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A Big Gay Summer In Review with Betty Who

betty who
Photo by Zak Cassar

She just performed at Provincetown Carnival and is gearing up to perform at the W Hollywood's Wake Up Call music festival.

Betty Who has had quite the year. She's been releasing singles since January, culminating in her latest EP, Betty Pt. 1, which dropped in June. And she's already busy in the studio, creating new music to drop next year.

We recently caught up with the Australian pop artist about her big gay summer. From covering the Queer Eye theme song with the Fab Five to giving herself a lap dance in the very sapphic "Taste" video, she's solidified her status as a gay icon.

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Coming off a summer of performing at Pride festivals around the country, she just wrapped up a show at Provincetown Carnival. Next, she'll headline the W Hollywood's Wake Up Call Music Festival on Labor Day weekend. She'll be joined by Charli XCX, Phantogram, and a lineup of some of pop's hottest upcoming names.

OUT: How has your summer and your Pride season been?

Betty Who: It has been busy, but good. One of these years, I'm actually going to have a summer that I get to enjoy - well, where I don't have to work, because I still enjoy it. I'd love to hang by a pool somewhere and not do anything. But as of right now, it's not in my cards.

You just performed at Provincetown Carnival. How was that?

I just performed there last night. It was good. I'm actually about to head out to be on one of the floats for the parade today. So, the fun is not over.

Are you enjoying being around all your gay fans?

Sure, I mean I feel like it's kind of always this way. (LAUGHS) So, I feel like it's not too out of my wheelhouse. But I'm really having a great time. It's also nice to celebrate gay culture and be a part of a week where everyone gets to come together and kind of let their freak flag fly a little more than they usually get to. I always feel really honored to be a part of that, to be considered enough of an ally to represent the gay community.

As a rising gay icon, what's it like to see the progress being made in Australia?

Oh my gosh, it's amazing. It always blew my mind that we were one of the last countries to really get on board, given the community is so strong with Mardi Gras and Sydney. It kind of felt gratuitous to most people for so long. So, it kind of feels like a breath of fresh air, like finally.

I loved your Queer Eye theme song video. What was it like getting to work with the Fab Five?

Wasn't it so crazy? It was so fun. They are truly everything you want them to be. So, I really had such a fantastic time with them. It was really just exciting to see them do their thing. I remember I walked on set, and Karamo was surrounded by these boxes of tissues, and he was posing for the camera. I literally couldn't even believe it. He was so chic, I was shook. Everyone was so quiet on set, and I was like, "Yas, Karamo!" And they're like, "Keep it quiet please. Can we get Betty out of here?" (LAUGHS)

You also released your video for "Taste," which was very homoerotic in an interesting way. Was it weird to watch that back?

It wasn't weird as much as it was sort of unexpected. Because we went into this video thinking it would be super fun and cool and crazy. And as we started to get the first couple of edits back and starting to really work on it, we were all like, "This is kind of fucked up a little bit in a crazy way." (LAUGHS) It definitely takes self-love to a whole new level.

You've released a lot of new music this year. What's it been like getting to engage with the fans?

It's been good. It's definitely a little scary. But it's exciting, and I'm ready to keep doing it and keep exploring this next chapter of my life. It's very nerve-racking but cool.

You've also been recording independently. Has that been a pretty liberating experience?

Sure, I mean of course. I'm definitely more invested in a different way. I think when you're working independently, and everything sort of falls on your shoulders, the success or failure of a project is exciting and kind of challenging to me. I think I thrive on that kind of challenge. So, I'm definitely feeling the heat a little bit. But I think it's better that way than not enough.

With all the negativity going on in the world, how do you manage to keep your music so positive and upbeat?

I think everyone in the arts and people who care about what's going on in the world, we all have some level of responsibility to take for using our voices to share our thoughts and our support of what we believe in. But I think there's also a space to say, "You didn't come to this show to have to think about the fact that the president is who he is. You didn't come here to have to think about how many people told you that you aren't good enough the way you are. You came here to have a great time." And I really want to facilitate that. So, I think a lot of my inspiration and the thing that makes me happy is the thing I want to bring to the people who come to my shows, that feeling that I can just come here to have a good time. I can just be here to enjoy myself, and I'm really gonna enjoy my night with my friends and, even for a second, just forget about what's going on in the world. That's only good for a little while, and you do have to deal with what's going on eventually, but I also think we need more people who are just like, "Let's not talk about that right now. Let's have a really good time tonight."

What has your song of the summer been?

It might be "Apes**t" by the Carters, to be honest. Beyonce anything, she's my princess. And because I've been playing so many shows, and I've been on tour for basically the whole summer, I haven't gotten the chance to see their show. So, every time I see their new videos, I'm like "Oh my god!"

Get a room or buy a day pass to see Betty Who at W Hollywood's Wake Up Call Music Festival here. Check out the video for "Taste" below:

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