Following the release of Melancholia and Own Home, BEL has dropped her debut six track EP MELANCHOLIA. On MELANCHOLIA, BEL says that each of the EP's six track reflect an entirely different part of her - "These 6 tracks will reflect 6 entirely different parts of me. It will provide an introspective view inside my mind; a concoction of my feelings and experiences." The EP is as stunning as the previous cuts we have had the pleasure of sinking our teeth into (both Melancholia and Own Home have been packaged on the debut).
BEL, real name Isabelle Rich, is another buzz-worthy Melbourne act with an immense amount of prowess for the long-term direction of the project. Poking around in her sound are hints of BANKS in the grit while her vocal work shifts at various stages on the EP from a delicate openness to a commanding, "I'm here and you best be listening", almost like she's toying with you. MELANCHOLIA is an incredibly polished EP from an act that is still relatively new to the game.
An important characteristic to note when looking and learning about BEL is that it's by no means just about the music. The project itself is described as being multi-disciplinary, meaning the overall vision that Rich hopes to convey encroaches upon a lot more than just music. Everything from fashion, styling, and design are of great importance when looking into the projects overall branding. So, to mark the release of BEL's stunning six track debut MELANCHOLIA we asked her to send over five things people may not know about her and the project:
The environment & sustainability is of great importance
I am proud plant based & sustainable liver. I have been vegan since I was 15 and I am 21 now. It’s very important to me to support the earth in the best way I can. Whilst it can be more expensive to live an eco-friendly and organic lifestyle, I make it work by buying in bulk, using little plastic creating ZERO waste. A vegetable or fruit scrap is never wasted in my home. I also like to grow my own food to save additional costs, it’s also fresher. I can’t imagine ever not living this way. I don’t drink alcohol, don’t smoke or take drugs. Sometimes it’s hard because people call me a freak and it used to get me down. However now, I stand proud knowing I am partaking in the preservation of our earth, not the destruction.
It wasn't music at first
I did not have a musical background. I picked up my first instrument (piano) just before I turned 17. Seemingly overnight my life changed from focusing on academia to music. I put the same dedication to learning the craft as I did to my study. Sometimes I look at my musical friends and feel envy that I didn’t learn classically from a young age, but I am also proud of what I have learned and excited to keep expanding on my musical knowledge/skill. I have decided to pick up the guitar now too! A friend is going to start teaching me next week!
Fashion, fashion, fashion
I have been collecting archived fashion since I was 15. It all started when I bought a pair of very rare 90’s Jil Sandler Runway shoes. I go on websites like Etsy, eBay Japan and second hand luxury consignment stores to find pieces that no one else has or can find. It’s definitely my obsession. I’ve collected some incredible pieces such as archived 90’s Maison Margiela Tabi boots, a Dior trench coat from 2001 AW Runway, a 2004 rare Gucci bucket bag and the list goes on. Some people collect art as future investments, I collect fashion.
It's about "Quality over quantity" for BEL
I prefer quality over quantity. This mantra reflects in every aspect of my life; my relationships, hobbies and desires. I have a couple of close friends whom I consider family which is nice. I try to live a minimalist lifestyle as I believe we only need the basic things. I would say fashion is my only vice in this case, everyone has one. I’m working on it though; I don’t want to be tied down to anything or anyone.
She enjoys the quiet life
I am a nana at heart. I am always the designated driver when I go out, if I do. I go to bed early, so I can wake up early. Even my own parents wish that I would get loose from time to time but the truth is, my whole life revolves around the grind so I am simply disinterested. I much prefer a quiet dinner with friends or a small gathering.