How PinkPantheress’ Perfectionism Took Her From Bedroom Beats to the Billboard Charts

How PinkPantheress’ Perfectionism Took Her From Bedroom Beats to the Billboard Charts

Since PinkPantheress started uploading her music to TikTok three years ago, her songs have gone from locked away on her hard drive to the Billboard charts — but the singer, songwriter and producer’s recording essentials remain the same: microphone, GarageBand-outfitted laptop and a killer ear for finding niche samples primed for her to mold into the next dance-pop earworm.

The 22-year-old from Bath, England, may have started enlisting fellow producers to help polish her work, as on her recent album Heaven Knows, but make no mistake: From her early viral single “Pain” to her 2023 hit “Boy’s a liar, Pt. 2” with Ice Spice, PinkPantheress has been the creative mastermind. In fact, the self-described perfectionist — whose team lovingly refers to her as “Pink” in lieu of divulging her real name — admits that she often finds herself seizing control of her studio sessions with collaborators.

“As soon as I’m at a point where I can’t do anything else, that’s where I go, ‘OK, now can you do the rest?’ ” she says of her process, laughing. “It ends up being a collaborative thing. I just like to get what I can do out of the way first.” When she comes across another artist’s track that she can’t stop obsessing over, that usually means it’s about to become the skeleton of her next project. “I’m just like, ‘I need to somehow make this my song,’ ” she says.

She can recall only one time that she had to ax a track because she couldn’t get a sample — the original producer’s royalties demands were simply too high. But Billboard’s 2024 Women in Music Producer of the Year knew that what she brought to the table on her own was valuable — something that might inspire young girls who also want to make music — so she walked away.

“For whatever reason, I’ve always felt strongly about that,” she says of her sense of self-worth. “Obviously, it’s a good thing.”

Billboard’s last Producer of the Year honoree, Rosalía, gave you a shoutout during her Women in Music interview. Which female producers inspire you?

That’s really sweet. I didn’t know she knew who I was. Since she’s a [female] producer as well, it’s really cool. There’s obviously not many of us. I’m always going to say WondaGurl, just because she’s who I looked up to when I was starting. Obviously, Imogen Heap, but these are all veterans. I need to tap into more up-and-coming ones.

Sampling has been your bread and butter from the start. How has your process changed over time?

At the beginning, I wasn’t really adding anything to my samples. I was basically just singing over instrumentals. I didn’t mind sampling, but I didn’t like how people… I think people thought it was lazy, and part of me understood what they meant. I’m chopping them, speeding them up or slowing them down way more. I’m adding more instrumentation so it’s more hidden, whereas before it would kind of just be the actual track itself.

PinkPantheress, Women in Music

You’ve said before that some of your songs are “crap.” Do you really think that?

I’m one of those people who, in my whole life, nothing is ever good enough. For better or worse, this is just how I am. I’ll put out a song and think at the time, “This is 100% amazing.” It’s only when I’ve put it out that I doubt myself. Does that mean I think the song’s actually bad? No. Because at the end of the day, I know it’s still a bop.

What advice do you have for other female producers trying to hold their own in the industry?

It’s the vibe you go in with that people judge to see if they can get away with stuff. If you know what you want to make as soon as you step into the room, there should be nothing stopping you from actually doing it. What I’m saying is, if there’s a MIDI keyboard there, ask to use the MIDI keyboard. If [other producers] say no, then that’s wild and definitely leave. But chances are, they’ll say yes.

This story originally appeared in the March 2, 2024, issue of Billboard.

The post “How PinkPantheress’ Perfectionism Took Her From Bedroom Beats to the Billboard Charts” by Rebecca Milzoff was published on 03/04/2024 by