When Aussie girl group Beatz first auditioned for ‘The X Factor Australia’ back in 2014, never did they expect to see the response that would follow.
The performance of Brooke, Elishia and Tayla was described as being "absolutely magical" by Redfoo, while their cover of Gwen Stefani's 'Hollaback Girl' has been viewed 20-million-plus times on YouTube. That's cray sisters. Can you believe that it’s been almost three years since you girls performed 'Hollaback Girl' on 'The X Factor'?
Brooke: No! So long ago already. It goes so quick. You girls seemed so young then when you first started. Do you feel that way as well?
I think when we first started our audition, we were really inexperienced being a group of three and a new group. We’ve come a really long way since then. Even the way we dress. We still love our denim, but looking back at the video and our hair was brown back then and now it’s all different colours. It’s really cool to see how much we’ve grown-up since this audition.
This month Beatz release a new single 'Ain’t Your Girl'. What does that feel like for you?
Well, I actually looked at something on Facebook this morning, a throwback – you know how Facebook has that memories feature – and I was like I can’t believe that we’re releasing our own song. We’re about to do our own music video, we’ve got our [Sydney] launch party coming up. It’s really surreal knowing that three years ago we were just three, normal girls auditioning for a show, not really thinking anything of it and here we are releasing our very first single, it’s awesome. When did you girls first decide that you were going to start singing and dancing together?
Three years ago I think Elisha and I were talking about it. We all met when we were seven: Elisha and I were seven and Taylor was five and we met at a talent quest. Our parents started talking and we got their contacts through the dance industry and we used to see each other all the time at eisteddfods. Then Elisha and I were talking and said: ‘Hey, why don’t we start a group’ and I said: ‘Oh, I don’t really know if Brooke can sing, I know she can dance’ and then we saw her at a singing boot camp and we were like: ‘Hey! Brooke can sing! Let’s try and do a group together’. That’s when Beatz kinda started and we got the name from our initials: B, E and T. That’s how it all came about. What’s been your favourite song to perform live?
I think 'Single Ladies' is probably the most fun to perform and when we do perform it everyone goes crazy; the crowd absolutely loves it. But I think along with that, 'Hollaback Girl' is still on par. It’s up there because that’s our very first [cover] that everyone kind of went insane for. It’s got 28 million views online, you know, so you can’t really go wrong with loving that one. You’ve done a lot of hip hop covers. Do you see yourself bringing out your own album?
One hundred per cent we want to bring an album out. We’re thinking of doing a few more singles prior to the album just to get us out there a little bit more, so people know what our sound is and what we’re like as artists. What do you feel like your sound is?
This track 'Ain’t Your Girl' is really dance pop I feel because I can hear it in a nightclub, but it’s also rap. So our verses are actually rap, Taylor raps the verses. Then it’s a bit of hip hop, R&B and pop. I think that’s the kind of sound we’re trying to create. I’d like to make our own genre. We could call it beatz (laughs). Just call it beatz. That’s our genre (laughs).
When did you decide that singing and performing was definitely what you wanted to pursue professionally?
I knew I wanted to perform when I was at a full-time dance course and I was studying to be a dancer and musical theatre and I decided that I didn’t want to dance I just wanted to sing. My parents had paid all this money and I know for the other girls as well (Elisha and Taylor), their parents had put a lot of money into it. So rather than put all that hard work, money and talent to waste, we thought why not try and do a girl group? Because there's no Aussie girl groups out there. What does 'Ain’t Your Girl' mean to you?
I think a lot of people will portray the song as pretty much what the song says: ‘I’m not your girl anymore’. In the lyrics we pretty much say: I’m sick of doing all your dirty work and being a slave to you and you telling me what you want and it’s never what I want. So I’ve had enough and leaving you and I’m not going to be with you anymore. But the video clip will portray something very different from an audience point of view. It’s about female empowerment and showing that girls are strong enough without a man that you don’t need a man to succeed in life. Have you ever felt like you were in that position in your life where someone has made you feel that way?
I think being in the industry is really tough. You can portray it in that way as well. In the industry people tell you you’re not going to make it or whatever. Then you kind of push through and you do your best and you try to prove people wrong and you try and do it for yourself… you don’t need to say that it’s all about a man. I’m sure every girl has gone through something like that before because men can be very dominant figures. But I guess for us, it’s like we’re relating it back to our career and what we do in this industry.
Have you ever let that kind of behaviour get to you?
In the industry, as a group, I think we have because on 'X Factor' the first time we got knocked back and that put us in a really hard position and a really hard time, so I guess it did really affect us. But coming back together, I think this song is kind of like our story. We’ve split up and we’ve come back together and we’re stronger than ever and we’re showing the world that no one is going to stop us and no one is going to break us. What has been your biggest challenge so far?
I think the biggest challenge for us as a group would have to be being on 'X Factor', it was really, really tough. We know in this industry, nothing is going to be spoon-fed to you; you need to do all the hard yards yourself. Even though it was challenging it really taught us a lot. We just stuck together as we had each other; we were still girls when we were living in the house together. What do you think has been the biggest highlight for you girls?
It would have to be this song coming out. Along with that, 'X Factor' was absolutely ridiculous as an experience and 'Hollaback' with so many views on the internet is crazy. We still can’t get over that. What is the biggest thing you’ve learnt from this experience?
The biggest thing I’ve learnt is staying true to yourself and sticking to what you’re good at and what you know. You can’t allow criticism from people, like on the internet, to affect you. Sometimes people just say nasty stuff, they really do, and you need to learn to block it out because at the end of the day you know how hard you’ve worked and how hard you’ve trained to be where you are today. Just staying true to yourself and really working hard is what I’ve learnt. Beatz newest single, ‘Ain’t Your Girl’, is out now.