Avant-garde and wonderfully weird, Billie Lloyd and Harrison Scott have created a world of their own through their electrifying pop music as BHuman. The duo is transatlantic and queer, fronted by Lloyd, who is transgender, and Scott, who is gay. BHuman isn’t afraid to push pop boundaries, using many different sounds and textures in their work.
Musical Notes Global recently sat down with the fiery and fun duo to talk all about their Cher cover that debuted before Pride, why they decided to perform together after covering a Hilary Duff song, and more. Check out the full interview below!
MNG: After recording a Hilary Duff cover, you two decided to perform together as a duo. Number one. Amazing. What song was it? And two, please share more about that. How did you both know that working together was going to be a good idea? What makes your duo-ship work?
Billie: It was “Stranger”, a song we have both been obsessed with since it came out. The night Harrison and I first met, we bonded over a shared love of Hilary Duff’s back catalogue, especially this song, so it just felt like the obvious choice when we decided to cover it. I’m not sure we knew for sure that working together was going to be a good idea, this was kinda the experiment that led to us realizing that working together WAS good, better than working alone even.
MNG: Cher. Cover. YESSSS. So good. What made you want to pick a Cher song to cover for Pride? Why this one in particular? How did you decide how you wanted your take on “Believe” to sound?
Harrison: Cher, to us, is the ultimate gay icon and we wanted to cover something instantly recognizable for our Pride show. It’s a testament to how iconic that song is that at our show people knew what it was as soon as the first line was sung. We’ve been really inspired by the drum programming coming out in the charts at the moment; particularly what Stargate and A. G. Cook is doing. We wanted to transform the song but keep it recognizable enough as a Cher song, while also putting our signature BHuman sounds in there.
MNG: Your self-titled EP is great. Some questions about it:
How long did it take to write/record/mix/etc?
Harrison: We started about a year before it was released, with “Goodbye” the lead single. We’re total perfectionists so a *lot* of material was scrapped, tweaked, or completely re-jigged until we were happy with it. Mixing/Mastering is probably the hardest part for us because it’s such subtle work.
Which song took the longest? The shortest?
Billie: “Goodbye” wasn’t fully mixed until the week before the video for it came out, it took us a long time to get it right but we’re so happy with it now. “I Would” was probably the shortest to write, I wrote it in a fit of emotion in about 10 minutes. “Fragile” was the quickest to produce/mix but Harrison just nailed it first try.
Which song is your favorite?
Billie: Every track! We only included the tracks that we’d made that we were absolutely obsessed with. “Goodbye” or “I Would” are the ones that I can listen to again and again.
MNG: What is your writing process like? Your recording process? Do you have any stories from writing/recording the songs for your EP?
Harrison: It’s really varied. Sometimes Billie will write a song on her piano, record some scratch vocals and give it to me to produce (“I Would”, “Fragile”), other times I’ll write and produce the songs by myself (“NRG”, “Broken bottles”) but mostly we try and keep it even. Billie usually focusses on lyrics/harmony and I focus on production and we work on the melodies/structures together.
MNG: You have a lot of different sounds and textures happening in your recordings. Who are some of your music inspirations?
Harrison: We love anyone that’s pushing the pop boundaries. Kim Petras, Lizzo, Caroline Polachek, Charli XCX, Elohim, BTS
MNG: BHuman’s music is avant-garde and wonderfully weird. How did you guys develop your sound? Why did you decide to make pop music, as opposed to another genre?
Billie: We’re both just the biggest fans of Pop music. Every Friday we listen to all the new releases together and text about the trends we’re hearing and what we love/hate. Pop music is escapism but via that escapism, you can say some really powerful stuff and reach people’s hearts when they’re not expecting it.
Developing our sound happened really organically; I always say that I’m really great at having opinions on things, less great at coming up with original ideas. But Harrison is prolific and incredibly good at building soundscapes, so it just happened via trial and error (and me texting Harrison a lot of “I don’t think that SOUNDS like us” and Harrison replying “Well what DOES sound like us!”) until we’d built up enough of a catalogue of songs to establish a sound.
MNG: What are some obstacles you guys face as members of the LGBTQ+ community that cross over to the music side of your identity?
Billie: For me, I’ve struggled since my transition with finding my voice again. It’s really hard to find a vocal tone and range that I feel reflects my soul and I’d say it’s only in the last 6 months that I feel like I’ve found that. Also getting comfortable with being on camera again and being confronted with my body in ways that I can’t always control. It’s definitely been a learning experience, but one I’m glad to have had to do.
MNG: What advice would you give queer kids wanting to “make it” or pursue being an artist as a full-time gig?
Harrison: Figure out your side gig or how you’ll make it financially work. It’s so difficult to make it work financially; most of the artists you look up to have side gigs or day jobs, and I don’t think there’s any shame in that, it’s an expensive world!
Billie: I’d echo what Harrison said and also add that finding what sets you apart from everyone else and capitalizing on that thing, is so so important. What are you saying? Why are you saying it?
Stream BHuman’s cover of “Believe” now!