Friday, December 9

Center Stage - Beth McCarthy

Meet our latest Center Stage artist, Beth McCarthy - A 19-year-old British musician and singer/songwriter from York with a unique voice, memorable songs and an infectious personality.

Back in 2014 she performed live in front of millions of viewers on the BBC’s The Voice and at only 16 years of age was the youngest performer to have appeared on the show. Her audition VT was aired at the BAFTA’s and since then, and with mentoring and advice from Ricky Wilson of The Kaiser Chiefs, she has played hundreds of live gigs at music venues and festivals all over The UK, Europe and the US. She is due to perform her new songs on the US cable TV show JBTV and has dates booked to perform shows in LA, Tokyo and at SXSW.

Currently recording a studio album with London based producers James Radford and Ben Robbins, her debut album is due for release in 2017. Beth has recorded several ‘live performance’ videos of her new material at London’s famous Dean Street Studios and will be showcasing her new album in various west-end music venues over the coming months.

Her beautiful cover version of Ralph McTell’s ‘Streets Of London’ was specially recorded for the film ‘100 Streets’ starring Idris Elba and Gemma Arterton. Ralph McTell himself, having heard Beth’s version of his classic song, agreed to come and meet her whilst filming the music video which features scenes from the film and is due for cinema release in November 2016.

Recently Beth has performed on BBC Introducing, Radio York, Minster FM and various festivals including Latitude, Green Man, Blissfields, Live at Leeds and has supported numerous acts such as The Commitments, ELO, Nizlopi, Roachford and Heaven 17 at the O2 Academy.

What was the inspiration behind writing and recording your song "Streets of London"?
The original 'Streets Of London' by Ralph McTell is a folk / singer songwriter classic song in the UK. The producers I am working with were working as music supervisors on the new Idris Elba film '100 Streets' which is due for release in the US on January 13th 2017. We were in the studio and decided to try recording a stripped back pain acoustic cover version of the song as the song is about London and the film is based in London. The producers of the film loved our cover version so much they decided to make it the title track/song of the film!

Describe your sound in one ramble-on sentence
Pop/country songs from the heart, with the melodic lyrical honesty of a folk singer-songwriter infused with an upbeat, feel good energy.

What's your earliest music-related memory growing up?
My earliest musical memory is probably singing along with my Grandad playing ‘When The Saint’s Go Marching In’ on his guitar. That and ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’ were definitely our best renditions!

If you were to cover another band/artist's album, which would you pick and why?
I could be here all night trying to pick one but right now, I’m absolutely loving the most recent 'The 1975' album - 'I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’ so we’ll go with that. Firstly, WHAT A NAME. Secondly, I’m all about the lyrics and I feel like so many of the lines from this album are the words you want to say but never wrote. So simple but so profound. They’ve really gone to town on the production on some of the tracks so I’d love to do a stripped back acoustic version! 

Do you write/compose your own songs? Briefly describe your songwriting process
I co-write with two producers and i also write my own songs. I love to write my own songs but I’m a HUGE perfectionist so they take me ages! I can’t write lyrics on their own, I have to be sat with an instrument and figure out the rhythm and melody first so that the words and syllables fit perfectly with the music. That’s probably about as nerdy as I get. I’m also a stickler for rhyming lyrics - lyrics that don’t rhyme just feel wrong to me. As far as the content goes, I just try to write from the heart. I like to write songs that people can relate to and feel something from. One of the best things about music is how it can affect a person’s emotions, so if I can touch someone with my words or music then I’ve done okay!

What has been the highlight of 2016, either for you personally or for you music career? What was the low point?
2016 has been a weird one for me. It’s been a lot about finding my sound and myself as an artist and that really isn’t an easy thing to do. I’ve spent a lot of time doubting myself and my decisions, but I’m at a place now where I’m confident in who I am and where I want to be in this industry and I’m ready for world domination in 2017! This year I made my first mark on the USA, had my first ever red carpet appearance and I recorded an album that I’m super proud of and so excited to share with the world. So with that, I’ll be starting off the new year with my first single release from the album on the 1st January. After domination..

What do you like more: Performing live or recording in the studio?
Studio is great but performing live is where my heart is. I could quite happily spend the rest of my live just playing my songs to people and doing absolutely nothing else. There’s just something about that feeling of being up on a stage, singing the songs that are your whole heart and soul to a bunch of absolute strangers who are completely right there with you in that moment. It’s like for those 40/60/90 minutes, everyone is going through the same experience, sharing the same emotions and we all just sort of get each other. I adore it. But studio is cool too..

Any embarrassing on stage moments you'd like to share? C’mon, don’t be shy.
My entire time on stage is an embarrassment but I love it because it show’s you’re human. No one wants to go and see a robot perform, we all secretly want that reassurance that it’s okay to be weird sometimes and I’m quite happy to take on that role..But if we’re being specific, let's just say that face planting the microphone in your emotional ballad isn’t exactly ideal.

What's one thing people should know about you?
I drink Yorkshire tea with milk and two sugars.

What do you enjoy doing outside of music? Does your hobby rejuvenate your creativity?
I’ll be honest with you, music is my entire life. Any time I do have away from it is spent sleeping, drinking (mostly tea), and eating (mostly pizza). So if you’re asking me if pizza rejuvenates my creativity then yes, it absolutely does.

What do you like the most about Radio Airplay?
Being able to reach out to people all over the world rather than just in the UK. It's an
amazing opportunity for people anywhere on the planet to be able to hear my voice and music!

Beth McCarthy - Streets of London

Website -
iTunes - streets/id1168062899
YouTube -