The soulful Bella Kalolo performed last week at the Festival Of Colour in Wanaka. Maegan Johnsen caught up with her and found out some more about the talented songstress.
What adventures has your music been taking you on lately? What have you been up to?
Gosh, I've been writing an album in between the gigs. I get little breaks and I literally have to make myself sit down and write, otherwise I just want to rest all the time. So the album is on the go and we're releasing an E.P in the next month or two. I'm working with my good friend Aaradhna on her stuff. I helped her open for Paul Simon this weekend in Dunedin, so that's where I am at the moment. I'm going up this weekend to see her again and we are going to write a song on Friday. This will be my first collaboration with my own stuff. In a couple of weeks we go to New York to meet and mingle with the Universal Republic people. I've been to NY before but this time I'm staying in an actual hotel! When you stay with your friends they know all the good nooks and crannies. I'm looking forward to living the good life over there. I'm just looking forward to the ride!
As a recording artist, how important are live performances for you as a platform for your music?
I think they are just as important, if not more important than the actual recordings that are being sold on iTunes and in record stores. Live shows are where you get to know your audience and with that you are better able to cater to them more readily on the spot. I feel that I can read the audience a bit better now too. It's nice to get in front of a group of people who enjoy your music or people who haven't heard of you before who have just come along for a bit of a nosey. The music is there for the taking and for people to enjoy.
When you are writing your material where do you find your inspiration?
Just a small generalisation but I would have to say the world! I fill in all the gaps with the stories that come by my window really. There are the things that I go through and that my friends go through, it's about making them fit a certain storyline in my mind. With this album it's crazy because I haven't really set the tone yet but songs are coming anyway. It's really nuts because I'm not a soppy love song writer but there are songs that end up going there and I'm like 'Woah!' I ask myself do I pull it back or do I just stay in the moment and make it an honest moment.
In terms of your career as a musician, what is the best advice you have ever received?
If there's anything I have been given over the years it's to just learn your stuff. I've worked on TV shows and free-lanced where you have to sing on the fly and if you know your stuff inside out you will never be at fault and you will keep getting hired. Original music has been awesome because if you forget your words on the spot you can make up an extra verse and that's OK because no one knows any better!
If you could sing with anyone dead or alive who would it be?
Oh Gosh, Stevie Wonder. Totally!
What music are you currently listening to?
I'm listening to Emily King at the moment. She's a wonderful singer songwriter out of New York. I have her track "Georgia" on rotation in my phone. I am in love with it!
How do you hold onto yourself in an industry that is renounced for telling artists who they need to be in order to be successful?
I've felt over the years that I haven't been anything other than myself and if I've felt myself changing I have actually put a stop to that. I have never had to have any friends or family tell me to pull my head in. I've held onto myself because I've always remembered that the main reason that I'm doing this is for the betterment of someone's life. It's about them being able to go home after a hard day and put on a CD. I've always had other people at the forefront of my mind. I just think that you shouldn't take things to heart and I've found that out through these years working in the music industry. You can't hold onto stuff because it takes you over. You literally have to chuck it over your shoulder and go on, even if it hurts for a little bit.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.