The Scotsman Sessions #219: Bella

Welcome to the award-winning Scotsman Sessions. With performing arts activity curtailed for the foreseeable future, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on scotsman.com, with introductions from our critics. Here, singer-songwriter Bella performs her upcoming single Feels

The last year has been tough enough for established artists stopped in their tracks by the national lockdown. But what of those musicians whose career hasn’t made it out of the traps yet?

Glasgow-bred singer/songwriter Bella is a recent graduate of the prestigious jazz course at Leeds Conservatoire and, like all her peers, should have been looking forward to building her gigging profile. Instead of pitching straight into the established performance circuit, however, she found herself furloughed from her day job and “alone with my thoughts.”

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“Lockdown has been so difficult for everyone,” she says. “I know that I personally have had a lot of ups and downs. Having so much time to just reflect on life was daunting at times but has been so important to me in being able to find my sound and experiment with different ways of DIY recording, self-managing and self-promoting. It has been a huge learning curve for me as an artist.”

Bella

Bella cites Billie Holiday and Amy Winehouse as her vocal influences, though the handful of singles she has released so far have been sprinkled with mellow neo-soul stardust in a similar silky vein to Celeste and Corinne Bailey Rae. For her Scotsman Session, Bella has reworked her upcoming single Feels, written with fellow Leeds graduate Cameron Ward, who also mixed this performance, recorded in her “wee room in Leeds”.

Bella and Ward also have another collaboration in the works, this one in cahoots with Scottish Jazz Award-winning vocalist Luca Manning. When asked about other future plans, Bella anticipates “gigs, gigs, gigs and more gigs! I just want to get this music out there because I’m so proud of it. As soon as I can, I’m going to be booking rehearsals with my band and getting a live set together.”

Feels is released on 22nd April, http://smarturl.it/Bella-feels-presave

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