With her stunning single ‘Grieve’, this isn’t the last of Bella McKendree, and we had a chance to have a little chat with her!
Hey Bella! Your voice is simply beautiful! ‘Grieve’ is stunning, can you tell us a little bit of what it is about?
Thank you. It’s a conversation with someone I lost. An expression of grief. I wanted to recognize the feeling, respect the process and give it the space it deserved. Sometimes in our culture we silence that emotion. I’m going against that. There’s something beautifully powerful when you confront it. It actually does you a whole lot of good getting what’s inside out.
How have you found the reaction to ‘Grieve’?
It’s been really amazing and particularly special, as the song is so personal. I was surprised how well people bonded with it, to my vulnerability. I guess everyone can relate in some way. Loss is a part of this life. Knowing this song could help someone in their sadness is quite beautiful I think.
Song writing seems to be an escape for you, is this what you have always dreamed of doing?
Yes! From about 10. It’s so freeing and you never know where it’s going to take you. It’s amazing to be able to plant a seed in someone’s mind and from there it could impact them in any way and lead to anything. Now that’s cool!
How does it feel to be working with the award-winning producer Brett Shaw? Were you excited? Nervous?
I was really chuffed Brett wanted to produce the record. I was nervous but really excited. I just couldn’t wait to lay those songs down.
Tell me a little more about the artists that influence you and your music?
Half Moon Run, Tori Amos, Jeff Buckley and London Grammar. I love the way they engage with the audience through their lyrics and how empowered they are during their performance. Its hard to come by. Anything with raw emotion and authenticity. At the moment I’m loving Foals.
With your EP ‘Waiting’ being released next month (We can’t wait!), how was the creative process for the album, was it hard deciding what tracks would make it?
Me too! It was pretty smooth. I had envisioned recording these songs for a couple of years so I felt ready and excited. Except ‘Don’t You Wanna Be Loved’, that was really new! I loved watching it take shape. Musically, I had an open mind so it was exciting to see where each record went.
What made you fall in love with music?
I was a really shy kid but I would observe a lot. The opportunity to shed light on anything I wanted, a feeling or a comment on society grabbed me. That total choice and freedom was empowering. I could just be myself, no pressure or expectation just total abandonment. It was and still is very addictive!
If you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be and why?
Half Moon Run. I find their songwriting, use of percussion and harmonies really interesting.
Describe your live performances in 5 words. Quick, GO!
Intimate, passionate, honest, thought-provoking, free
What is next for Bella McKendree?
On the 7th September I have my E.P Launch at St Luke’s Church, Kentish Town and a couple of days after a Jeff Buckley Tribute with Gary Lucas. We’re playing Sunrise Celebration Festival (Bristol), Camper Calling (Birmingham) and Gorjys Secrets Festival (Wales). In December I’m playing a Streets of London Charity gig, I’d like to be back in the studio around Christmas. For now, I’m loving this wave I’m riding on!
Watch the video for ‘Grieve’ now: