LION – who is she?
Birth name: Beth Lowen
From: London, UK
Debut: ‘Self Control’ (March 2018)
Latest Project: LION EP
SheBOPS: So… why the name LION?
LION: My surname is Lowen, which means lions in German. Also, people say I have hair like a Lion so I guess it was a bit of a given.
“I want to make boys cry” is a quote from you I’m seeing everywhere – I love it. Why and how do you plan on doing that? Is it a quote you’d consider to be your life motto?
I don’t want to make all boys cry because that’s mean, but there are definitely a few that will shed a tear. So no, it’s not a life motto, but I guess I was pretty hurt at the time.
How do you describe your musical style?
Emotive rock pop.
What are your favourite sounds to incorporate into your music?
Lots of guitars and distortion.
Your music has quite a raw, almost aggressive sound to it. What emotions do you hope your music conveys to the listener?
As long the listener feels some sort of emotion I’ll be happy. It sucks when you hear a song and you feel nothing.
What made you decide to pursue music full time?
It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I didn’t really make a plan B.
This has been a huge year for your music career – was there ever a moment where you felt like giving up on music and doing something else?
Not at all. Sometimes it gets a bit stressful, but that’s just because I’m learning so much on the job. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
What is your message with the LION EP?
There’s not really an exact message behind it. The EP is definitely my more light-hearted song writing. My album tracks are the ones that are way more emotional about things like heartbreak and depression, but you’ll have to wait to hear those.
‘Garden’ from the EP is written with the legendary Linda Perry – what was that experience like?
I wrote ‘Garden’ with her and my brother Sam. I love writing with Linda. She’s extremely talented and so good at pulling all sorts of different emotions out of you.
You co-write all of the songs on your EP – do you think it’s important for singers to write their own lyrics?
I think it’s important to start the writing process and make sure it’s personal to you. Use the other person as almost a guide. I doubt myself a lot when I write on my own and it’s takes me forever to finish a song. I really enjoy co-writing, it’s amazing when you finish a song and you get to celebrate it with someone.
We need more women to headline festivals, so if you were planning your own music festival, which five female musicians would be at the top of your list?
- Stevie Nicks
- PJ Harvey
- Joni Mitchell
Are there any female artists you’re particularly into at the moment?
I’m obsessed with Billie Eilish. Her voice is beautiful and she’s a total badass!
How do you feel about the representation and portrayal of female musicians?
There seems to be a very powerful movement with women in music at the moment. More women are getting recognised for their amazing work than ever and I feel very lucky to get to work alongside some incredible ones!
As a woman, is there anything about the music industry that frustrates you?
It frustrates me that we’re always referred to as ‘female musicians,’ ‘female producers’, ‘female engineers.’ We don’t say ‘male musicians,’ ‘male producers’ – we just call them musicians and producers. Music isn’t gender specific.
What issues do you think female musicians are facing today?
I guess the same issues as we’ve been facing for a while but it seems to be getting a lot better. Women are sticking up for each other a lot more.
What advice would you give to young girls and women looking to work in music?
To stay true to yourself!!
Do you think there are any misconceptions held by the public about life as a musician?
My friends think the music industry is really glamorous (I guess it is if you make it massive) because they just look at Instagram, but really you’re all squeezed in a tiny van and sometimes getting changed for shows in pub toilets.
How do you think musicians can create a sustainable income from their music?
A strong work ethic. Don’t give up – and sell as much merchandise as you can.
Which aspect of the music industry excites you the most?
All of it. It’s a weird but wonderful world. The fact that I’m in it blows my mind every day.
What do you stand for as an artist?
Honesty. It’s important to stay true to yourself and follow your gut instincts.