Island beats

Having danced and sung her way around the world, BeX has returned to her native Isle of Wight to focus on her singing — and strolling in the hills

You’ve had a good year…

I certainly have. My first album, Story So Far, came out last May followed by the release of my first single, “Time to Stop the Rain”, and the second, “Red Flag”, which got plenty of BBC airplay.
I also did my first music festival in August, The Wickham Festival in Hampshire, and played at this summer’s Cowes Week. So, it’s been rather busy.

How did you get into music?

I grew up in Wootton on the Isle of Wight and then went to study at the Stella Mann College of Performing Arts in Bedford. Since then I’ve travelled the world as a dancer in musical theatre, from P&O cruise ships to performing at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre. Now,
I want to focus on my song-writing:
I’m collaborating with some incredible people, such as US producer and songwriter Alan Glass, who has worked with Aretha Franklin, and Grammy award-winning Amy Wadge, who has collaborated with Ed Sheeran.

How would you describe your music?

It’s rock and pop — a little bit country, a little bit Americana. Growing up, my inspirations included Eva Cassidy and Carole King; these days, it’s Sheryl Crow, Pink and Anastacia who fire me up. And now another source of inspiration for me is the fact that I’m back living on the Isle of Wight.

Where are your favourite spots on the Island?

Quarr Abbey is something no visitor to the Island should miss. It’s an impressive building, with a lovely café attached. I love to walk around Chale, too — did you know that it was once the smuggling capital of the Island? Walking up on the South Down, you get stunning views across to The Needles, followed by lunch at The Wight Mouse Inn. I love Freshwater Bay, too — sitting on the beach on a gorgeous summer’s day after a stroll up to Tennyson Monument is one of life’s great pleasures.

What’s the music scene like?

Pretty good. There are some great Island bands, including Nakamarra, an indie-electro five-piece. They recently released a great new EP, Glitter & Mess. A favourite place to watch bands is Strings Bar & Venue in Newport, and there’s always great things going on
at Quay Arts from classical music to Northern Soul. I’m planning to do many more gigs on the Island in future, too.