Bea Miller Talks “Young Blood”, Her Debut Album & Having Two Moms: Idolator Q&A

Mike Wass | June 2, 2014 1:25 pm

Bea Miller isn’t your typical 15-year-old. For starters, she has the gravelly pipes of a music veteran and grew up listening to a hardy staple of Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. The teenager also has a stint on X Factor under her belt — she made the top 10 — and an EP of full of soaring pop/rock anthems burning up iTunes. Oh, and the rising star was raised by two awesome moms.

The talented teen recently dropped by our office to chat about new single “Young Blood” and co-writing her debut LP with some of the hottest songwriters in the business. Bea also talked about her upcoming performance at North Jersey Pride (she’s excited to sing in front of family and friends) and her passion for LGBT issues. Read more about Hollywood Records’ coolest new signing after the jump.

Your new single “Young Blood” has a rebellious edge. Is that representative of what you’re about? Yeah. The song has darkness and light within it, which I think is really cool and representative of kids. We’re the future, and we can do whatever we want because someday this world will be ours. Literally, it will be because we will be the adults who are in charge some day.

That attitude helps you stand out from other teenage pop stars. I like my sound mostly because it is really different from most pop music right now. It doesn’t necessarily gravitate only toward positivity because there’s another side to people, and I think that it should be expressed in music.

How did you come up with that philosophy? For a long time I was kind of a glass-half-empty type of person. I went through a hard time. I started to compare myself to my friends, what they were doing compared to what I was doing. I realized eventually that it’s not healthy to think so negatively, that there is a positive side.

Life is not going from bad to good, but it’s a balance of the two that kind of goes up and down. There are bad things and there are good things. I thought it would be good to bring that into music because I realized that I’m not the only one who feels that way, that a lot of teenagers especially feel that way. Like the weight of the world is on their shoulders, and I wanted to be able to express that so that teenagers could relate to it and realize they’re not alone.

What can we expect from your “Young Blood” video? It’s very dark, but, like I said with the actual song, it’s kind of a balance of light and dark. It’s weird. I actually saw the rough edit. There are going to be so many more rough edits, but I saw it yesterday, and there’s a lot of jump cuts and quick movements but there are also slow moments. It has kids laughing and then kids screaming and crying… it’s kind of a balance all of these emotions.

When it’s going to come out? June. Early June was what I was told last.

Which artists do you get your inspiration from? I get my inspiration from a lot of bands actually. I really like AC/DC, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin and new bands. I like The Pretty Reckless. Do you know them?

I love Taylor Momsen! She’s my queen. She’s my inspiration. I’m obsessed with her!

Apart from Taylor, is there anyone that you would like to collaborate with? Definitely Ed Sheeran. I say this every time because I just think he is so amazing and I want to put that out there into the universe. I really like his last album. It was all so beautiful. I would love to do a song like that because I don’t really do acoustic songs. So I think it would be really interesting to do a really emotional song with just him on his guitar. I just love the sound of his voice. I think he’s so incredibly talented.

You worked with some great songwriters (Jarrad Rogers and Mike Del Rio) on your EP. How did you find your own voice? I was really intimidated at first. I thought nothing I say is going to be able to compare to what the writer is saying because they are so much more advanced than I am and they have so much more experience. Also, they’ve written so many songs.

Then I started to realize that this was a process that they went through with so many other artists, artists whose songs I really liked. So I told myself to really contribute something and feel more comfortable because they’ve done this a million times, and they won’t think I’m stupid if I say something that they don’t necessarily like. They’ll just say “maybe, maybe not,” and go along with it.

Is there an album in the works? My album is actually finished completely, and we are just waiting on the release of that, which I think is the end of this year or early next year.

I read that you developed an appreciate for rock from your moms? My moms used to take me on road trips when I was younger. My one mom put tapes together, and she would mix in The Beatles, AC/DC and whoever else. Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin. Like all of them. I actually recently got the tapes in the mail because my other mom, who still lives in New Jersey, sent them to me when she was unpacking for her new apartment.

She started playing them on her iPod in the car when I was maybe like 11 and I started to sing along. I was like: “I don’t know this song. I like Justin Beiber and the Jonas Brothers. Who is this?” She would tell me, “I used to play these song when you were younger,” and so I started getting into that style of music.

What was it like growing up with two moms? I get asked that question a lot but I come from a family and a community that embraces diversity, so I never think of my family as being different from anyone else’s. To me having two moms is no different than having a mom and a dad, a single parent or two dads raise you. It doesn’t matter what a family looks like as long as you get the love, support and encouragement to be whatever you want to be and do great things in life. That’s what my parents have always given me and my sisters.

Tell me about your upcoming North Jersey pride performance. North Jersey Pride is in my hometown, and so, when I heard they wanted me to do it, I immediately said yes. I wanted them to see that there was a real reason that I left them all behind, and that I moved here and started this whole new life. You know, I want to impress them. So, I’m really excited because I am going to do it with a band. I am really looking forward to it because I’ll also get to see my friends. I’ll get to see my mom and my sisters who still live in New Jersey, and I am just so excited.

You obviously feel strongly about LGBT issues… Oh, yeah. I have two moms, so of course I want to support anything like this. I’ve been going to all the gay pride parades. I used to go to them every year in New York City, and we would walk in them, me, my moms and my sisters. So, anything that has to do with supporting gay rights, I am totally open to doing.

Bea’s Young Blood EP is available to download from iTunes now. Her “Young Blood” video is expected to drop later this month.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.