Behind the Scenes of the Soulful Singer: Bethan-Wyn

Image of singer songwriter Bethan-Wyn
This singer-songwriter is putting in the work it takes to turn heads. And the BBC and many others are responding.

Bethan-Wyn has had a whirlwind year with the release of her first single and winning the BBC’s ‘I Can See Your Voice’ S1Ep1. 

All of this is the culmination of a cross-genre career that’s included classical training, musical theatre productions, local and international gigs…and sitting with her piano for long hours creating, writing and filming her music. Bethan takes us behind the scenes to reveal what insights and goals keep her inspired to bring her music to others.

A favorite quote that inspires you

‘I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted’. -Jack Kerouac

An important lesson you’ve learned in terms of vocal health:  

If it hurts – don’t do it. 

An object that inspires you in your musical work

My piano – it’s my go to for inspiration for songs & my own personal therapy when I need to clear my mind. 

A key turning point in developing your own unique vocal work

No particular light bulb moment; I’ve always enjoyed exploring different vocal textures & seeing what melodic adventures my voice would take me on. I think it’s just about trusting that no one else has your voice – so why not own it!? 

An important lesson you’ve learned in terms of technique?  

Not to push air through unless it’s a vocal ‘choice’. 

What was your first performance?  

I sang Annie on stage during a ballet show (random I know). I was 6 & just got the bug! 

What did you learn from that performance?  

That I had a terrible American accent – I was 6 though! 

A vocal artist who inspires you. 

His name is Paul Janeway. He’s the lead singer of my new favourite band called ‘St Paul & The Broken Bones’. He’s up there with the gods in terms of vocal tone (not too dissimilar to Otis Redding). 

What is it about their singing that inspires you?

I get seduced by someone’s vocal tone. There’s something about a specific tone of voice which just resonates with me. It’s hypnotic and just gloriously expressive – not many people really turn my head, but he’s just got it. 

Bethan Wyn wins BBC’s “I Can See Your Voice” S1E1 – Photo Credit: BBC/Thames TV – Tom Dymond

One lesson with tech that’s helped you make or share your music? 

Not to punish yourself if it doesn’t work first time. I would spend months if not years getting so frustrated with myself that I couldn’t articulate musically what I wanted to achieve production wise with my songs. It’s obviously because I didn’t train as a musical engineer. I think it’s just about being patient with the process and over time you’ll find a sound you can achieve and be content with – particularly for demos & social content. I still leave all the official producing of my songs at the hands of an expert. 

What “works” for social media

I think as long as you try stay authentic as possible, it’s all good. I don’t think anyone has the right answers to social media though – it’s all trial & error. 

Any social media “fails” or “successes” for you? 

It’s difficult knowing where to prioritise your time as a musician. You want the focus to be on the creation & the music… but if you don’t have a fan base or spend time in trying to build one, it’s almost unsustainable if you want a career out of it – so it’s a bit of a catch 22. 

What are you currently working on in terms of your music-career? 

Well at the minute my focus is on trying to promote my single into the big wide world. The amount of hours spent on it to just sit there and not do anything isn’t an option for me. I believe in it & want it to reach many ears, but again it all stems down to the business model. There are so many hats you have to wear as a musician, particularly when you’re self published and completely independent. So most of my days consist of contacting radio stations/blogs/playlist curators currently.

Tough technical-media challenges?  

Editing. During lockdown I did a couple of collaborations with other musicians. As I was leading the projects, I was ultimately responsible for mixing everything & syncing it all up to the video. I think one video took me about 10 hours’ worth of editing in total. 

What performance would you single out as being a “turning point” & why?  

I’m going to say my time on BBC’s ‘I Can See Your Voice’. As it’s so recent, I can’t really say how much of a turning point it is in terms of opportunity. I’d be lucky (& immensely grateful) if anything happened off the back of it. 

That being said, I think it just confirmed and eradicated any doubt in my mind that I do actually have what it takes to pursue this as a career. I felt so very humbled to receive such a positive response so I suppose the challenge is how to sustain momentum and network with the right people who can assist your journey. 

What were one or two critical steps you took to reach larger audiences with your music?  

Saying yes to opportunities basically and grafting hard every day! I wouldn’t say I’ve conquered it yet though. 

What are some of your career dreams/goals?  

To write a Bond song & sing it (well I’ve already written it), but obviously it’s not legit! We’re talking idealism though… but yes, that’d be a total dream come true. I’d like to perform on Jools Holland too but ultimately the biggest goal is to actually make a sustainable career out of being an artist. 

Worst singing or performing advice you’ve received?

If I’ve had bad advice, I’ve clearly ignored it because I can’t remember it! I once got told to sing like a pig though (whatever that sounds like)… but it was all to get the ‘twang’ out of my voice ultimately. 

Best singing or performing advice you’ve received:  

To breathe. Also to just embrace the moment – if it goes t*ts up – laugh (or choose gin) – no singer is perfect. 

More on Bethan Wyn: Website | Facebook | Instagram | SoundCloud | Twitter | TikTok | YouTube | Fanlink

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