Photography and story: THOMKERR Styling: Lindsay ROSE Hair: iggy using Kevin.murphy Make-up: BECCA Gilmartin using M.A.C Cosmetics
Thom: Where does the name Belbel come from? From an early age, many people have called me Belbel as a nickname, and it stuck. As I moved into music as a career, it just seemed fitting to use it as it has sentimental value as well as having a nice ring to it – no pun intended! How would you describe your style of music? I like to think that my music bridges the gaps between some of the different worlds in music. I draw inspiration from many different genres ranging from minimal to electronica, indie to pop; therefore it’s hard to put a label on my work. I’ll let the listeners decide. When did you decide to pursue music? My entire life I wanted to pursue music, however I only put this desire into action a few years ago. I have always been a writer, and I spent a lot of my down time writing poetry and prose. Singing came less naturally to me, I was very shy about my voice and only sung in private locked behind my bedroom door. I was extremely scared of people hearing me because truthfully, I didn’t think I could sing. It became apparent around the age of 16 that I could not go on and live a ‘normal’ life that was expected of me. I knew I had to live in a way that fulfilled me creatively. What is the name of the first single and why did you choose it? The song I have chosen to debut with is called ‘Violets’. I chose this particular song because it reflects my current emotional and physical landscape. For me, writing music is like writing in a journal. If it’s truly honest, it comes out in a matter of minutes like this one did. With the help of Richard Harris, an LA based producer, the sonic landscape I dreamedofwasbirthed.iwanttoberealwith my listeners from the start about how I feel and think. No game of charades. This song is the most honest depiction of me one could get. What is the concept of the clip? Who worked on it? The sense of separation and difference that I have experienced growing up caused a feeling of dislocation and confusion. The dilemma about where and how do I fit in, and whether I really want too anyway, is at the core of the video. In parallel to my journey, we have what I call the ‘No-name people’. I envisioned lifeless men searching for vitality in a wasteland of emptiness they knew as home. I took this concept to Blake Farber, a New York based director. I worked closely with the producer, Emma Haarburger who creatively and logistically brought my vision to life. Matt Wood, an Australian cinematographer, filmed the clip. Additionally, fashion has always been an integral part of my life. I consider that the way we dress – our personal style – tells a story. Julian Burak or Yan (his cool nickname), the stylist,understoodthissensibilityandbrought it together in an authentic way. What do you think is the main message you wish to convey with your music? I wish to give many messages, but one’s reaction to music is entirely personal. I hope that listeners will find meaning in my music for themselves. However, if people can feel somewhat comforted in my lyrics, and feel hopeful, then I will have done what I set out to do. Which artists are inspiring your journey? There are so many artists that are absolutely killing it right now. This is such a tough question because many artists from different eras and demographics inspire me. I can’t stop listening to BANKS, James Blake and Lykke Li right now, but then I play some Simon and Garfunkel and I am transported to an alternate world. I then look at someone like Lorde, who is not only releasing exciting music,butsheissettinganexampleforyoung girls and boys, and that is just as important as the music. What advice would you have to anyone about to embark on a journey in music? Be your own boss. Nothing is more important then trusting yourself, and your own intuition. Where do you see yourself this time next year? Ultimately, I would like to have a lot more music out in the open to be enjoyed by the public. I want to focus on the longevity of my career, and that means constantly developing my craft. I hope that a lot of people will listen and respond to my work. That’s all I could ask for. This page: Belbel wears: Neoprene cape by Phoenix Keating Opposite: “I am Fake’ coat by Sand, Calypso Crop top by Nookie and wideleg pant by T-luxe
ON THE RELEASE Of MELBOURNE-BASED BELBEL’S NEW SINGLE THOM KERR INTERVIEWS THE 18 YEAR-OLD SINGER ABOUT HER ROOTS, INSPIRATIONS AND HER IDENTITY AS AN ARTIST. BELBEL’S NATURAL ARTISTIC FLAIR AND PASSIONATE DRIVE HAS TAKEN HER TO LA WHERE SHE CONCOTED “VIOLETS’, A DARK YET CATCHY DRAMATIC POP MOMENT.