UPDATED: BEL. Where art, music and fashion meet. The multi-disciplinary artist's debut EP Melancholia is out today. And it's a stunner.
Well, Friday 10 February is officially BEL Day! The much anticipated EP Melancholia is released and unleashed for all to hear! To mark the occasion of this wonderful multidisciplinary artist making waves around the country, Music Love checked in with BEL for a little update about the EP as well as her launch event which will be a feast for the eyes, as well as the ears. If you're in Melbourne, you should get there. (Details below). Congratulations BEL!
How are you feeling about sharing the whole EP with everyone?
I am feeling a range of emotions. I would say the predominant one is excitement, however, of course I feel fear and trepidation. This is expected. I have worked on not only this body of work but myself as an artist for a while now, and this is my first extended release. It’s the most terrifying thing I have ever done. Nevertheless, I couldn’t be more grateful and ready to put this out. I’m proud of it and hope people take something out of it.
You told Pilerats that that each track reflects a different part of you. Is there a particular song that you are most looking forward to revealing?
This is a hard question! I think it would have to be Big Bad Beast. I’m really proud of the production and its intricacies. John and I worked super hard on it.
You have definitely solidified yourself as a multi-disciplinary artist, with an EP launch that won’t just be a musical performance. What visuals can people expect at your event on 18 February?
Thank you, for me that is the biggest compliment! My view on the EP launch is that the people who support music deserve the artist’s time and attention. I have tried to be super creative within the resources I have available to me to create a night that honours the art forms. We have many types of artists such as an animator, fashion designer, painter and more who will all be showcasing their gifts. I’ve chosen these artists for a reason and I hope people enjoy their work as much as they do my set. I am also excited because my live set has expanded heaps! We have added and changed a few things in the set up so I am super stoked to play it.
In the meantime, check out our interview with BEL from our launch week, November 2016, below.
BEL is an electronic artist whose music is making waves. We seem to find ourselves in a moment of experimental music accompanied with envelope-pushing imagery - Music Love will be exploring this with more interviews, features and playlists, so keep your eyes and ears out - BEL encapsulates the current zeitgeist. Upon hearing BEL's first single Dazed, Triple J's Home and Hosed host Dom Alessio described BEL's sound as "Pop music from the shadows." BEL has just released a brand new song called Own Home (her third single after Dazed and Melancholia - an EP is currently in the works), and has just finished touring with fellow electronic acts Alice Ivy and E^ST. Take some time to get to know 20-year-old Melbourne based BEL as she talks all things art, fashion, and her vigorous vocal routine.
What does music mean to you?
Music provides a metaphorical yet tangible platform for me to tell people exactly how I feel about myself, the world and my place in it without being directly specific. It’s a truly special form of self-expression that I am grateful to have. Not everybody has something that means more to them then themselves.
How you have developed your artistic vision?
I have always had a very strong sense of internal intuition. I knew I always wanted to help people. This desire in conjunction with my deep passion of all things art, fashion and culture helped form what I consider to be quite a refined artistic style. Using metaphors is something that comes up in almost all my songs. I like to cocoon confronting topics in something more palatable. My music is almost always introspective. I don’t like to write about things I can’t relate too.
Tell us the importance of imagery when dreaming up a song.
For me, imagery comes second to music. When I have constructed something I am musically proud of, I’ll brainstorm the most creative way to visually portray it. It’s important to me combine the visuals and sonics.
What are your thoughts behind all your photos and your music video for Melancholia?
With the video for Melancholia, my goal was to show exactly what it’s like to be inside my head. I came up with a montage of different visuals to portray my emotions, and I put them all in one place and this is how the video was formed. My beautiful and talented friends Tre & Elmaz helped me bring it to life.
How often does someone catch you singing randomly?
People catch me singing randomly more than I care to admit. I often get weird stares on the train. I don’t mind though; I’m just doing my thing.
How do you look after your voice?
I have a rigorous vocal routine that I do before all my shows. I eat a vegan and gluten free diet using a lot of natural herbs from my garden to protect my body/muscles from harm. My voice is a muscle and it deserves the best care I can give it.
Who are your favourite Australian women in music?
This is the toughest question. There are SO many people right now that make me so proud to call friends in this industry. I am loving being on tour with E^ST & Alice Ivy – they are both young, inspiring artists and I’m proud to call them my friends. There are so many others doing me proud and making their voices heard. I am really excited about the future for females in the industry.
Who inspires you?
My mother is the most inspiring, beautiful and loving woman on the planet. She has taught me to be unapologetically myself, a strong feminist and to never back down. I know how to say no, and it’s because of her. There are so many other credible sources of stimuli that inspire me from art to fashion, nature to people. I could write an essay on it.
Do you read?
I don’t read as much as I would like, but I am making a conscious effort to read a lot more. I’m currently reading Small Acts of Disappearance by Fiona Wright; a collection of poetry about her affliction with an eating disorder. It’s really tender and beautiful.
What was life like growing up in Australia for you?
Growing up in Australia has been lovely. I do think it’s the best country in the world. We have beautiful nature, amazing food, incredible live music and mind-blowing art. For me personally, I am glad it’s been Melbourne though. I felt really displaced growing up, so I found refuge in going to art galleries, fashion archives, record stores etc. and most of these things are in Melbourne. I found myself in this city.
What is your favourite place in Australia?
Melbz all the way. However, I have a soft spot for Mt Buller. I grew up on the slopes so nothing pleases me more than hitting the mountains.
What is your favourite Australian café?
As previously mentioned, I am a passionate vegan who lives an organic and sustainable life. Melbourne has the most amazing vegan food it’s so hard to choose. I think for consistency purposes I will have to go to Vegie bar. You can get an absolute feast for $15. For a 20-year-old in a budget, this is amazing.
Who is your favourite Australian fashion designer?
I’m mostly inspired by European/UK fashion, but I have an incredibly soft spot for a designer called Ellery. Her approach is global and I would absolutely love to meet the designer Kym one day. Everything she releases seems authentic and earnest. She’s killing it.
Favourite non-music thing to do?
My favourite non music thing to do is style editorial shoots. Fashion is equally as important to me as my music in the most non superficial way. In the most non corny way, fashion has and still is setting me free from crippling self-doubt and an internal sense of not belonging. Aside from this, I love to cook vegan food for my friends and family When I have a day off which is rare, I love hopping around various small art exhibitions/galleries. Go see the Viktor & Rolf exhibition at the NGV; it’s mind blowing.