Catch up with singer-songwriter Batya and listen to single "Look At Me Now" off her upcoming album, What's My Name?, to be released in 2017.
What first got you interested in music and in songwriting?
Batya: When I was 10 I sort of fell in love with music. It was my go-to when I didn't have anybody else and I think, since then, I always knew that's what I wanted to do. Music has always given me comfort and I wanted to be able to give that to somebody else but, for a long time, I was very afraid of it. In my head, it was like a, 'oh, it's too unrealistic,' kind of thing but, as I got older, I had some challenges that came my way and I realized, life's too short to be afraid of the things that you want and so I was like, I'm just gonna do it. I started writing songs when I was 17 and, when I graduated high school, I told my mom, 'I don't think I'm going to do college, I think I want to make an album,' [laughs] and it kind of just happened.
Do you remember the first song you wrote?
Yeah! The first full length song I wrote is actually on the record, it's called "New". It was actually funny, 'cause I always love to write about things that I'm either going through or feeling or things that have challenged me and stuff like that, and "New" is actually a song that I was writing when I was coming to that conclusion of, I'm going to pursue music and I'm going to start this new chapter. It's all about starting new and the song's called "New" [laughs].
Who do you have in your playlist right now?
Right now, it's a new song that just came out called "Hurts Like Hell", that's a really good one that I like. I like The Script a lot, they're an Irish band and they're definitely one of my favorite bands, for sure.
How would you describe your sound?
I think some of the songs are fun and other ones are real. It's got this electronic feel to it but it's not too electronic-y, it's like a thin layer of it, and then it's got that organic sound, too.
What were your inspirations behind your single "Look At Me Now"?
I was out in Nashville writing the album - it was me, my two producers, and we actually wrote with a few other writers out there - and I was in my room one night and it was late and I was up thinking about stuff. I don't know if this has ever happened to you, but I think about this all the time, I think, where am I going to be in 20 years or 30 years; at the end of everything, will I have accomplished everything I wanted to or not? And I had all these questions like, who am I going to be with, will I be happy, all those questions rushing through my mind, and then the next day, I woke up and was like, that would be a cool concept for a song. So, "Look At Me Now" is really just telling your future self to look at you now and it's a song directed to your future self asking, how does it all play out?
Could you tell us more about your upcoming album, What's My Name??
When I wanted to make a record, I knew I wanted it to be about things that mattered to me and that I think will matter to other people and make a difference, maybe, to them. It's not just about love on my record, it's about everything. It's about loss, heartache, tragedy, it's about a whole bunch of things about life that an average person would go through every day. Basically, the whole thing was a self-discovery record and that's why it was titled 'What's My Name?'. "What's My Name?" also, the track itself, is something I feel like a 15 year old can turn it on and be like, 'yeah, I don't know who I am yet and I've kinda been lost,' and then an 80 year old can turn it on too and be like, 'I feel that also, I've been there too'. I feel like it's very relatable.
Is there a track off the record you're most excited to share with listeners?
I was really excited about sharing "What's My Name?" and "Somebody Else's", which was premiered on Ultimate Music, that's definitely one of my favorites on the record. It's a little bit of a break-up song, but I think, just the sound of it, it sounds fun and I just love the song. [Laughs] I just love it, I don't know.
In one sentence, how would you sum up What's My Name??
It's a record that takes you through a journey; you have the fun songs and you have the down songs and you get a little bit of everything.
What do you hope listeners are able to take away from your music?
I hope that it can give somebody comfort or just be a cool song to turn on to feel good. Me, as a listener, I love to turn on a song and be like, 'I'm so happy this song was created'; I get it and it made a difference to my life, so I hope my music can make a difference to somebody else.
Is there anything you want to add?
I'm playing live October 6 at Caffe Vivaldi, so if anyone's interested, they can come check me out there. I'm also playing at Rockwood Music Hall November 12, Stage 1, so that would be awesome if people came out [laughs].