"There is nowhere to hide behind pretty vocals. It’s just you, and your message." Melbourne-based electro-pop singer Bel delivers her first-class EP "T1" evoking hints of Lorde, FKA Twigs and Banks while finding her own niche. By merging poetry, pop, electro and strong visuals, Bel created an emotional experience underlining her talent as an ultra-versatile artist. Exclusive for IRK, Bel explains how she came up with the spoken word poem, the importance of fashion and the value of good visuals for an artist.
(exclusive photos of @eyesofbel taken during a zoom meeting by Steph Cammarano @stephcammarano//Bel is wearing Dion Lee corset, Junya Watanabe X Yohji Yamamoto Jeans, Louis Vuitton boots, Vintage earrings//special thanks to @frazescreative)
Your new single is called « Good News ». What were some good news you received recently?
Every day that my friends and family are well, happy and kicking goals in their lives is ‘Good News’. The pandemic has made us all (those with moral consciences) shift their value systems and morals. What I now classify as ‘Good News’ is when those around me are safe and happy.
What inspired you to do the spoken word poem? Does it feel different to express feelings through a song than through a poem?
Spoken word, poetry and prose has been a part of my life longer than music. I started writing poetry when I was 5 years old, and I only started writing music as a teenager. To deny my artistry of what it wants to be is to deny myself. Spoken word to me, is kind of like rap in the sense that it’s not traditional singing, but it’s still rhythmic and musical. Performing spoken word is much harder than singing. It requires a deeper level of intuition, emotional tapping and acting. It’s very vulnerable. And I LOVE the challenge this brings. There is nowhere to hide behind pretty vocals. It’s just you, and your message. I’ve always loved acting, so spoken word helps bring out this theatrical side to me, showing a different side of my artistry and skills as a writer.
How important is the visual aspect for your work? Do you think a video clip can enhance and reinforce the essence and feeling of a song?
It is equally as important as the music to me. This may be seen as taboo as even I agree that “the music comes first”. That being said, I consider myself to be multi-disciplinary creator in the sense that I am also an art director and stylist. Music feels incomplete to me without visuals. The purpose of a music video or visualiser is absolutely to enhance what the song brings, kind of like how salt and pepper enhances the flavour of food. I’ve got those skills as a visual artist due to sheer hard work, so I may as well use them.
How important is fashion for you as an artist?
Fashion is more important to me as a person than an artist. I have a tattoo of a balloon attached to a clothing hangar, symbolising how fashion helped set me free from so many internal demons. Naturally, it’s weaved its way into my work because it’s such a huge part of my personal life. Exploring classic, new-gen and archival runway fashion I believe enhances the work I produce. I can’t wait to delve into the fashion world more, in hope of collaborating, designing and curating work for designers and brand houses.