Words by Lillie Hull
Bethany, AKA James the Seventh, is a 20-year-old musician based in the US.
Music wasn’t her original goal for her life, but due to an accident that stopped her dancing career in 2020 it was the only thing that kept her going.
The name James the Seventh came from her father, who is the 6th in a line of James’ and she chose it because it is a little joke in her family that herself and her sisters would have all been named James.
Bethany started dancing when she was around 7-years-old and was dancing for 12 years. She left school at age 13 to pursue her dance career, where she trained for 40 hours a week to become a ballerina. But this all changed in January of 2020 when she tore her ACL in a ballet class and got surgery in the following March.
“During the pandemic I found music and my love for it, hoping to go back to dance but unfortunately became re-injured in November due to joint flexibility.”
Finding out that she would have to give up ballet was devastating for Bethany, but music was the driving force behind her recovery. As of right now dancing is off the table, but she is hoping that in the future she can pick it back up again. But in the mean time she has music.
“I had a new creative outlet that I discovered I loved just as much as I loved ballet.”
Music has always been a part of Bethany’s life, she briefly dabbled in song writing when she was 18 but had put it off to focus on ballet. But once she was injured a year later, she really delved back into it to see if it was something that she could do.
In December of 2020 she began producing her own music and released her first single “You Don’t Know Me” in January 2021. Some of her inspirations are Lorde, Marina, Banks, Billie Eilish and Lana del Rey. And like most musicians her music is inspired by her own life events.
When talking about the future, Bethany would love to be able to tour and play shows around the world and to just be able to grow as a musician as much as she can. She has always been drawn to doing creative things as a career.
“Whether it may be dance, fashion, music or anything of that sort, but music certainly won me over.”
In the future Bethany hopes that she can collaborate with artists such as Lorde, The Marias or Conan Gray. Conan Gray had a similar startup to Bethany, where they both began their stories and careers on a social media platform and grew from there. Hopefully Bethany will be able to keep growing and achieve all her dreams.
When asked if she would go back and change the past, she said she wouldn’t.
“I am actually very grateful for the ways things played out, even if things felt difficult at times, I do think it was worth it because it led me to making music.... If I could go back and say something, I would tell myself to not let the fear of judgement dictate my self-expression. I think it’s easy to make yourself smaller as you grow older out of fear of what others think, and that is definitely something that making music of my own has helped me realize and let go of.”
Bethany has big plans for more music soon . Her latest single is “Wouldn’t It Be Nice to Not Care Too?” is out now.