ART:CAST SPECIAL & INTERVIEW Bella Boo

Living the fast life as she’s one of the rising figures in the scene and has a now-or-never mentality, though she’s still on the lookout for her signature look while having found her signature sound, Bella Boo‘s approach to music is highly effective and intriguing like her upcoming EP on Gerd Janson’s Running Back label Let’s Go Out portrays. Influenced from and tributing the UK-sound and scene the Stockholm-based artist delivers eight tracks varying from early morning cuts to pad-esque takes for multiple headphone experiences at home, contrary the message the EP title suggests. Shortly before her debut on Running back Bella delivers an art:cast that captures her currennt state of being, namely that of playing out club music during a time when she misses those moment in the DJ-booth and has developed a preference towards clubbier music, at least when it comes to private listenning experiences. Besides delivering a speciality of selected tracks the Studio Barnhus-artist – Bella released her debut album Once Upon A Passion on the label – spoke to Torture the Artist about being emo, uniforms, anxiety and other things starting with a vowel.

Torture the Artist: Hello Bella, tell us something about your day.

Bella Boo: Hi! It’s a rainy day in Stockholm, and that’s my favorite weather. I’m working on new music and playing chess.

I work best feeling emo, and with rain.

Torture the Artist: Your Instagram bio states ‘Emo’, while it can simply be the abbreviation of emotional it can also refer to the emo-culture, which would add a certain grief to it. So what’s your current state of being or what did you want to express with that?

Bella Boo: Emo is my ordinary mood. If I’m too happy or excited, I feel uncomfortable. I work best feeling emo, and with rain.

Torture the Artist: Connecting the dots, how do you deal with the current situation and how has the pandemic changed your life and routines?

Bella Boo: Obviously there are no DJ-gigs, but I try to make the most out of it. It’s hard sometimes – there is too much sh*t going on in the world and it is impossible to look away.

Torture the Artist: Has the current situation perhaps changed the perception of music you consume and also produce at the moment, like do you listen and produce music that is maybe slower and is less club-oriented?

Bella Boo: It has changed – but the other way around!! I usually listen to lots of Jazz and slow jams – but now I want the bangers! I miss clubbing.

Torture the Artist: Speaking of music, your music. Your first album Once Upon A Passion was released on Studio Barnhus last year and got the remix-treatment in 2020. Among the remixers/ editors are Matthew Styles, Kornel Kovacs, Karima F, Shy One and Off the Meds. What was your approach when looking / choosing the remixers and what’s the most suprising musical approach to one of your tracks?

Bella Boo: Friends and people close to me – spiced up with a couple of amazing artists! I love all of them, but Kornél really flipped slower into something epic!

The anxiety I get from releases themselves is enough, so consequently the label needs to be a rock.

Toture the Artist: So far you have released music on Kornél Kovacs’ Puss imprint this year and on Gerd Janson’s Running Back label. How did working with the latter come about and what’s important for you when releasing music outside your Studio Barnhus-family?

Bella Boo: I’ve realized I really need a good communication with my label. Both, Studio Barnhus and Running Back ,where I’ll be releasing my next record, are really great and I never feel insecure when working with them. The anxiety I get from releases themselves is enough, so consequently the label needs to be a rock. Releasing Once Upon A Passion was smooth and emotionally for me – the guys (editor’s note: the Studio Barnhus crew) really made me feel as if they were proud, and that was enough to make me happy. <smiles>

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Torture the Artist: Your track L.A. Magic on Running does just what the track title suggests, it enchants the listener with its concise chords. Where does the track take you personally?

Bella Boo: Well, I made it in L.A, so I think that should speak for itself!

Torture the Artist: As beforementioned you are a Studio Barnhus regular. What’s the story that connects you all?

Bella Boo: We used to go to the same raves when we were kids, and Studio Barnhus has a strong local presence – not only with me. They know and support a lot of locals. When starting making music I also began sending it to Axel Boman – he such a great feedbacker – and when it was good enough, we released it. I want to work with them forever.

I always work as if it is now or never. And I live the same way too.

Torture the Artist: What was first: producing music or playing it to a crowd?

Bella Boo: DJing! I had been a DJ for many years before finally releasing music! I’m still struggling to DJ or play my own music out!

Torture the Artist: What’s a fashion brand you can identify with and your favorite piece of clothes in your wardrobe at the moment?

Bella Boo: I would like to answer this one differently: I have this idea in mind to get dressed in a ”uniform” everyday. You know, to have like three pairs of one outfit that I really like and that I can wear every day. I haven’t got my head around what the outfit should be though.

Torture the Artist: What kind of track would you like to produce that you have not?

Bella Boo: I want make more tracks I can play to a crowd, you know these kinds of tracks you always want include or play in a DJ-set.

Torture the Artist: What is something that you don’t take for granted — in your personal life or otherwise — and how has it filtered into your career?

Bella Boo: It’s definitely time. I always work as if it is now or never. And I live the same way too.

Interview by Holger Breuer