Hi Bella, hope we haven’t interrupted anything. What are you up to?
I’m just preparing for a show tomorrow, a choir I am in are performing with UNKLE at the Royal Festival Hall to open Meltdown Festival, it’s incredibly exciting and I get to sing on stage with some amazing people!
You’re a Brighton resident, isn’t the beach, sunshine, etc quite distracting at this time of year?
Quite the opposite in fact! I moved back to Brighton last year after spending some time in London and although I love the bustle of London I missed being able to stand at the sea and know there is space for miles. It clears my head. I couldn’t find that in London. So it’s not distracting at all, it’s very healing and very inspiring.
How do you describe the music of Bella Spinks?
I hate this question….because it’s an expression of me and its much easier to put that in a song than tell you what goes on in my head! I write songs to try to give listeners an experience, so sometimes it gets a bit weird, but mostly it involves a piano, some singing and usually a depressive back story.
We think ‘Music Is What Feelings Sound Like’ Do you agree?
Of course I do. Music is an incredibly emotional experience and everyone has pieces of music that they can relate to. For me, music is therapy.
What comes first for you – the tune or the lyrics?
Neither and both. Every time I write a song the process is different. If I sit down with the intention to write then quite often the piano part will come first, but my favourite way to write is when something hits you out of the blue, be it a melody or a lyric or a rhythm and you just have to run with it- gets me excited.
Please tell us more about ‘Little Bird’. It feels like your most traditional/folky feeling song – how did it come about?
Little Bird was written about a friend of mine who was really struggling to find out who they were. It was my way of saying just keep going, everything is going to be fine.
You have a show in Brighton at The Komedia soon – are you celebrating something? Where can people find out more about the show?
I don’t think I’m celebrating anything…..I don’t play live too often because I like to make my shows the best I possibly can, and for me that means waiting for the right opportunity and preparing well. The Komedia show is very exciting for me because there are two other great acts on the bill – The Moon In The Man and Ellie Ford and I look forward to playing much more when I know the night is going to flow well musically! All the details are on facebook here;
and you buy tickets here;
Reading your soundcloud page it seems you were playing the Concorde 2 at age 12. What was that all about? Does your family get some embarrassing footage out when friends visit?
That show was called ‘Teenspirit’ and was a show featuring young acts in and around Brighton. I played it a few times, it was a great way of introducing young people to performing live. The only embarrassing footage that seems to recur quite often is my incessant performing of ‘away in a manger’ when I was about 4 or 5 . I sang it at any given opportunity, whether it was Christmas or not and unfortunately it seems every performance was filmed….
We’ve seen you playing a few shows with local boy Ez Stone recently – can we expect more collaborations in the near future?
Ez is a very good friend of mine, and I enjoy performing with him very much and it is always a pleasure to share a bill with him. Not sure whether there are going to be any collaborations as such, but you never know. Watch this space.
There is a lot of talk over the Glastonbury headliners this year – if you could choose 3 bands to headline, who would it be and why?
Well I would be very predictable and say Regina Spektor, because she is my favourite and I would love to see her perform at a huge festival…If I could choose ANYONE i.e even if they are not alive/not a band anymore..I think I would have to go for The Teardrop Explodes because I think at a festival you need something you can dance to and finally, Olafur Arnalds who has the most epic sound it will make you cry just listening to it on your ipod, so magnified to the extent of headlining Glasto and you would be in for a massive treat.
Thanks to Bella for her time. Keep in touch on Facebook, Twitter or Soundcloud