1) Tell us something about yourself that your fans may not know.
A: I play the clarinet. I can't read notes, but I do play by ear. I've been playing the clarinet since I was in the 8th grade.
2) Who are some artists you looked up to before you started your career?
A: I grew up really inspired by Lauryn Hill, Missy Eliott, Aaliyah. They each helped me in different ways, particularly learning how to tell my story through my music, as well as seeing someone shine that looked like me. I really respected Lauryn's vulnerability as an artist, and how uniquely creative Missy is.
3) How has being from Blakely, Georgia had an impact on your music style?
A: Where I'm from is a very small country town and it helped my music out a lot. I have my twang and the way that I talk from it. I moved around growing up - to the city, and I kind of got the best of both worlds. I can talk about where I started, as well as all the different things I’ve now seen and experienced.
4) How did you come up with your stage name Bella Blaq?
A: I started out in Girl Power Gang and I needed an artist name. My makeup artist back then said to me “You just so hood, pretty and black .. we probably gonna have to call you Pretty Hood”. Which was an obvious no, so we came up with another name together: “Bella Blaq”. I found out that “Bella” in Spanish means ‘beautiful. People have always talked about me for my color and for my beautiful side. This name helps me daily, it’s kind of like an affirmation. It reminds me that I am beautiful and I am black.
5) What was the inspiration for your upcoming single "Hands On Me?"
A: “Hands on Me'' is about overcoming the things that we go through in life and knowing that we are always going to have problems and hiccups. You’ve gotta keep pushing because the hard times are a part of life.
6) What's your process like when you head into the studio?
A: First, I am not Bella Blaq all the time and that helps me a lot to keep a sane mind. It’s a matter of me putting my personal self to the side; finding Bella in my mind and getting her dressed. It takes me about 30 minutes to get my head right. Bella is like this girl who doesn't care what anyone says. I need to have her ready and then I say “let’s go to work”. Oh and I can't record without strawberries and water. If I eat too much heavy food, I’ll get sleepy. You’ve got to keep it light and healthy.
7) What do you think are the biggest challenges for a female artist starting out in the music industry?
A: I know for me personally, my biggest challenge was knowing when to say no, and knowing that every opportunity isn't a great opportunity. Not being so gullible. That was definitely a challenge for me heading into the industry - knowing how to differentiate what is worth your time and what isn’t. Knowing you don't have to rush and knowing that the industry isn't going anywhere. Take your time. Don’t hop on everything and work with everybody. For me, those were my biggest challenges.
8) What's next for Bella Blaq heading into 2021?
A: I have a bunch of dope new music coming out. I’m excited because we also have new merch coming, so you guys will actually have tangible items. This is only the beginning though. 2021 is going to be full of greatness for me and my team.
Follow Bella Blaq:
Instagram - @thebellablaq