tour as a supporting act in early 2014 has taken place.  

Meanwhile, the pop artist has earned interest from multiple record labels, and says that the meeting process has been "really interesting, and I've learned a lot from it. It's also really stressful, because there's a lot of stuff to think about and take into account… nonetheless, I've really enjoyed the process, and I'm looking forward to having that process be done."

Although it's only been a few months since "The Movement's" release, Who has turned into a buzzed-about artist with a growing fan base. Thomas says that he has watched multiple fans come up to the vocalist and praise her for her debut EP during her stay in Los Angeles. "I remember the week that it came out, we were sitting in my kitchen in Rhode Island saying, 'No one is actually listening to this,'" Thomas says. "It's crazy now to have an anticipation -- to have people waiting to hear what's next."


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