Beth Keeping’s song “San Francisco” is a fantasy about recapturing the magic of a moment and making promises you don’t intend to keep. The dreamy pop number is poetic and soft and a perfect example of Beth’s ability to shift between country-inspired storytelling to melodic pop. Asides from her music, Beth started “Write Like A Girl” an organization that inspires more girls to start writing, something we can definitely get behind
Beth! How did you get started in music?
Beth: Hi there! So I started writing as a teenager but I was really shy so it wasn’t until I was at university in Durham that I decided I wanted to pursue it. I moved to London and started busking and doing a lot of songwriting sessions with other artists and it grew from there.
Tell me about “San Francisco” what’s the story behind it?
Beth: I wrote the song after an experience I had when I was backpacking in South East Asia and met someone from San Francisco. The song is looking back on a moment and accepting that it’s passed but also wondering what would happen if you had another opportunity. It’s about the “what if” daydreams and how you can hold them lightly.
What made you decide to shift to more pop-inspired sounds?
Beth: It felt more like me. I love the storytelling lyrics of country and I’m really proud of my first EP Fool, but I’ve always gravitated towards pop melodies and sounds. I’ve been writing mostly on piano this last year, so it felt natural to transition to a more pop sound but bring the country-style lyrics with me.
What’s your writing process like?
Beth: It depends on the song! A lot of my artist material is based on experiences I’ve had, situations, specific feelings. I tend to jot down a load of ideas and then sometimes a song falls out of it, and sometimes you have to work at it to craft something. I often end up taking my ideas to a co-writer to get their input and perspective.
You founded “Write Like A Girl” an organization I love!! What inspired you to create it?
Beth: Amazing! So nice to hear that you love it. When I first started out as a songwriter I would go to a lot of networking nights and sometimes I'd be one of only 3 women in the room. It gave me the idea for Write Like A Girl, and last year I was planning to tour with two artists friends Emily Faye and Vic Allen - so we decided to brand the tour Write Like A Girl and see how it went down. It was really popular so this year we started doing monthly showcases in London, and have just completed a second tour which sold out in 3 locations. Only 17% of songwriters in the UK are women, so we’re trying to do our bit to change that by giving women a platform and starting those conversations.
Why is it important to encourage more girls to start writing?
Beth: There aren’t enough of us! I think we have all these huge dreams as kids and if we’re not careful we lose them as we grow up and realize how complicated life is - particularly for women. We need females in the writing rooms because a lot of the biggest songs out there - even when they’re sung by females - are written predominantly by men, and we’re losing the female voice and perspective.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
Beth: I think it was this summer when I almost gave up doing music. I’d lost my drive and the love for it and had started to doubt myself - I remember having imposter syndrome in writing sessions feeling like I had nothing to bring. I think most creatives go through a stage like that, and fortunately, I managed to push through, start believing in myself again and I’m now more motivated than ever!
What’s your best piece of advice for young women?
Beth: I think it’s so easy to compare ourselves to other women - whether it’s looks, talent, success, popularity etc. But other women are our allies and our support system - they shouldn’t be a threat. Try to cheer on those around you and celebrate with them when things go well. And spend time on self-care, love who you are as a unique individual and remind yourself what only you can bring to the table.