Only Honest On The Weekend

Becky Hill

Only Honest On The Weekend

Becky Hill’s debut album, as the Worcestershire singer-songwriter tells Apple Music, is “about a relationship I’ve been in where we’re connected and communicative on the weekend when we’re getting fucked up, but in the week it’s the complete opposite. You spend all weekend partying and being open about how you feel, then come Monday you don't want to speak to anybody about anything.” Featuring collaborations with DJ-producer Sigala, fellow British singer-songwriter Ella Eyre, and dance legend David Guetta, the aptly named Only Honest on the Weekend sees Hill explore that relationship amid thumping club bangers, with nods to dancehall, UK garage, and electro-pop. It also includes surprising, shimmering ballads, on which the singer-songwriter shows her range. It’s a package designed to bolster Hill’s status as the UK’s burgeoning queen of dance music. “If I'm going to live up to that title,” she adds, “I knew I needed to represent a lot of different dance genres on the album.”
One constant, though, is that remarkably rich and soulful voice, heard on some of the biggest hits of recent years, from “Gecko (Overdrive),” Hill's successful 2014 collaboration with Oliver Heldens, to 2020 smash “Wish You Well” with Sigala. On Only Honest on the Weekend, however, Hill is ready to shed the “featured artist” tag and really take center stage. “I'm still probably nowhere near as successful as I want to be, but it's definitely the closest I've come to feeling like an actual pop star and singer-songwriter,” she says. Read on as Hill guides us through her debut in a candid track-by-track guide.
“I Got You” “When I got with my boyfriend, people would say he was punching above his weight. That really pissed me off, so I wrote this song to let him know I've totally got his back. I wrote it with [US songwriter] Justin Tranter in LA, and we had an absolute ball together; I think that's why the song sounds a bit sassy and camp. It's a side of me that doesn't come out very often in my music.”
“Last Time” “The label asked for more music, so we held a writing camp. I took it as a challenge: ‘You want more music? Hold my drink, it's what I was put on this earth to do.’ One morning, I told all the songwriters that I'd just got back with my boyfriend and it was a massive risk—if it didn't work out this time, it would be the last time we'd try. Later that day I walked into the room and [songwriter] Negin Djafari was singing ‘Last Time.’ I helped him and the other writers with the second verse and the middle eight, and it became this perfect Becky Hill song.”
“Make It Hard to Love You” “The title is a phrase I had written in my phone. Uzo [Emenike, aka London songwriter and producer MNEK] has been my best friend since I was 18, and he knows me and my relationship inside out. So we just built this song together around the idea of someone being frustratingly difficult to love.”
“Better Off Without You” [with Shift K3Y] “Shift K3Y and I spent a few hours writing to an instrumental he made. He basically turned around and said, ‘Becky, this song is a bit shit.’ So we parked it. There was another instrumental I had passed on originally because it sounded too obvious. I saw the line ‘better off without you’ in my phone and started singing the chorus straight away. I remember saying to Lewis [Jankel, aka Shift K3Y] afterwards, ‘Mate, you have to send me this track right away, because we've got a fucking huge tune on our hands here and I need to tell the label.’ And I was right.”
“Remember” [with David Guetta] “I listened to Guetta as a kid. I remember playing [his song] ‘Sexy Bitch’ at a house party when I was 15 and feeling like the coolest motherfucker in [my hometown] Bewdley. We did a couple of writing sessions over Zoom during lockdown and it didn't work out. But then I sent him this song with the subject line ‘I have a hit I think you'll like.’ He emailed back right away saying, ‘I love this song, what are you doing with it?’ I said I couldn't give the song to him but I was open to having him on it with me, and he agreed. He really is the loveliest man in dance music, and I'm honored that someone as prestigious as him is working with little old me.”
“Perfect People” “Another song from the writing camp. I remember walking into the room where [co-writers] Bryn Christopher, Charlotte Haining, and Luke Fitton were working and they had the verse and chorus already. I got really emotional when I heard it and wrote the second verse with them. I'm a sucker for a big cheesy ballad, and this one is like a nice stinky cheese that you can enjoy on a cracker with some chutney.”
“My Heart Goes (La Di Da)” [with Topic] “Just an absolute bop. When I sang it live for the first time, the crowd ended up singing it back at me by the second chorus. People have said it sounds 'kind of Euro,' so hopefully it will broaden my fanbase through Europe. That's all part of my world domination plan, and this song is my nuclear weapon.”
“Could Be My Somebody” [with S1mba] “This song is such an homage to the UK garage sound. I wrote it with [British songwriting duo] Billen Ted and [British artist and songwriter] Maverick Sabre, and I wasn't sure it was for me until we came to the lyric ‘I'm not the dancing type, so let's make our own party.’ Then I knew it was for me. I didn't even know S1mba was on the track until Billen Ted messaged me saying he'd laid down a verse. As soon as I heard his part, I was like, ‘Yo, that is sick. That's staying on the track.’”
“Business” [with Ella Eyre] “Ella and I have been best friends for years. People used to say we sounded similar to each other, so we wanted to stop the lazy comparisons! Ella has the biggest bollocks of any woman I've ever met and she's also hilarious, so I wanted to put her strong, playful energy into the track. With this song we were trying to be empowering to women without slagging off men too much. And I think we found a really nice middle ground.”
“Waiting Not Looking” “An interlude. I wrote it with [singer-songwriters] Eagles for Hands and Tom Aspaul back in 2014 when I was feeling very lonely because I'd been single for so long. It's me fantasizing about the idea of being in love, which is why it has a dreamlike, indie-electro feel.”
“Distance” “I remember writing this song in my old bedroom at my mum's house, where I used to write songs as a teenager, with Adam [Argyle, co-writer] on FaceTime. I nearly called it ‘Socially Distanced’ because it's about not being able to see people during lockdown. With my boyfriend, I always felt like no matter how far away [from one another] we were, we'd find a way to connect. And I feel like that's a really powerful message to share.”
“Lessons” [with Banx & Ranx] “I wrote this song with Lauren Aquilina, who's an incredible songwriter and artist in her own right, after telling her what happened on my 25th birthday. My boyfriend was supposed to be spending the weekend with me, but on Saturday night he decided to go and get fucked up with his mates at the bingo, while I sat at home and cried. Then he turned up on Sunday very hung over and stinking of booze, and I just thought: ‘You have no respect.’ So we split up, but we were talking every day on the phone and things were looking up until he went quiet. It's a proper ‘fuck you’ tune, and I don't write many of those.”
“Heaven on My Mind” [with Sigala] “[Songwriter] Ida Martinsen Botten wrote the bulk of this song and then MNEK and I changed the verses. And big up Sigala for featuring on this one. It was a really lovely moment to have him on my record.”
“Is Anybody There” “This is a dance tune with a bit of melancholy that I wrote with MNEK and [British songwriter and producer] Ryan Ashley. And it shows why the title Only Honest on the Weekend reflects the album so well. It's about how from Monday to Friday, I feel like I can't get through to my boyfriend, but then from Friday to Sunday we're the closest we've been all week. It's a feeling you only really know if you've been in a relationship for a long time and feel like someone doesn't want to let you in.”
“Through the Night” [with 220 KID] “I remember writing this with MNEK over FaceTime at my mum's house. I had reached out to [producer and DJ] 220 KID and he had sent me the instrumental. I remember singing a melody to MNEK and he said, ‘I like it, but can we make it cooler?’ And then he started singing the chorus melody that you hear now. He completely transformed it into this really cool pop song that's an absolute banger. Honestly, 15 songs in and I'm still bringing the goods!”

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