THIS is definitely the final interview of the week...
and I have been speaking with Bellah about her music and the new track, Never Loved. She reveals its story and discusses the upcoming E.P., Last Train Home. I was curious to know which albums have made the biggest impact on her and whether she prefers the stage or the studio.
Bellah talks about future plans and highlights some rising artists to watch; whether there will be any tour dates and what advice she would provide musicians emerging – she selects a cool song to end the interview with.
Hi, Bellah. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey! I’m great, thank you. My week’s been good too.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Bellah. I’m twenty-two, London-born Nigerian; originally from North London but now I reside in Essex. I grew up doing musical theatre and so I developed a love for music and the arts from there. I started writing and creating my own music when I was seventeen and I’ve been working on me and my music since then.
Never Loved is your new single. Is there a story behind it?
I had a weird and frustrating end to a previous relationship and I was looking to him for closure but he wasn’t willing to give me that. So, I had a bunch of unanswered questions and it was infuriating. They say you should write down your feelings apparently and so I started writing diary entries and that did not help one bit. Haha!
So, I guess the song was the closure I needed.
It is from the upcoming E.P. Last Train Home. What sort of themes and experiences do you bring to the tracks?
Last Train Home is literally my thoughts recorded. Every song is different but fits perfectly on the E.P. (It’s actually quite weird). They’re not all love songs - which I thought was needed because I wanted it to be as me as possible - and I don’t think I’m at a stage in life where I can write those and actually mean it.
Which artists were important to you growing up? Who do you rank as idols?
Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill; Destiny’s Child, Luther Vandross; Usher, Justin Timberlake; Ne-Yo…the list goes on really.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – Lauryn Hill; So Far Gone (mixtape) – Drake (I know it’s not an album but O.M.G.) and Off the Wall - Michael Jackson
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is self-explanatory: I mean, to me, they all are but that album really showed me what it was to be an open book. That album was incredible.
The So Far Gone mixtape is actually a masterpiece. I was thirteen, singing about things I had no business singing about and I loved every minute of it. Lust for Life, Sooner than Later; Houstatlantavegas - absolutely amazing.
Off the Wall has my favourite song of all time on it - Rock with You. Michael is a genius and this whole album just makes me feel warm.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I would love to support H.E.R., Kehlani or Ariana Grande.
And my rider would just be excessive amounts of Chinese/Japanese food, Fiji Water; strawberries, raspberries; grapefruits, mangos; strawberry lemonade and a humidifier.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Study and work on your craft until you become undeniable; never stop learning and listen to the people around you that you consider more advanced or more credible to you.
Do you think there are going to any tour dates coming up?
I couldn’t tell you if I wanted to (haha), but hopefully.
How important is performing? Do you prefer it to life in the studio?
If you asked this question a year ago I would have told you I preferred performing but spending time creating and writing holds a special place in my heart now so I love performing and life in the studio equally.
What is your favourite career memory so far?
A stand out moment for me in music was when I performed at a local festival in 2014. It was held outside in a tent and for the whole day before I performed it was clear skies and then, ten minutes before I performed, it started pouring down with rain. This forced everyone - whether they where attending the show or not - to huddle into the tent. So, I got a much bigger crowd than I expected and fate just so had it that my now managers were in the audience. I had dancers and backing vocalists; it really felt like my concert!
IN THIS PHOTO: Summer Walker
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
I’ve been obsessed with Summer Walker. She’s really cool.
What do you think of the modern scene and the sounds coming out?
I think music is evolving as it does and as it should. I’m happy that music has more influences from around the world now as well. I’m here for the fusion of genres and creating new sounds. I also love that R&B is making a comeback!
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I don’t really but, when I do have time to myself, I love travelling and eating. Food is amazing. Haha!
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
needy - Ariana Grande