RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW LONDON ARTIST BELLA GATE
Hi Bella Thank you for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today. Please grab a brew and take a seat.
1. What inspired your decision to pursue music as your career?
I don’t think I ever saw myself doing anything else really. I’ve been singing all my life, playing instruments since I was six, writing since I was nine, and recording since I was 16. When I was 18, I just decided it was what I had to do. I’ve never loved anything like I love music, so it feels only natural to pursue it as a career.
2. Could you introduce yourself and provide a brief overview of your musical background?
I’m Bella Gate and I taught myself piano when I was eight and never stopped playing. I had drumming lessons from 8 to 13 and still miss it so much. I then picked up the guitar at 15 and still haven’t quite mastered it but I love writing on the guitar.
3. Before diving into music, what was life like for you?
It feels like there was no life before music because I’ve always tried to surround myself with it. Nobody in my family is particularly musical but school gave me a bunch of opportunities to explore my musical side. I’m now studying at university whilst pursuing music as a career and I’m looking to go full-time once I’ve finished my final year.
4. Can you recall the first song that ignited your passion for pursuing a career in music?
The first song that made me believe music was utter magic was David Bowie’s ‘Where Are We Now?’. I couldn’t believe a song could be so powerful and could transport me to where I needed to be no matter where I was.
5. How do you perceive your current position within the music industry?
It’s a tricky business. I’m an independent artist and it’s really tough to get noticed when you’re competing with people who are with labels or have management. I’m just trying to stay focused on my art and to never lose sight of what got me here in the first place: a never-ending love for music.
6. Could you share the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from someone else in the industry?
I guess to enjoy the process and not focus too much on results. I’m having an amazing time releasing music independently and playing gigs. Letting myself enjoy the journey is so important.
7. Let’s have some fun: tell us two true facts about you and one fictional one. Can we guess which is which?
I speak Spanish fluently.
I study Music at university.
I’ve been sober for nearly four years.
8. If you could make one wish to enhance your career, what would it be?
I would want to connect with more musicians, producers, and executives who can push me and get my music out there.
9. In an age of heightened sensitivity and cancel culture, do you ever find yourself concerned about people misinterpreting your work or actions? Can you elaborate on this?
To be honest, no. These days, I put kindness and honesty first and that has yet to go wrong for me. I write mostly about my own experiences and avoid politics in all walks of life which means I don’t think of myself as a particularly controversial artist.
10. Are you a believer in conspiracy theories? If not, why do you choose not to entertain them?
As someone with a big dislike of misinformation, I haven’t yet fallen prey to any conspiracy theories thankfully. I seek emotional truth in my art and factual truths in the media I read – if that even exists anymore.
11. Could you recount the most challenging or unpleasant experience you’ve had on stage?
I was doing a gig, mainly of covers, in a restaurant in Barcelona. I had two phones on my keyboard stand with an Instagram Live going too and then suddenly, the stand fell and everyone in the restaurant and Instagram felt the palpable embarrassment I felt.
12. Share something about you that might surprise your fans or listeners.
I think it might surprise people to know that I study English Literature and Spanish. I don’t study music and I never wanted to. I didn’t want to ever see my art as a task or something that I had to do rather than wanted to. I keep it separate from study and I like it that way – I feel like I can be more creative like this.
13. What do you believe sets you apart as an artist in the music industry?
I think my honesty. I don’t sugarcoat anything and I’m not seeking to fulfill any aesthetic or vibe. I’m don’t let my personal identity define my art. If anything I see my art as more important than something as transient as how I feel or who I love.
14. We’ve heard you have new music in the works. Can you provide some insights into what we can expect?
My latest single is Bathetic Farewell. It’s a break-up song about my first love and loss. It’s melancholic and folky. It tackles issues like depression and addiction which are close to my heart. That’s the latest track but there is much more to come…
15. Describe the process of recording your new music.
I did pre-production over Zoom with my producer, Jordan Round (legend). I then recorded keys and vocals at Sol de Sants Studios in Barcelona and bass and drums at RoomTo Studios, also in Barcelona. I was living there for a year to study abroad and I felt really creative and free out there. It really helped the recording process. I then came home and mastered at Abbey Road with Geoff Pesche (also a legend).
16. What was the most significant learning experience during the creation of your latest songs?
I think to follow my instincts and listen to my gut. Sometime less is more and sometimes you have the vision within you without needing to seek too much inspiration elsewhere.
17. Looking back on your finished work, is there anything you would change or do differently?
In an ideal world, this song would have come out when I was 18 when it was first recorded. However, I’m glad I held off and re-recorded it because I’m much happier with the final product and feel more connected to this recording of the song. I needed time to mature and to trust myself in my creative decisions.
18. Is there any additional message or information you’d like to share with your audience or the world at large?
This is going to make me sound like a hippie but… Love. Love fiercely, love without fear, and love widely. Celebrate the people around you and, most of all, learn to love and treat yourself well.