This has been Rebecca Black’s year. She came, she saw, she slayed. The Mexican-American queer creator is re-writing her narrative, and reclaiming her life as her own – each step takes her closer to her goal, and there’s a colossal online audience urging her forwards.
Clash caught Rebecca Black at the Great Escape earlier this year, a tiny show in a Brighton queer space that brought a truly emphatic audience reaction. Closing – naturally – with ‘Friday’ what stood out was her bravery, the strength of her songwriting, and the incredible relationship she has with her fans.
Debut album ‘Let Her Burn’ is out next year, and it builds on a foundation of singles that have lit up the internet. Amassing an incredible selection of bops, Rebecca Black blends superb lyricism that display in full 360 with impeccable songwriting. It’s something to behold.
Recent single ‘Crumbs’ was a real thriller, but she switches it up once more on new track ‘Look At You’. A more sombre, downcast return, it’s about friendship, and the need to close bonds with the people around you.
Clash is able to share the new single – and its stellar video – in full, alongside a revealing Q&A with the pop queen herself.
Check it out now.
Nice to meet you, Rebecca! We’re airing your new song, which is pretty exciting.
I can’t wait! Thank you guys so much.
It’s called ‘Look At You’ and it’s a really multi-faceted piece of pop songwriting.
I mean, this is the second single from my upcoming album. And every song on this album lives in its own world. I released a single called ‘Crumbs’ a few weeks ago; I love that song because it’s dark. It’s dancey. It’s all the things I love about like night and sexuality and our bodies. And this is just a totally different direction.
I wrote the song about one of my best friends, one of the people that means the most to me. It’s gonna be crazy, just a crazy experience. I have written so much about other people in my life, but never really about somebody who means as much as much to me as this. So I’m excited for people to hear it and also hear, like, a more of a subdued side of myself.
Friendship is an under-rated subject for pop lyrics, I feel.
I mean, it’s such a big part of our lives and how we see the world. I’ve held on to this song for a year now, and it’s come to mean so much more to me. I’ve begun to acknowledge the ways that it can represent, like, how I feel about myself. I’m acknowledging the parts of myself that are really affected by other people.
Every song takes a different path, was this an easy one to write? Or did it take a long time to perfect?
It was pretty straight forward. I worked on it with Amy Allen and Gian Stone, who are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever worked with. We got the majority of the song finished on Day One.
Is the creative process an intense experience, for you?
It’s different every time. I mean, this project is definitely like the largest piece of work I’ve ever put my mind to. And it was extremely intense in terms of finishing everything. But also, I had so much fun and it’s definitely the thing that I’m probably the most proud of in my life so far.
If every song sits in its own world, what brings it together as an album? What’s the common thread, do you think?
The album is called ‘Let Her Burn’ and it’s got several meanings. There’s a lot about perception of the self, and how I’ve come into my own. I’m a 25 year old who’s gone through so many different stages of not being able to recognise who they are. I’ve had to come to terms with myself, and how I feel about the world. How I dealt with the harder pieces of my life. There’s definitely heartbreak and love songs and sexy songs and fun songs, but it, it all, I think wraps itself into this kind of perception of self.
The video is fantastic, can you tell us a little about how it came into being?
We shot the videos for ‘Crumbs’ and ‘Look At You’ simultaneously. It’s open to interpretation, but we want people to peel back the layers of the world we’re presenting. It presents different versions of myself – I’ve become more comfortable in playing different characters. It’s all intertwined within itself, and with a song as vulnerable as this one I wanted to display that somehow.
Is playing a character a form of escapism, or does it remain rooted in different aspects of your life?
Oh, it’s both. And that’s one of my favourite things about making a music video, is that you can go extreme, and fantastical, but it’s still you. That’s what I love about art, and making music – everything is rooted in my own experience, and my perspectives, but I also want it to be interesting and relevant to people.
It’s been a thrilling year for you, hasn’t it?
It’s been incredible. It’s honestly… I’m just dying to share this album. It’s all different aspects of myself. And I just want to share it with this audience, who I have such a unique relationship with. It means so much that people have received everything so well. People see me in this whole new light.
People really do embrace it – the Clash team caught you at the Great Escape in Brighton, and the crowd energy was insane!
Oh really? Slay! That was honestly one of the craziest shows I’ve done!
I mean, that was my first UK run in May. And it was definitely like… so much crazier than I could have ever expected it to be. It was insane. Having only been to London a couple of times, and to see people so connected to the music that you’ve created and know every word and sing it back to you almost louder than you are… I’m mind blowing. I’m truly grateful.
2023 is now weeks away, do you believe in resolutions?
I try the classics: look after myself, be nicer to my body. But I do that in, like, August as well. There’s always time for an emotional clearout.
And finally, how are you feeling now the album release is finally on the horizon?
Excited. Scared! It’s scary to release something so personal into the world, especially one as abrasive as the world we live in just now. But at the same time, I’ve never felt more connected to my audience as I do now. I think I’m changing perceptions with each song, and it’s so exciting to see people resonate with that.
Rebecca Black will release her debut album ‘Let Her Burn’ in February. Catch her on tour.