Becca Means has bestowed her eagerly anticipated debut single, “My Darling,” upon the world. With her compelling fusion of past and present pop music conventions, the 19-year-old singer-songwriter and producer evokes memories of love lost and emotional resilience in this heartfelt track. By adeptly fusing a 60’s retro-nostalgic vibe with contemporary production techniques, Means carves out a distinctive space for herself within the pop music landscape.
Riding the waves of the digital era, Means rose to popularity through her online presence across TikTok and Instagram, delighting fans with her charismatic covers and demo tracks. With “My Darling,” she beautifully channels her experiences with toxic love and longing into a poignant anthem, underscoring her ability to turn heartache into musical gold. The song showcases her remarkable grasp of emotional storytelling, coupled with a vibrant sonic palette that reflects a maturity and sophistication well beyond her years.
“My Darling,” which was originally envisioned as a love song, morphed into a complex exploration of romantic disillusionment, brought to life by Means’ personal experiences. The track stands as a powerful testament to her ability to distill deeply personal experiences into universally resonant anthems. Her enchanting blend of classic and modern pop aesthetics, brimming with emotion and candor, sets her apart from her contemporaries and hints at a promising future.
Anchoring her musical prowess is her visual aesthetic, which seamlessly complements the emotive depth of her sound. With the release of her debut single, we spoke with Becca Means about creating music, her love language, summer, and much more.
I know that you were obviously born in LA, which is a really big musical hub. With this being your first single, what made you decide to get into music?
I was born in LA. However, my family moved to Arizona when I was about six, and that’s where I grew up, in a relatively small town. I eventually taught myself how to play the piano and guitar. I think it was around the age of nine when I started playing the guitar, sparking my interest in becoming an artist. It had always been a dream of mine. I was fascinated by the creative entertainment world and moved to LA as soon as I turned 18.
While I always knew I wanted to do something in this field, it wasn’t until I was about nine or 10 that I realized I wanted to be an artist, create songs, and perform. After graduating from high school, I started using TikTok. Luckily, it worked out, my music was heard, and my covers reached some influential people in the music industry. Within two weeks, I moved to LA and started my career.
Talk to me about your musical influences. Who did you listen to growing up and how does it compare to who you listen to now?
My biggest influences are probably the artists I listened to growing up. I come from a large family, and my parents, who are a bit older, love music from different eras. My dad is a huge Elvis fan, and my mom adores bands like Supertramp. So, I grew up listening to a wide range of music, from Elvis, Lesley Gore, the Supremes, the Shirelles, to all the Motown and soulful music, even bubblegum pop. These artists and genres significantly influenced my musical style.
When I decided to create music, I was determined to do something different and not merely follow the crowd. So, I decided to incorporate the ’60s vibe, the doo-wop, and soulful harmony pads into my music. It’s the overall feel of older music that I’m trying to capture in my work.
Especially as a content creator, you have such a strong visual identity. Can you tell me a bit more about that?
When I started on TikTok, I didn’t have many friends as everyone else was off to college. During that time, I decided to become my own best friend, the only person I could rely on. I even had to amuse myself most of the time, which is why I turned to TikTok in the first place. I think the thing that really keeps me grounded and preserves my identity is accepting and being confident in my eccentric and quirky side.
I believe that embracing your weirdness is one of the best things you can do. I was once told, “You have to climb the mountain of cringe to get to the valley of cool.” This stuck with me. It’s a journey of self-discovery, and often, you have to go through some awkward stages to truly find yourself.
Talk to me about the process of creating “My Darling.” How does it feel to put it out after so long?
“My Darling” started as an old love song demo I made when I first moved to LA. Recently, after going through a breakup, I revisited it. Having grown up with sisters and a large family, I’ve seen many relationship dynamics, which have always fascinated me despite not being particularly relationship-oriented myself.
After my breakup, this demo, “Darling, My Angel,” kept coming up, and people telling me they loved it. One day, I decided to make it something more. I sat down with Slush Puppy, the producer, and told him that I was feeling a bit angry and wanted it to be more angsty. We turned it into a ’60s love song with a rock twist. It was fun to create, trying to outdo what I’d done before. The creative process was really fun.
I’m curious to know: What’s your definition of love? And what’s your love language?
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve been in love yet, so it’s difficult for me to define it. I don’t even fully know what it means. As for my love language, I’d say it’s acts of service. I appreciate it when people do nice things for me. For now, love isn’t something I’m seeking, but maybe in the future, it will find me.
I can imagine you probably record a lot of songs prior to the release of “My Darling.” What made this the perfect debut record?
I created plenty of songs last year, around 50 or so. All of them are incredible and will be included in future projects. However, with “Darling,” it was the first song where I felt I had complete creative control. It was just Slush Puppy and me in the room, collaborating on writing and production.
While I love all my other songs, this one resonated more with me because I made it recently, and I had just learned how to produce. I was more confident, and it was wonderful to see my ideas come to life in such a direct way, without too many people in the room or feeling restrained in expressing what I wanted. I feel it’s a very “me” song, and I had a lot of creative freedom with it.
I feel like when creating music, every artist has a specific person or audience in mind. Whether that be the subject of the song or general emotions that others can relate to, who do you make music for?
I would say I make music for anyone who might see a bit of themselves in me — those who are a little crazy, a little quirky, and fun. But honestly, my music could resonate with anyone. I enjoy writing songs about real-life experiences and universal emotions because music has a unique ability to bring people together. It offers a moment to switch off and focus on a single thing. Whether it’s a song about problem-solving or being in a bad relationship, if it creates a connection with people, that’s who it’s for.
Also, it’s summertime! What are you looking forward to this season?
This summer, I’m looking forward to traveling. Now that “Darling” is out there, I think it would be fun to go somewhere I’ve never been before, like Europe, and maybe write some songs there. I’ve heard that the music people in Europe are very talented. So, my biggest plans are traveling and making more music.
How would you describe your style?
About my style, I’ve always loved just trying the weirdest things with what I wear. I remember in high school, I would wear boxers to school. That’s probably the worst example I could have given you, but I’m just saying, I love trying weird stuff. This is so bad, but I love getting reactions from people.
Like recently, I have gone to a lot of thrift stores and gotten a lot of vintage pieces from, you know, like the 60s. And I think it’s so fun to really put a visual with my music. I think that’s been really fun to do the 60s thing and just like all older influences with you know, fashion and I think blending the modern and vintage is super fun right now. But I overall love just doing the weirdest things with clothes.
Lastly, I know you teased the music video for “My Darling” a bit earlier. Can you give us a sneak peek of what to expect?
I actually ran around and made my own music video a month before I knew that I was actually going to get to film a music video. And so I kind of created the concept. The concept is like, just illustrating a toxic relationship, kind of in action. And I think the main thing that I’m excited for is people to just like, be able to put a visual behind my music because my song means so much more than just a song. I’m so excited for people actually to see the story behind it and see the whole visual. Like, the clothes are so amazing, and I love the hair and makeup. My music video is so amazing and I’m so excited for people to see it because it’s like a movie.