ST Sessions: Singapore singer-songwriter Bittymacbeth inspired by American Idol

It was through watching reality television show American Idol that Beth Yap, who goes by Bittymacbeth, was bitten by the music bug. Unselfishly, her goal is to be a voice in the growing Singapore music landscape.
Singer-songwriter Beth Yap comes from a musical family.
Singer-songwriter Beth Yap comes from a musical family.PHOTO: ST VIDEO

Home-grown singer-songwriter Beth Yap, better known by her nom de plume Bittymacbeth, comes from a musical family and has been playing the piano since she was six.

But it was only after watching TV singing competition American Idol that she started harbouring dreams of becoming a singer.

The 22-year-old features in the seventh episode of the third season of ST Sessions, The Straits Times' online video series which features rising talents in the home-grown music scene performing stripped- down live sets.

Currently a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Yap says in the video: "I grew up in a musical family, but it was only when I was 12, I was watching American Idol, seeing all these people live out their dreams of being singers, that I thought that, hey, I kind of want to do it too."

Her father was a guitar teacher and her older brother plays music as well.

Her songs espouse positivity. An original tune that she performs in the episode, Haters Gon' Hate, is about "taking time to understand and listen to people instead of judging them on preconceived notions".

The song is from her debut album, Beauty For Ashes, which she launched with a concert at the Esplanade Recital Studio last year. The release went to No. 1 on the local iTunes and Apple Music's R&B/Soul charts.

Yap, whose music encompasses genres such as soul, jazz, pop and funk, says in the ST Sessions video that she wants to put her music education to good use and give back to the creative scene here.

"I just hope that with everything that I learn and all the opportunities (that I get), and all the people out there (that I meet), that I'll be able to grow so much more and not only make my own music better, but really contribute more to Singapore's music and arts scene."

ST Sessions' third season is part of a series of digital video programmes produced in a partnership between the Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore and Singapore Press Holdings.

The new season features eight acts, including singer-songwriter Tim De Cotta and indie duo Tomgirl. A new episode is launched every other Friday.

• More ST Sessions videos and previous seasons at http://str.sg/st-sessions

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2017, with the headline 'Bittymacbeth inspired by American Idol'. Print Edition | Subscribe