York singer-songwriter Beth McCarthy returns to the city for a homecoming concert that has been a long time coming.
Beth is no stranger to the York music scene – they started gigging around pubs and clubs when she was 13 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. Beth appeared on the first series of TV singing competition The Voice in 2014 and has since gone on to release her own music.
Now based in London, Beth, 24, has had a whirlwind last couple of years.
A TikTok of Beth crying in the car to her own song went viral, with over 5 million views. She also accumulated over 9.5 million streams across the four singles they released in 2021 – and now Beth is headed out on tour, with a stop in her home city.
YorkMix caught up with Beth to find out more about her homecoming headline show, going viral on TikTok and hopes for the future.
Beth McCarthy will be at The Crescent on Monday 2 May. Tickets are available here.
Q&A with Beth McCarthy
Tell us a bit about your musical journey so far.
How long have you got? The short of it is, I’ve been doing this whole music thing for probably about 10 years. I started gigging when I was 13. It’s always been about performing for me. I did the gig circuit for a little while and then I did The Voice in 2014 and carried on from there. I released a couple of songs, played a few festivals – I still lived in York during that time – and then moved to London.
Then three weeks later the pandemic happened, and my life was over. I managed to keep my place in London but I was back and forth between my mum and dad’s house and here – it was pretty awful.
I went out busking when restrictions lifted in Piccadilly and I got filmed by somebody and they put it on TikTok, and it did quite well. That was really what led me to start in my internet journey of doing things – I wanted to be creative in a way that wasn’t just doing covers. I started doing these lyrical reworks of other people’s songs, and that was really what took for me.
What has the influence of social media been like and how does it feel to have that kind of support?
It’s a weird thing to navigate because you have a lot of eyes on you. Especially with TikTok, it’s like nothing else in the way that it can just take a video and skyrocket it into the millions. The big one for me was She Gets The Flowers that took because of a TikTok video of me crying, and it got like 5 million views. People love the song but also loads of people have seen me ugly cry in my car and I don’t know how to feel about that.
But I think there’s something really special about people from all over the place in all different walks of life being able to relate to the same thing – which in my case has been my music. It’s quite magical. I think that’s really been the main thing for me that’s been life changing us having that support from all over the place. I get daily messages from Australia and India being like ‘your music’s really helped me’ or ‘this song got me through my breakup’ – it’s mad.
Tell us a bit about your tour. You’re coming back to York which must feel a bit like a homecoming?
I love being on stage, I’ve always loved performing and doing tours. I think this is the first time that I’m going out to an audience that really know my songs. I’ve done a couple of London shows and people were actually singing my songs who I’ve never seen before. It feels amazing. So I’m so excited to bring that back to home and to a place that I spent so long on the music scene.
I’ve played The Crescent a number of times and being able to come back with a whole load of songs released that people might have heard with a band to do it properly just really feels amazing.
This is the first time I’ve played in York since I was sitting in my mum and dad’s drive in lockdown doing a livestream to my neighbours and onto Facebook, in a horrible time which was so uncertain and nobody knew what was going to happen. It’s absolutely bonkers that the last public gig that I did was on my mum and dad’s drive and now I’m headlining The Crescent.
What do you hope is next?
World domination. I hope that I can just continue to release music and continue to reach more people every time. I think it’s really easy to get lost in the fast pace of the internet. You can’t have big hitters every time. It’d be lovely – but that’s not how it works. For me it’s about continuing to push out music that I feel proud of that I really love, and not trying to chase what’s big and what might get more people to hear it.
So that’s really the plan I think – keep pushing out music that I feel connected to, that hopefully people can connect to and keep playing and keep touring. I think that’s really where my focus is going to be like get me on more stages, let me travel and see those people. That’s what it’s about.