hai Bessie Turner

In this week's Hai Society, we wanted to introduce you to Bessie Turner, a London based singer and songwriter, who's catchy alt-pop melodies and touchingly relatable lyrics have been spinning round in our minds since we first heard them played on BBC Radio 6 earlier this year.

Determined to share the songs of Bessie's EP, Rushing, with Summer Spotify playlists throughout our community, we checked in with her to dive a little deeper into the mind behind this joyful music and she took us on a day out with her and her new Dorothea Bag!

What do you do?

My name’s Bessie Turner and I’m a musician, writer, singer etc

Where do you call home?

Big question. I think home geographically for me nowadays is London, and in my heart home is anywhere with my loved ones around me and preferably a lot of trees and green. I grew up in Suffolk and sometimes really miss knowing that I’m not far from the sea but as life has progressed and morphed, North London is the place I call home for now.

What/where/who inspires your work?

People, places, things, my inner child, experiences… The usual I guess and also the absolute most mundane things. My melodies and little lines of songs always come when I’ve had a bit of an empty head and not much to think about… like when I’m washing up or walking to the shop or something. The seaside and forests are always great for thinking, big empty nothing lawless places. Or when I’m walking at night on a busy street singing to myself after a couple of drinks.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

The first job I really wanted was on the deli counter in Somerfield, I was enamoured by the women that got to slice cheese with massive wires and weight stuff and press buttons… but I was about 4… Then growing up I always thought of maybe teaching or becoming a counsellor of some kind, I enjoyed helping people. Then in my late teens I really wanted to try and be a photographer and an artist. I was quite shy with my voice and secretly wanted to be a backing singer but would never have admitted it.

What's your favourite soft beverage?

Ice cold weak orange squash. Or really fresh limey ice water.

A song that you could listen to on repeat and never get tired of?

Les Fleurs by Minnie Ripperton, makes me feel the same buzzy sensation as the first time I ever heard it as a child every time it graces my ears.

What's your fancy dress look of choice?

A lazy last minute bit of blood on my face and a fake bruise. I’m always a bit jealous of people that really commit to outfits… next year I’ll up my game but I say that every year round…

Favourite restaurant in the world?

I honestly don’t have an answer for this it’s really frustrating… Vietnamese - Tay Do Kingsland Road. Indian - Jai Krishna Stroud Green Road.


What should be on our playlists right now?

I’ve been listening to Alessi Brothers a bit lately, really perky and just bloody nice. Also High-grade by Tirzah is an amazing record.

What’s your most treasured possession?

My engagement ring. It’s precious and weird and old and full of stories and energy. It’s this beautiful, mythical thing and I feel like it’s lived multiple lives.

Can we catch you playing at any festivals this Summer?

You can, I’ll be performing at Latitude and Standon Calling in July and then Victorious Festival in August, maybe a little secret London thing too…

If you had to eat one breakfast food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Yeast extract on really fancy sourdough toast… with avocado if it’s allowed but just as it is if we’re rationing. It’s my biggest comfort food I love it. I also love miso soupy broths in the morning if I’m allowed that as a side.

Favourite vintage/second hand store in the world?

Over the years I’ve always found amazing pieces in Snape Antiques and Collectors Centre which is a little spot in Suffolk semi close to where I grew up. Staying in East Anglia there’s Messina Hembry who do incredible pieces - I’ve got the most wonderful little mushroomy Gucci neck scarf from here it’s one of my most prized possessions. And also Dregs Threads for mad weird vintage t-shirts and super fun bits.

What are your hopes and dreams for 2022?

My hopes and dreams are to finish my debut album and get it into good shape for whenever it will be born unto the earth and also to continue working on feeling at peace and loving myself loads and loads. I’m also marrying my favourite person on earth this year so that’s the start of a big old dream already.

Where are you going to wear your Hai bag next?

I’m working in Amsterdam soon so it will accompany on the pretty streets over there before holding the vans keys and other necessities at some festivals I’m performing at over the summer.

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What do you do?

My name’s Bessie Turner and I’m a musician, writer, singer etc

Where do you call home?

Big question. I think home geographically for me nowadays is London, and in my heart home is anywhere with my loved ones around me and preferably a lot of trees and green. I grew up in Suffolk and sometimes really miss knowing that I’m not far from the sea but as life has progressed and morphed, North London is the place I call home for now.

What/where/who inspires your work?

People, places, things, my inner child, experiences… The usual I guess and also the absolute most mundane things. My melodies and little lines of songs always come when I’ve had a bit of an empty head and not much to think about… like when I’m washing up or walking to the shop or something. The seaside and forests are always great for thinking, big empty nothing lawless places. Or when I’m walking at night on a busy street singing to myself after a couple of drinks.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

The first job I really wanted was on the deli counter in Somerfield, I was enamoured by the women that got to slice cheese with massive wires and weight stuff and press buttons… but I was about 4… Then growing up I always thought of maybe teaching or becoming a counsellor of some kind, I enjoyed helping people. Then in my late teens I really wanted to try and be a photographer and an artist. I was quite shy with my voice and secretly wanted to be a backing singer but would never have admitted it.

What's your favourite soft beverage?

Ice cold weak orange squash. Or really fresh limey ice water.

A song that you could listen to on repeat and never get tired of?

Les Fleurs by Minnie Ripperton, makes me feel the same buzzy sensation as the first time I ever heard it as a child every time it graces my ears.

What's your fancy dress look of choice?

A lazy last minute bit of blood on my face and a fake bruise. I’m always a bit jealous of people that really commit to outfits… next year I’ll up my game but I say that every year round…

Favourite restaurant in the world?

I honestly don’t have an answer for this it’s really frustrating… Vietnamese - Tay Do Kingsland Road. Indian - Jai Krishna Stroud Green Road.


What should be on our playlists right now?

I’ve been listening to Alessi Brothers a bit lately, really perky and just bloody nice. Also High-grade by Tirzah is an amazing record.

What’s your most treasured possession?

My engagement ring. It’s precious and weird and old and full of stories and energy. It’s this beautiful, mythical thing and I feel like it’s lived multiple lives.

Can we catch you playing at any festivals this Summer?

You can, I’ll be performing at Latitude and Standon Calling in July and then Victorious Festival in August, maybe a little secret London thing too…

If you had to eat one breakfast food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Yeast extract on really fancy sourdough toast… with avocado if it’s allowed but just as it is if we’re rationing. It’s my biggest comfort food I love it. I also love miso soupy broths in the morning if I’m allowed that as a side.

Favourite vintage/second hand store in the world?

Over the years I’ve always found amazing pieces in Snape Antiques and Collectors Centre which is a little spot in Suffolk semi close to where I grew up. Staying in East Anglia there’s Messina Hembry who do incredible pieces - I’ve got the most wonderful little mushroomy Gucci neck scarf from here it’s one of my most prized possessions. And also Dregs Threads for mad weird vintage t-shirts and super fun bits.

What are your hopes and dreams for 2022?

My hopes and dreams are to finish my debut album and get it into good shape for whenever it will be born unto the earth and also to continue working on feeling at peace and loving myself loads and loads. I’m also marrying my favourite person on earth this year so that’s the start of a big old dream already.

Where are you going to wear your Hai bag next?

I’m working in Amsterdam soon so it will accompany on the pretty streets over there before holding the vans keys and other necessities at some festivals I’m performing at over the summer.

@bessieturner_