By MIKE CHAIKEN
Bea Miller was just going about her business, prepping a new album for her fans, when the call came.
Selena Gomez wanted her to open her tour, which makes its way to Connecticut on May 29.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Bea in a phone interview when asked what her reaction was to the news that Gomez wanted her to open for the tour.
“Selena was one of the artists I grew up with,” said Bea. “It was unbelievable.”
The news, however, came just weeks before the tour launched on May 6, which didn’t give Bea a lot of time to prepare. Preparations included the obvious— rehearsing her songs for her live set—and the not so obvious.
“There are a lot of things you really need to bring,” said Bea.
For instance, Bea said she is bringing her dog on tour. So that means she had to buy extra treats for him.
There are snacks she loves as well and Bea said she has to buy enough because she doesn’t know if her destinations would have them available.
Also, Bea said she doesn’t know what venues have laundry facilities for her to use. So she has to pack enough clothes to keep her between stops.
“So much goes into it,” said Bea. “You need to prepare to be on the road for the next two months of your life.”
“There’s a randomness of stuff you need,” said Bea.
Last time Bea was in Connecticut, opening for Demi Lovato, she performed to a guitarist and a prerecorded backing track. This time around, she has a full band. This also put the crunch on Bea prior to the tour.
“I did quite a few rehearsals… learned the old songs and listened to the new songs (to learn them),” said Bea.
“I also have fittings for outfits (for the stage),” said Bea.
The tour has interrupting Bea’s efforts to record her follow-up to her debut album, “Not an Apology.”
Bea, who first found her way to the public eye with performances on the “X-Factor” has released an EP “Fire and Blood” and the full length.
“Since November, every single day, we’ve been preparing songs,” said Bea. “A couple are finished and they’re just waiting to be mixed.” Other songs are still in demo stages, said Bea.
Part of the process of recording has been getting the producers to understand the organic sound she has been seeking, said Bea. She said she likes a sound that takes into account modern production. But, she also loves the sound of live drums, live bass, and live guitar. “(I want) something that’s not too contemporary and not bubblegum.”
Bea said the album in progress should be exciting for her fans. And it should represent a step forward for herself as an artist, she said.
The songs this time also will represent a more mature Bea Miller.
Many of the songs on “Not an Apology” were written when she was 14 to 15, Bea explained. She’s now 17 and the songs will reflect that.
The first track being available from the album is “Yes, Girl.” The song finds Bea working with Ilsey (Beyonce, Drake, Nick Jonas) and Pop & Oak (Nicki Minaj, Big Sean, Alessia Cara). Oak produced the song and Bea said he was the first producer to really understand the sound she was going for on the new record. (Fans looking to hear the track can find it on Spotify at http://smarturl.it/beamsts1).
When fans come out to check out Bea’s set opening for Selena Gomez, she said her set list will mix some of her older material and a couple of new tracks. Since people are familiar with the songs, she said she will perform her previous hits, “Youngblood” and “Fire and Gold.” And she will also include some of the new tracks from the upcoming album.
Bea Miller opens for Selena Gomez with special guests DNCE on Sunday, May 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville. Tickets are $76, $56, and $46. For more information, go to MoheganSun.com or BeaMiller.com