BEA1991 is releasing double single Tranquility on November 3, with a mix and interview premiering via AQNB today. It marks the Amsterdam-based artist’s first release since 2019, exploring ethereal pop and perspectives on relationships throughout time.
On Tranquility, BEA1991 broaches ulterior elements of personal relationships, animating gentle yet eclipsing forces of time and its presence at the beginning and ending of friendships. The artist joins forces with producer Sega Bodega, singing soft-spoken hymns of newfound freedom over the mesmerizing arpeggios of ‘Free Young Man’ before turning symbiotically in a piano-laden ballad on concluded relationships. This idea of subordinating to time is central to BEA1991’s current artistic pursuits, emerging during a still-life photography residency last year and while building her house in Amsterdam. She discusses all of this with me further over email.
**Your latest single explores the conditions around ending and starting relationships. What made you decide to write about this?
BEA1991: Endings, startings, an ever-expanding topic in my world of intrigues. Friendships seem to flow best when they come easy and naturally, but then often crash hard because of premature assumptions or projection, call it a speedbump. Some friendships are tedious to nurture and go through hardship all the time but can stay your top priority; some people you never see in person but love the most. Personally, I’m discovering more about myself as a friend.
**There’s an element of time that comes to my mind, particularly around what we perceive as ephemeral. I’m interested how your time doing still-life photography last year interplays with the new release.
B: Photography does connect me to the current time. I have difficulties feeling grounded in the now, and making still lifes helps me make sense of where I am. At the same time the picture poses new questions, so it’s give and take. This release feels like it has both the future and the past embedded in it; complexity of a past friendship and the excitement around new connections and how they make me grow. Maybe the future and the past make up the present?
**The same can be said for how you built a house. What was that experience like?
B: Well, tbh it was first class daunting and just totally crushing and empowering and enlightening all in the same moment. When you’re building a house, solid plans need to be made, then followed, and I’m used to working intuitively and spontaneously, making up for errors after I’ve gone off the grid. Hence crushing and enlightening. Now I understand why TV create endless seasons of this people-building-houses-saga; the drama is so real. It’s like the most personal most challenging thing someone could do for themselves. Actually, writing about it now it also seems like the most animal thing I’ve done; get dirty and smelly and sleepless for 6 months straight so that you have a roof over your head.
**My final thought is on acceptance and subordinating to something greater than yourself. Did this ever cross your mind during the songwriting process?
B: Oh totally, these tracks are also about integrity and subordination within reason. To accept the end of a long-lasting friendship, I needed to accept that what ‘was’ between us was perhaps greater than what I yearned for, later. In a way, the friendship had become its own being, set in its own time, and we were no longer serving it.
**So, what advice would you have for others on that subject?
B: Be your own best friend and real friends will come!**