Getting to know the off-kilter pop sensation.
Originally studying jazz double bass at Guildhall School of Music, Bellatrix was originally all about the double bass before she decided to teach herself how to sing and write her own music. Creating her own haunting take on pop music, this resulted in Nao becoming hooked after hearing her Soundcloud and playing her on her BBC R1 Show.
Now with three brilliant releases under her belt – “Still Lookin For”, “Be Your Bitch” and “After More” – Bellatrix is establishing herself as a pioneer in new wave pop music. Combining pulsating synths and beautiful vocals, her tracks are fiercely original and wildly exciting.
With more amazing things certain to appear on the horizon, we sat down with the bewitching songwriter to find out all about her.
When did you fall in love with music?
I honestly can’t remember falling in love with music because it’s always been part of the furniture. Dad is a musician, so when I was little he’d take me to his gigs and put me to bed behind his keyboards. My early exposure to music was super eclectic and I think I owe a lot to that.
Who would you say are your main musical influences?
Growing up I was always surrounded by so many amazing musicians from all over the world. Since graduating from music college (I studied jazz double bass), I’ve made my living from playing music with even more amazing musicians and travelling and discovering and listening and jamming. There’s no doubt in my mind that who I am as a musician is made up by all of these experiences, for which I am massively grateful. But I know you wanna hear names, so… There are loads! I’m inspired by artists who write because something needs to be expressed: Nina Simone, Charles Mingus and Björk, to name three.
What was the inspiration behind your first track, “Still Looking For”?
“Still Looking For” is about the quest to be reunited with this wild and powerful creature beneath all our layers of conditioning. I feel that humanity is all off kilter. We’ve got lots of work to do and it’s hard because maybe we don’t have as much freedom of thought as we think we do. It’s time to shake things up a bit!
And for your track “After More”?
It’s track three of four from my debut EP (Real Stuffed Owls), and it’s a bit more dancey than the first two. A bit like “Still Looking For”, this one’s about reconnecting with the wild and the mystical, and how things that were once natural to human kind have become abstract and forgotten as the modern world forces us into numbness. It’s about searching, surrender, and the cyclic nature of the feminine.
“Dad is a musician, so when I was little he’d take me to his gigs and put me to bed behind his keyboards.”
What is your creative process?
I have a really chaotic brain, and long ago gave up on trying to be systematic or structured about things. One great writing tool I took from the bands I used to be in was to create loads of small song nuggets, as a starting point. I’ll limit myself to 25 minutes working on one sketch, take 5 mins break and then start a completely new one. At the end of the day I’ll have a fruity selection from all the corners of my mind… some for further development and loads for the bin! I have some basic production skills so I’ll do what I can at home, and then get in the studio with production duo Exmoor Emperor. They’re good friends of mine and we’ve worked together on various projects for years.
If you could hang out with any band or artist, who would it be?
I dunno, I kind of feel really awkward and weird in the presence of my heroes. I wanna say Bjork but in real life I’m sure I’d find the whole affair very stressful! I usually end up forgetting who I am, and get all caught up in trying really hard to be cool and charismatic… and failing.
What else do you have lined up for this year?
My debut EP “Real Stuffed Owls” is gonna drop this month, and with that all wrapped up and ready to go I’m now doing lots of new writing. In fact I am right this very minute sat in my bedroom recording the vocals to some new tracks I’ve been working on with Exmoor Emperor. And I’m super hyped because I’ve just booked in rehearsals with my new band! The first gig is gonna be in London, in August – exact date TBC. I’m too excited to get on this live show!