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Bel

Bel

PHOTOS BY DAVY KESEY • INTERVIEW BY CARIANN BRADLEY • HAIR STYLIST CREDIT, MATILDE CAMPOS

CHECK OUT BEL'S NEW SINGLE HERE, AND HER NEWEST MUSIC VIDEO HERE.

Midnight Woman Moon

CARIANN: Tell me a bit about your background personally.

BEL: I am from Melbourne, Australia – first generation of my family on both sides born there. My father was born in Germany, of Hungarian descent. My mother was born in New Zealand, of Polish descent. My dad grew up speaking Hungarian and Hebrew, and when he and his parents came to Australia, they couldn’t speak a word of English. My mum moved here to study medicine when she was in her 20’s. Both of my parents are medical specialists, and all of my siblings are lawyers or in business. I am the only one in my entire immediate and extended family that has chosen to pursue a creative path. As you can imagine, I feel terror on the daily. Going against the academic life that I was raised not only to have, but to want, has been extremely challenging, but character building. When I realised that you can apply an academic approach with extreme rigour to your art, I was able to justify to myself and my family that I can do this. I love to use my brain, and push myself in academic realms, and I love the obscurity of music and fashion and how it drives me to learn more.

C: I know some young people that feel like the black sheep in their family because they're artistic or alternative. What do you have to say to those kids out there?

B: There are so many things I want to say. Firstly, just because you want to live a creative life, it doesn’t make you any less smart. That was a big one for me. When people tell me “it’s a shame” that I’m not “putting my brains to good use”, it still hurts me. So, it’s important to know that living creatively does not diminish your intelligence, it just means you’re using it in a different way. On an interpersonal manner, you must register the fact that you’re not a freak, and that you deserve recognition for your passions amongst a group of people who may disagree. I’ve had to distance myself from people in my family who refuse to acknowledge my existence as an artist. Don’t feel afraid to do the same. 

C: How do you think your academic/analytical background differentiates your music from other artists?

B: My academic background allows me to work at a rate and intensity that I don’t believe is possible for many people. I’m not better or smarter than anyone else, but I have been conditioned to work myself to exhaustion because it’s what my parents have done. I thank them for it. They have fought for their children to have the world, so I feel it’s my absolute duty to do the same back. In relation to how it differentiates my music, I think it comes down to perspective. I assess and navigate the finest of details in every lyric, melody, beat, sound and visual. I am hoping the ‘finesse’ is my thing. 

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"It’s important to know that living creatively does not diminish your intelligence, it just means you’re using it in a different way. In an interpersonal manner, you must register the fact that you’re not a freak, and that you deserve recognition for your passions amongst a group of people who may disagree."

"It’s important to know that living creatively does not diminish your intelligence, it just means you’re using it in a different way. In an interpersonal manner, you must register the fact that you’re not a freak, and that you deserve recognition for your passions amongst a group of people who may disagree."

"It’s important to know that living creatively does not diminish your intelligence, it just means you’re using it in a different way. In an interpersonal manner, you must register the fact that you’re not a freak, and that you deserve recognition for your passions amongst a group of people who may disagree."

"It’s important to know that living creatively does not diminish your intelligence, it just means you’re using it in a different way. In an interpersonal manner, you must register the fact that you’re not a freak, and that you deserve recognition for your passions amongst a group of people who may disagree."

C: Does your heritage influence your art at all? If yes, how so?

 It has a little bit. There are certain scales and chord progressions that are iconic in Hebrew/Jewish song. I had a phase where I loved analysing them all and I think it made me more away of various kinds of world music. Now, I use a lot of world instruments in my songs because I’m so hyperaware of the amazing sounds of the past that are on offer work well when incorporated into pop music.

C: Everything you do -- music, videos, photos -- seem very specific artistically. Talk to me about your vision for your projects and what your process looks like.

B: As I’ve learnt more about myself and artistry, I have realised that I do in fact have a very strong visual artistry that innately weaves itself throughout all my visuals. I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know all parts of myself, and with that came the ability to construct imagery and visual art that feels authentically ‘Bel’. I’m not sure how to describe my “process”, as there is no clear way in my mind to unpack a new visual medium or create something you’ve never created before. For me, I kind of just try my best to make what I visualise inside my head a reality. I suppose I am lucky as I am a rather poetic individual, and I know how to use words to convey things I want to those I work with. It’s not always easy though. Often things don’t go to plan but then you end up discovering new ways of creating. I used to be a really stubborn person and couldn’t bear the thought of listening to other people’s ideas, especially when it came to my own art: the typical know-it-all teenager. Now, I learn the most from others. That being said, the buck always stops with me. I’ve worked so hard to be confident in leading the direction of my visuals, but there’s no clear path to get to that point. Everyone has to get there in their own way and time.

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I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know all parts of myself, and with that came the ability to construct imagery and visual art that feels authentically ‘Bel’

I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know all parts of myself, and with that came the ability to construct imagery and visual art that feels authentically ‘Bel’

I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know all parts of myself, and with that came the ability to construct imagery and visual art that feels authentically ‘Bel’

I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know all parts of myself, and with that came the ability to construct imagery and visual art that feels authentically ‘Bel’

I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know all parts of myself, and with that came the ability to construct imagery and visual art that feels authentically ‘Bel’

C: Who are you itching to collaborate with? And what is your favorite part about collaborating with other musicians (or artists in general)? 

There are so many artists that I would die to collaborate with. One of the things I am MOST excited about as my career grows is working on tracks with and for other artists. Whether that’s a feature collaboration or simply writing for other artists, I am here for it ALL. Sevdaliza, James Blake, FKA Twigs, Thom Yorke, Sampha, Sigur Ros, Tyler the Creator etc. are only a few of the names that I want to work with. My favourite part about collaborating with musicians/producers or designers/artists is learning from them – seeing their process, witnessing something new, observing all that they are in hope of manifesting some of the qualities or skills that I admire in them.

C: Will you talk to me a bit about "Better Than Me" and what's coming up next for you? 

"Better Than Me" follows the narrative of a girl who is going through various metamorphoses; from passive to assertive, teenager to adult, quiet to loud. It’s a very important track to me, and I hope that the lyrics provide solace to those who are wanting to scream out the same message to whomever or whatever made them feel like they are second best. I have a lot more music due out this year, and as you can expect, with my music will always come visual components. That’s all I will say for now.

C: Perhaps you can talk to me a bit about "Spectre" as well?

Spectre is an ominous ode to telling the negative presences in your life to fuck off. I’m very excited about the video for this song too. Standby!

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For general inquiries, please contact us at hello@midnight-woman.com

 

For advertising opportunities, please write to us at goldie@midnight-woman.com

 

Have you been to Midnight Woman? That's our sister.

Midnight Woman is an online platform that welcomes contributors of all kinds to submit personal experiences anonymously.

We aim to redefine the way we talk about what's happened to us, no matter the subject. l'Odet exists for the named to encourage the nameless.

Midnight Woman is an online platform that welcomes contributors of all kinds to submit personal experiences.

We aim to redefine the way we talk about what's happened to us, no matter the subject. L'Odet exists for the named to encourage the nameless.