Back in 2013, Becky Hill was at the top of the UK singles chart, singing on Gecko by Oliver Heldens. As a contestant of the inaugural series of The Voice (Hill became the first one to top the charts), the singer from Bewdley in Worcestershire was primed to climb pop’s ladder. But things didn’t quite go to plan. When Music Week drops in on Hill, she’s back in Bewdley enjoying some countryside quiet. However, if that makes it sound like nothing’s changed in five years, the complete opposite is true. “It’s been a bit crazy, and sometimes I forget to remind myself how far I’ve come when I get too caught up in how far I’ve got to go,” begins Hill who, after being dropped by Parlophone before releasing an album, is now basking in the relative comfort of record and publishing deals with Polydor and Sony/ATV respectively.
“It feels really stable and the project with Polydor seems bulletproof. I’m really excited for a successful year ahead hopefully,” she continues. Becky Hill is right to feel excited: Polydor’s interest was piqued because of her own Eko Records venture, through which she independently released the Eko EP last year. “They could see I was making waves independently and they offered a deal reflecting that. My first headline show [in 2016] was a major moment. I funded the whole band and show myself, with a little help from Live Nation. It was a moment to be confident in my own ability.”
But Hill’s confidence had been shattered when things went south with Parlophone after her Losing EP in 2014. “I was devastated,” she says. “But I came to the realisation that I have to steer my own ship. That’s when we started up Eko and my confidence started to be rebuilt.” Suddenly, Hill’s past achievements – shows with Wilkinson and MK, Glastonbury with Rudimental, on whose Powerless single she contributed vocals – are cast in a positive light. Now, the 24-year-old looks a pop prospect honed for the clubs, as the bassy swells of recent track Sunrise In The East attest.
“I’ve tried to create a timeless electro pop album with great storytelling at the forefront,” she says of her forthcoming debut, the product of collaborations with a range of writers and producers that includes MNEK, Two Inch Punch and MJ Cole. “I started it at 18, so there are songs from six years ago and songs from this year. I like to think of it as quite eclectic with my voice being the main thread throughout. I want to be super-relatable but, more than anything, I’d like to just be naturally myself as I struggle with anything else!”
After a difficult start, Becky Hill is ready to explode, and she’s resolved to reach dizzy heights. “I’d like to be seen as one of the great singer/songwriters of my generation,” she finishes. “I want to have the time of my life doing what I love the most."