By Cristina Paolozzi, August 16 2021—
Indo-Canadian music duo 2Be released their debut single “Beautiful Fool” on Aug. 8. 2Be includes Jee Bath, an alumna from the University of Calgary, and Ray Bath, a current student, who write, mix and produce their own music.
Inspired by the character Daisy from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the song explores the experiences of being a woman in today’s world, taking inspiration from Daisy’s iconic quote from the novel: ”I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
In an interview with the Gauntlet, Ray and Jee spoke about the inspiration behind their debut song, as well as the experiences they’ve had as emerging female artists of colour in the music industry.
Jee says that after rereading the book and rewatching the film with her sister, they both found themselves thinking about the film’s portrayal of Daisy well after the credits stopped rolling.
“We started discussing the characters and everything, and the character of Daisy came up,” says Jee. “We didn’t really leave that topic for the rest of the night — she’s so morally ambiguous.”
Jee revealed that the song came together quickly, as both herself and Ray loved how the initial draft turned out. After playing the first few seconds of the song Jee had written, Ray agreed to record it, and the rest of the process came together smoothly.
Ray mentioned that one of the reasons Daisy became such an inspiration was because of the way she is constantly portrayed by other male characters throughout the book.
“She’s such a vessel for femininity and the way that women are perceived in our society, especially in the book — the way that she is portrayed is by Nick is very one-sided. Nick really portrayed her as this golden girl, this golden object,” Ray says. “And so we were really inspired by that.”
Jee says that the choices or the perception of choice that Daisy is given in the book reflect the real-world opportunities that are sometimes presented to women, which was also a theme that deeply resonated with the duo.
Jee says that the choice Daisy is presented between Tom, her husband, and Gatsby, reveal more about what society expects of women than it does about the nature of Daisy’s character as a whole.
“The more you read it, and the more you explore what it means to be a woman,” Jee says. “Was there really a choice to begin with? Or was it like she always had to go with Tom because that’s what’s expected of her as a mother, as a daughter, as a wife. She’s kind of a metaphor for the choices women are given or the illusion of choices women are given.”
Ray says she hopes the main takeaway for listeners is to consider different perspectives.
“We wrote the song to be emotional and melancholic, and even though it’s very melodic, it’s not exactly typical or something you would hear on the radio,” says Ray. “We hope that people are able to not only see Daisy’s perspective but are able to start considering different perspectives and different points of view of the people in their lives.”
Although just getting started in their career, this duo hopes to bring representation and confidence to young artists of colour who are hoping to jump into the music industry.
“We’re hoping that what we can do is start to represent people who look like us — women and people of colour — and the biggest thing we think that we can do is to be authentic and be ourselves and hopefully other people can follow suit and pursue their own passion,” says Ray.
However, Jee spoke about also incorporating their Indian roots into their music.
“As far as being Indo-Canadian, you see a lot of references to that in our music, specifically with Punjabi folk music — that use of metaphor and description is really common and really prevalent in our music,” says Jee. “Going forward we kind of want to explore that more.”
Ray concluded that this song uses Daisy as a way to navigate the experiences of being a woman.
“This song is beyond Daisy,” she says. “It’s about being a woman, and it’s about being put in a difficult situation — it’s about freedom and it’s about the choices that we make happen in our lives.”