Jessica Anne Newham, known as Betty Who (born 5 October 1991), is an Australian singer-songwriter and musician. Newham was born in Sydney, Australia, where she lived until her mid-teens. Trained since age four as a classical cellist, She moved to the United States in 2007 to attend Interlochen Center for the Arts, whose alumni include Norah Jones, Rufus Wainwright, and Josh Groban.
Newham is also self-taught on piano and guitar, and wrote her first songs at age 14, and began performing as a singer-songwriter at age 16.
After high school, Newham attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. During her first semester, she met producer Peter Thomas who was also attending Berklee. Thomas suggested pairing Newham’s songwriting with a more dreamy, anthemic production style. The two began writing new material together and developed Newham's sound over the next two years.
Betty Who's debut single, "Somebody Loves You," was initially released independently as a free download, and was premiered by pop music blogger and at-the-time official Grammy blogger Arjan Writes on November 30, 2012. Co-written by Newham and Thomas, and produced by Thomas, the song garnered immediate praise, spreading quickly online and being featured by other well-known outlets including Socialite Life, Pop On And On, and Popservations. A music video, directed by Evan Savitt, was released on January 22, 2013, and an official remix by acclaimed indie pop producer FM Attack was released on March 11, 2013.
Betty Who’s debut EP The Movement was released on April 16, 2013. An independent, free-download release initially, the EP’s huge success online helped lead to a large amount of major label interest, before she ultimately signed with RCA Records. It premiered on Billboard on April 9, 2013, one week prior to its official release date and continually received rave reviews from countless major blogs and magazines throughout 2013. Upon release, Idolator described the EP as "A spine-tinglingly euphoric 80's pop nugget," indie pop blog All Things Go claimed she was "charting new musical territory," and the famous UK outlet Popjustice called it "the best proper EP so far of 2013". Press continued to organically build throughout the year, with ELLE calling her "Your Next Pop Obsession" on August 5, 2013 and TIME hand-picking Betty as one of 14 Musical Acts To Watch In 2014.
She’s described her sound as, “taking influences from [past] music and mixing it in with the emotions I’m actually living through. We’re all secretly wrecks and we’re all in love and all being heartbroken. Combining those things for me has been a huge tool to get the sound I want.”
So far, her music has been crafted in collaboration with producer Peter Thomas. The pair operate under the motto that “making something good is easy, the challenge is making it right.”
Betty Who signed to RCA Records on September 15, 2013.