The South-West Londoner dons her eyeliner and releases a rip-roaring, stomping debut album
Very few success stories begin with a 16 year old, expelled from school and taking drugs every day of the summer holidays. Yet, only three years later, Bea Kristi (professionally known as Beabadoobee) has galvanised mainstream and indie teens alike to enjoy her grunge-inspired, critically-acclaimed debut studio album “Fake it Flowers”.
Kristi’s rise to musical stardom could not be any more millennial if she tried. First gaining attention by submitting tear-jerking, soft ballad “Coffee” to YouTube, Beabadoobee continued to write and self-produce records from her room. However, her original breakthrough track has since been remixed by Canadian rapper Powfu, becoming a viral hit and TikTok staple. After a couple of self-mixed LPs, a plethora of successful singles and a
support gig with the likes of the 1975, the South-West Londoner has gone from strength-to-strength.
Yet, despite her Gen Z rise to fame and large millennial fan base, her latest record is far from the woozy and bedroom pop-y sounds we have come to associate with the “Gen Z” label.
Instead, the record is a throwback to grunge rock, as well as female-led ‘90s bands such as Elastica. Tracks like “Charlie Brown”, a self-confessed “screaming track” by Kristi herself,
oozes “rock chick” vibes. Similarly, the bedrock of the single “Care” is heavy guitar and crushing vocals, a far cry from most music that Beabadoobee’s Gen Z counterparts are
It is not just Kristi’s 90s throwback heavy guitar and screaming vocals which make the album different, but her heart-breaking honesty throughout the record. The South-West Londoner has always been candid about her troubled upbringing, peaking in her expulsion from school. Remorseful of her mistakes, yet also unapologetic for voicing her past trauma for millions to hear, the honesty in the album is refreshing- yet also at times disturbing to listen to. Kristi is obviously, like many musical revolutionaries, a troubled genius. She would probably be the first to admit that, throughout her rapid ascent to musical fame, she has expressed these tendencies. However, this is not at all a bad thing. If anything, it gives the album a rawness and emotive power that (from a 19 year old) is sublime.
The album is, of course, without its flaws. If you were looking for an album with more of a pop vibe, which Kristi has been hugely successful in through her early releases, it appears as if she has grown out of that phase. Whilst it is referenced in some tracks, Beabadoobee has most certainly ditched her converses for Doc Martens and tuned her guitar down to Drop D.
To sum up then, whilst the album may be a safe two metres away from Beabadoobee’s fellow Gen Z compatriots, her honesty and the rawness of the record could not be more
millennial. From a summer of school discipline and drugs to a top 10 chart album, Bea Kristis is walking into the mainstream with a 90s swagger.