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Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo R&B Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Conversations with the Inspiring bittymacbeth"

NOVEMBER 27, 2018

Today we’d like to introduce you to bittymacbeth. She and her team share her story with us below.

Please kick things off for us with some background on the story.

Good songs come out of bad times.

This is the philosophy behind the music of singer-songwriter-bassist bittymacbeth. She’s gone from indie one-woman-band live-looper to innovative producer and bandleader – her most recent single, Trace (Comfortable Sympathy) held a #4 place on Spotify’s Singapore Viral 50 playlist. Her music has already ridden the airwaves from radio stations in Singapore and Australia and been licensed for in-store radio play in the United Kingdom.

bittymacbeth credits her parents for the foundations of her music education: her mom liked to sing Motown classics, and her dad, a self-taught guitarist and later guitar teacher, put would Simon & Garfunkel, America, Bread and The Shadows on loop. Her extended family would also get together a few times a year and sing a mix of pop, Christmas carols, and Christian songs together.

bittymacbeth, whose real name is Beth Yap, started off on a classical piano when I was six and hated it. She quit when she was 12 and started to take singing seriously. She never realized it before, but she had a penchant for songwriting as a child – at six, she was making up songs about simple things, like visiting her grandmother’s house. She started off singing in church and picked up a guitar at the age of 14, but found a proclivity for the bass four years later. And while singing in her school’s jazz band, she learned to marry her lyrics and melodies with jazz harmony.

Right before going to college, she released her debut physical album, Beauty For Ashes. It hit #1 on the iTunes and Apple Music Top R&B/Soul Singapore charts three days after its release, and Beth later led a sextet of Singapore’s top musicians on stage at her sold-out album launch concert, held at the 250- seater Esplanade Recital Studio. The album received critical acclaim in the regional press. Straits Times Music Correspondent, Eddino Abdul Hadi, praised Beth for her “… refined songcraft and impressive chops”, while Juice Magazine slated her “a classic case of a petite frame, prodigal talent.”

Currently 24 and on scholarship to Berklee College of Music, Beth wants to be the prophetic artist of her generation: to provide a critique of the status quo and an inspiration to change it. In other words, she’s going to keep it real. She’ll sing what needs to be said over with radio-friendly melodies over jazz harmony, peppered with funky basslines and a whole lot of soul.

Aptly summarised by In the words of prolific Warner Music Singapore artist Inch Chua, “the first thing that strikes me about Beth is how musical and how gutsy she is… Beth is scary good.”

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There’ve definitely been challenges along the way. One big one is probably finances. I come from a lower-middle income family, and my parents — especially my mom — have always made sure I’ve had a little more than enough, day-to-day, which I’m very grateful for. But investing large sums of money into my musical career, whether it’s for content or marketing, has never been something I did a lot. Loss and lack make a person fearful. I’ve seen a lot of friends progress fast and make good things happen, and I know that while they possessed and worked hard as well. Once you’ve toiled in Life’s kitchen and had to lick the scraps out of all the pots, you will never view your next meal the same again. That filled plate represents protection. Security. Peace. They came from a more comfortable background that allowed them to take risks because they had a safe financial net to fall back on after.

This was especially apparent when I wanted to pursue Contemporary Writing and Production at Berklee. I believed it was a dream come true when Singapore’s National Arts Council (NAC) had offered me the Arts Undergraduate scholarship worth SGD$100,000 (73,163.50 USD) towards partially funding my four-year degree programme at Berklee. I thought all I had left to do was just fly to Boston in five months time for the start of Spring 2016 enrolment. But it was only the start of one of the most painful experiences of my life – to have tasted a dream after years of work, only to have it stolen away in a moment. To my mother, it had to be all or nothing. No full scholarship, no Berklee. We didn’t have money to make up for the shortfall that the partial scholarships from NAC and Berklee didn’t cover. My mom begged for the NAC managers to convert my Arts Undergraduate Scholarship into the Management scholarship, which offered full funding — that would entail doubling the scholarship quantum to fully cover the combined cost of tuition and living expenses. The NAC managers, in no uncertain terms, denied her appeal.

However, this story does have a happy ending. When my search for a fully funded scholarship for the arts turned up fruitless, I reapplied for the same NAC scholarship in 2016. Their management scholarship was discontinued that year, so the Arts Undergraduate Scholarship was my only option. I met again with one of the same members of the interviewing panel, a well-known Singaporean singer-songwriter and trained lawyer, Jimmy Ye. He learned of my situation made it his personal mission to convince my mother that the cost of giving up the Arts Undergraduate scholarship and thus Berklee was far greater than the cost of my college funding shortfall. My mother not only embraced the paradigm shift at Jimmy’s persuasion, but one of my copious grant proposals I had sent out following the first NAC scholarship rejection materialized into an additional study grant from the Trailblazer Foundation. My tuition was more or less covered since I aimed to finish my studies in three years instead of four.

I think the importance for young women to note is to accept that in male-dominated fields like music, gaming, STEM, etc., we have to be aware of the odds already stacked against us, just so that we can maintain healthy expectations, but then mentally prepare ourselves to overcome these by working thrice as hard. Particularly, for young women who don’t come from well-to-do backgrounds, I think the important thing is to align yourself with people who believe in you. Once you lose that belief in your dream, that’s where it will fall apart. I thank God for placing people who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, at the right moments in my life when I needed it most.

It’s important to keep working on your craft, getting better and not allowing yourself to get bitter. Also, go out and meet people and complement your talent and hard work with connections, however, time and money may permit. There are different free networking opportunities in the city, like video game music meet-ups, and gatherings by other organizations.

I try to remind myself to be grateful for how far I’ve come and to look forward at how much I still have to learn as well.

Tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and what you are most proud of.
I make music: I’m an artist, and I make my own brand of R&B/Soul/funk/pop. My music is a combination of radio-friendly melodies and jazz harmony, as well as with funky basslines and a whole lot of soul. I think the pairing of this palatable music with my heavier lyrics makes me pretty different as a mainstream artist: I’ve written songs about the rising cost of living, about haters (literally), about the most depressing moments in my life, etc.

The same things that go into my artwork – composing, songwriting, arranging, mixing, producing, performing – are also things that I’ve done for corporate work for companies back in Singapore, but I guess most people know me for my voice, bass, and songs.

One of the things I’m most proud of is organizing my own concerts. Besides the sold-out album launch in 2016, I also put together a secret show in the summer of 2017, and a fundraiser for human trafficking victims this paster summer of 2018. All of these were female-driven shows, which provided me and other female singer-songwriters to play our music. The Secret Show was held in a cozy guitar parlor and we e-mailed the address to the attendees who bought tickets online just a few days before the show. We put the address upon the ticketing page the day off and saw a lot of walk-ins. We had to open two sets to accommodate two sets of 50 people. The fundraiser show was in conjunction with my launch for my latest single, Trace (Comfortable Sympathy), which I wrote about wanting to overcome the feeling of helplessness that comes with hearing about other people’s problems and feeling guilty for knowing about the problem but not being able to help. So, I decided I will make a conscious decision to help. The fundraiser concert raised $2130 for Hagar International’s Singapore branch, which has a Trauma Recover and Resettlement Programme for victims of human rights abuses, particularly modern slavery.

Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
As I mentioned before, I grew up in a musical family. When I was eight or nine, my aunt taught me to listen to vocal parts and sing harmonies — initially, I, an alto and now mezzo-sop, resented having to sing the melody while my cousin, a true soprano, got to sing the melody. The first song I ever sang a descant melody on was a song called If This World by Jaci Velasquez, which was part of my aunt’s repertoire with her a cappella group. This was probably a very fundamental learning point for me. I didn’t have a good ear back then — my mom thought I was tone-deaf as a child, so you can imagine her shock when I told her I wanted to be a singer — and I think this was the start of me training my musical ear and becoming better and hearing how all of the music related to each other. - Boston Voyager

"Why Local Singer-Songwriter Bittymacbeth Is The Girl Power Icon We Need"

Homegrown singer-songwriter Beth Yap aka Bittymacbeth is not your typical pop star.

Talented, honest and fiercely independent, this young trailblazer is unafraid to speak up about important causes close to her heart. Just take the launch-cum-benefit show in support of her latest single ‘Trace (Comfortable Sympathy)’ for instance, which she used as a platform to raise funds for an anti-human trafficking charity organisation – all while celebrating fellow females in the music scene with up-and-comers Marian Carmel and Kyla T on the performance bill.

In an industry that Lady Gaga infamously dubbed a “F***ing boys’ club”, the Berklee College of Music undergraduate doesn’t hold back on sharing her struggles dealing with the rampant sexism as a female musician currently based in Boston – on top of being Asian and the stereotypes that come with it. But instead of letting it get to her, she channels the negativity into what she does best: music with a cause. And if you’re not already listening to her, you may want to sit down for this.

Read on for our full interview with Bittymacbeth where she opens up about breaking gender norms and how she hopes to recover humanity through music.

Hi Beth! It’s been two years since you last released new music. What have you been up to in between?

Shortly after finishing up my last album Beauty For Ashes, I started school at Berklee in the beginning of 2017 thus I’ve mostly been trying to adjust to the new environment. You get exposed to a lot of fresh talents here, so I guess I was also trying to teach myself how to see music with a renewed perspective. Other than that, I’ve been working hard on writing new material and ‘Trace’ is kind of the first project in this new series that I came up with around the start of my Berklee journey.

You’ve co-produced ‘Trace’ with Korean producer DAMYE. How did this collaboration come about?

I think it’s really important to find the right people to work with; who believe in me and my music. For DAMYE, I met him at Berkley because we happen to go to a lot of the same jams. He then asked if I could help him with a song he was trying to pitch to a Korean indie label, so I did – and he got signed! He was gonna drop out of Berkley so I suggested working on something together before he leaves, hence ‘Trace’.

‘Trace’ is the first single of the four-song suite you’re working on. Can we assume we’re expecting three more collaborative tracks to come?

Yeah! The upcoming collaborations are going to be similar in the sense that I’ll be working with a producer to elevate the production on songs I’ve written. The next release will be with an American producer and it’s probably the poppiest track I have right now. Then there’ll be something that’s a lot more jazzy and chill with an Australian producer, before ending it off with a funky, R&B tune that I’ve worked on with an Italian producer. It’s a departure from the organic, acoustic vibes in Beauty For Ashes, and moving towards a more produced sound that showcases different faucets of my musical influences.

Among the four tracks, which would you say is the closest to your heart?

Probably the last one with the Italian producer. Between Berkley and the single launch, a lot of things happened in my personal life – I’ve lost friends and missed out on big opportunities because of what I suppose were my principles. I had all these questions about how my life would have been any different if I hadn’t done this or that. I spent time wondering about that a lot and for a while I was very bitter about things. So I wrote this song to remind myself to not dwell on the past and allow my experiences to be a standpoint for growth instead.

What kind of message do you hope to spark with your music?

That there are a lot of difficult things we have to go through, and that it’s important to acknowledge each other’s challenges and do whatever’s in your own power to help them out. Especially when you’re in a place of more privilege, you have a greater responsibility to make things better for others. Through these songs, I want people to know that they have a listening ear. I may not be able to fully understand their situation, but I can empathise with what they’re going through.

Is that why you came up with the idea of linking your single launch to a benefit show?

I think a lot of us are unaware of the trafficking issue in Singapore. People think we’re totally clean, but what they don’t realise is that trafficking works in three ways – a country can be a source country, a transition country, or a destination country. If Myanmar is the source country for trafficked victims, then Singapore can be either a transition or a destination country for them. It happens a lot with domestic helpers and construction workers, and we’re enabling it to happen.

If I were to do a launch for ‘Trace’, I want to be able to help in a tangible way – thus partnering up with a charity organisation to raise awareness about this issue. I feel like the first step is for Singaporeans to be aware so they can ask the right questions when they sense any suspicious activity.

During the launch party, you also took the opportunity to feature fellow female artistes. How important is it to you that we celebrate women in the industry?

Sexism in the music industry has become more apparent to me when I was in the US. I used to attend these recording sessions, and bands that are made of only males were more likely to question me, a female, about their score than the other male players. I’m sure everyone makes mistakes, but they would just come down more harshly on me.

A college prof told me this story. The Boston Symphony Orchestra were conducting blind auditions as they had a big problem of male to female player ratio. Despite people going behind a thick curtain to play, it still didn’t improve the ratio. Someone then suggested getting them to remove their shoes before going on stage – and after that, the ratio became almost one to one. Because people just had these subconscious biases after hearing the sound of their shoes and judging them based on the gait of their walk. It was then that I realised, women do it to other women too. So I feel like we just need to remind one another that we all have something to contribute and to give each other equal opportunities.

Have you ever thought about advancing your music career in the US?

I’ve thought about it, but with a more developed music industry, it also comes with more competition. To be completely frank, being Asian doesn’t help either. In the US, Asians tend to be in the back-end roles and although they are doing well for themselves in their respective areas, it’s much harder for them to be a recording artiste. Besides, Singapore is a nice gateway to other countries – a lot of my peers are able to tour regionally and internationally without being based overseas. The community here is also a lot more tight-knit because everyone knows each other so it’s much easier to get help.

Lastly, what do you hope to achieve in this new phase of your career?

I’m working towards rebranding myself and coming into my own as an all-rounded artiste, be it songwriting, performing or producing. I started out as an indie one-woman band, but now I want to move towards a bigger sound with a production team – in a way that’s contextualised for the new generation of audiences while still remaining true to my musical self.

Listen to Bittymacbeth’s newest single ‘Trace (Comfortable Sympathy)’ prod. DAMYE at - Teenage

"What’s in a name: Musician bittymacbeth takes to the stage"

21-year-old Beth Yap will be launching her new single, Californian Dream, tonight

SINGAPORE — Beth Yap is embarking on a musical journey, armed with a bass guitar, a loop pedal, some soul-jazz-pop singles, and a rather unusual stage name — bittymacbeth.

Ahead of her upcoming eight-track album Beauty For Ashes, the 21-year-old recording artist and performer will be launching her new single, Californian Dream, tonight at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre.

And it’s likely to be as catchy as the moniker she uses.

“Bitty is a pet name that my whole family addresses me by. My mom gave it to me when I was still a tiny baby, hence the name, but I’m also the youngest among my extended family,” Yap explained.


As for the Shakespearean twist — “I played Macbeth for literature dramatisation assessment because my group mates thought I should since my name is Beth.”

Indeed, theatre’s famous tragic anti-hero has become an unlikely source of inspiration for Yap.

“I quite identify with Macbeth’s inner struggle to do what is right, but he eventually succumbs to evil. And many of my songs reflect the challenge of trying to be better and to overcome affliction, so I think bittymacbeth has come to be quite apt for me as a songwriter.”

That said, for all that talk about struggles, it did seem that Yap had a distinct leg-up when it came to forging a musical career, having come from a musically-inclined family.

“We often sang or played guitar together at family gatherings,” she revealed. “Because of this, I think I had a natural inclination to come up with little ditties and sing about things that were happening, like going to my grandmother’s house when I was five years old.”

Despite her musical background, however, Yap had to convince her mother of the wisdom of pursuing music studies in Singapore Polytechnic rather than junior college.

“I scored well for my O-Levels, and my mother wanted me to ‘make use’ of my points and study in junior college,” Yap recalled, “but I told her that I wanted to read the Diploma in Music and Audio Technology (DMAT) course and that if I went anywhere else I would not be thriving but surviving. So she gave her approval.”

Given that parental support, Yap worked hard, did well in her course and established herself in the local music circuit. Now, her parents attend most of her gigs and even tell their friends to watch her perform as well.

If the literary world had given Yap the inspiration creatively, it was from the world of pop culture that the catalyst for her deep commitment to music came — the reality television show American Idol, to be precise.

“I actually think it came when I was watching one of the earliest seasons of American Idol, in which a contestant did the acoustic version of Beautiful Disaster by Kelly Clarkson,” she recalled. “Ever since, I had dreams of being a singer, but never thought it was possible until I decided to pursue DMAT to learn how to compose, arrange, produce and record music.”

Years later, these dreams continue to push Yap on as she confronts the challenges of a pursuing a career in music on a “do it yourself” level.

“As much as I want to practise for as many hours as I can in a day, I also need to spend my time writing proposals, replying emails, meeting people, writing/arranging new material for myself and others, preparing scores and charts for session musicians, working out marketing collateral on top of all the other things a normal human has to do in a day like eating, resting and spending time with family and friends.”

Yap recalled one incident that had an impact on her.

“I played (my song) Beauty For Ashes at one of the Rooftop Sessions, a series of intimate singer-songwriter showcases hosted by a musician named Loong, and an audience member told me she was moved by the song and she found the song’s message of hope very encouraging.”

While Yap reckons the local music scene “has not grown to a point where it can justify itself to be a stable career in the eyes of the masses yet”, she plans on doing her bit. And based on the promise of her singles, which includes Haters Gon’ Hate, as well as her upcoming album, there seems to be much we can look forward to from bittymacbeth.

“Conceptually and lyrically, the songs from start to end of the album will reflect the cycle of ups (beauty) and downs (ashes) in life. Just as good things can turn sour, negative circumstances also can lead to something better in the end.”

bittymacbeth will launch her new single Californian Dream tonight, 8pm, at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre. Free admission. - TODAY - Mediacorp

"Inspired by a piece of floating ash"

While walking home one day, soul- pop/funk singer-songwriter Beth Yap was mesmerised by the sight of a few people burning hell notes.

“I saw a piece of ash floating in the wind and I thought, if I were to describe it poetically, I would say that it was dancing in the wind,” says the 22-year-old, one of the newer home-grown acts performing on the second day of music festival Getai Soul this weekend.

That experience inspired her to write a song, Beauty For Ashes, that eventually became the title track to her debut album that will be launched with a gig at the Esplanade Recital Studio on May 31.

Yap, who performs under the moniker bittymacbeth, might be a new name in the Singapore scene, but she has been writing songs for most of her life.

“I would be making up my own songs about going to my grandmother’s house at the age of seven,” says Yap, who started piano lessons at the age of six.

“Music was something kind of natural to me, growing up in a musical family.”

Her retired father, who used to run a desktop publishing business, was a guitar teacher. Her mother works as an editorial and communications specialist. Yap has an older brother, 25, who plays music as well.

Family events were always a musical affair and Yap says events such as Christmas gatherings were always lively with singalongs.

The Tanjong Katong Girls’ School alumna convinced her parents to let her enrol in Singapore Polytechnic, where she graduated with a diploma in music and audio technology.

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Awarded the school’s SP Scholarship and SP Music and Arts Scholarship, she honed her chops as a performer, composer and arranger there.

She was also active in the school’s SP Jazz Band and fronts neo-soul group Afterglow with other members of the jazz group.

A three-week game and audio workshop in San Francisco, part of the polytechnic’s overseas immersion programme, resulted in another song on her album, Californian Dream.

“I wrote part of the song while I was on the rooftop of the hostel we were staying at. We climbed up the fire escape so we could hang out on the roof.

“It was kind of chilly and we were just wearing our pyjamas and you could feel the wind and you could see the leaves changing colours because the season was turning into autumn.”

The song, together with another early single released ahead of the album, Haters Gon’ Hate, charted at No. 4 on Apple Music’s Top R&B/ Soul Singapore chart. Both songs were produced together with singer-songwriter Dru Chen, who is also performing at Getai Soul.

Come September, Yap, who is single, plans to head to the United States and enrol in music school Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she intends to study in the four-year contemporary writing and production degree programme.

She has already secured two scholarships from the school worth $19,000. Last year, she received a National Arts Council Arts Undergraduate scholarship capped at $100,000 but gave it up because she deferred her planned enrolment to Berklee. She has since re-applied for the same scholarship.

She says: “I want to be an all- rounded performer, songwriter and arranger. I want to learn production too, so that in the future, I can be a producer and arrange for other artists.”

Correction note: An earlier version of the story stated that Yap has secured a National Arts Council Arts Undergraduate scholarship. She actually received it last year, but gave it up and has since re-applied for the same scholarship. This has been corrected. - The Straits Times


Still working on that hot first release.



Boston Music Award R&B/Soul nominee bittymacbeth isn’t your average bedroom songwriter-producer. Her music melds neo-soul harmonies with funk-informed bass, dusted with pop shimmer. It’s this sound with which she has struck a new distribution deal with US label Coed Recs.

Prior to the deal, her music already graced the airwaves of radio stations in Singapore and Australia and had been licensed for in-store radio play in the United Kingdom. Her 2018 single Trace charted at #4 on Spotify Singapore's Viral 50, while her latest single"fly." was featured on more than 12 different Spotify and Apple Music curated playlists across Asia such as Top Hits Singapore, New Music Friday in 8 other countries and 2 Japan chill playlists. 

Known for her simultaneous live vocal and bass shedding, bittymacbeth has shared festival stages with the likes of bp valenzuela, NJWA and Charlie Lim. She’s also performed at the famed The Middle East in Boston and in New York City.

A soon-to-be graduate of Berklee College of Music, bittymacbeth is a blues-woman for the new millennium, singing of the trials and successes and us-ness of life. She speaks truth to power in every lyric, intention in every melody.

Band Members