From car commercials, to film trailers, and even Poundland. There’s a good chance you’ve heard some of Becky Jerams’ music playing in the background in the past decade.
The 31-year-old songstress first picked up a guitar and started tickling the ivories when she was 15.
It has led her down a wonderful path of meeting like-minded musicians on the ‘warm and encouraging’ Southsea music scene, where she performs her acoustic singer-songwriter sets.
But in recent years her career has taken a rather surreal, yet fabulous, change of direction – writing J-pop and K-pop.
For those unaware of the genre, K-pop started in South Korea and is a fusion of electronic, hip hop, pop, rock, and R&B music which is hugely popular across Asia.
It is full of drama, colour and extravagance and singles and albums sell in their millions. K-pop and J-pop are big business. And Becky has written hit records for some of its biggest stars, including Red Velvet and Kana Nishino.
She says: ‘Writing songs started as a hobby but then I realised I could do it professionally and now I write acoustic and pop with a bit of an edge.
‘I’m a bit of a chameleon, I write in lots of different styles. I’m a massive Taylor Swift fan, I love Alanis Morriset, Tori Amos and Lilly Allen.
‘I like being able to do some crazy K-pop one day and then acoustic the next. It’s nice to be an artist but anonymous as well.’
Becky, who lives with husband Mathew Wood in Southsea, started sending demos to publishing companies when she was in her early twenties.
She has since published almost 1,000 songs – about 40 have been taken up and recorded. They have appeared in film trailers and VW car adverts, BBC rugby highlights and television dramas.
She says: ‘My mum even heard one of my songs playing in Poundland once! It’s bizarre when that sort of thing happens but it’s a real buzz, it’s really cool. It always feels like an early Christmas present.’
Becky puts the pop songs together using a computer in her home recording studio but she also gets sent to songwriting camps abroad by publishing companies where she works closely with songwriters and producers from all over the world.
And that is where she was introduced to the K-pop and J-pop market.
‘Japan is one of the only places in the world where people still buy CDs’, says Becky. ‘There are a lot of good royalties to be made.
‘Because I grew up watching anime and I’m very interested in Japanese culture, the chords and melodies were familiar to me. It’s theatrical and dramatic’
Becky and Mat honeymooned in Japan which led to a bizarre experience.
The couple attended the album launch of Kana Nishino’s Love It, which included Becky’s song, Best Friends Forever – and fans were l screaming out the words.
‘Japan was just so surreal, but one of the coolest things that’s ever happened to me’ says Becky. ‘It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Who else can say that has happened to them?’
And You Better Know, by Red Velvet, was their biggest album track. It has had five million streams on Spotify.
‘Two years later fans still message me to say how much it means to them’, says Becky in amazement. ‘One girl said she listened to it for 535 hours to get her through her law exams. She messaged me recently to thank me because she passed!’
Becky’s songs have also appeared in the movie trailer for Mandy Moore’s Love, Wedding Marriage, and a Lifetime film about the late Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith – which, incredibly, Becky had taped to watch without realising.
She is also an accomplished author of teen novels, including Reasons to Love a Nerd Like Me and Could You Love an Apple, and Taylor and Benjamin’s Love Alphabet. All are available online.
Becky admits she’s not a millionaire yet and she cannot give up her day job working in the art shop at the University of Portsmouth.
But adds: ‘I don’t think about the money side, I just enjoy making music. I love the buzz of having my music out there and seeing how people react to it.
‘The people I have met and the places I go are just as much of a reason to do it.
‘I’ve made friends all over the world and I never know who will be dropping into my house to stay!’
To find out more about Becky, or to potentially work with her, go to beckyjerams.com.