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article imageBEL opens up about 'Better Than Me,' digital age, and Arca Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jan 23, 2020 in Music
Rising artist BEL chatted with Digital Journal about "Better Than Me," her songwriting inspirations and being a musician in the digital age.
"'Better Than Me' came about whilst I was in Stockholm on a writing trip," she said. "I was undergoing a personal metamorphosis from teenager to young adult, from passive to active in many different personal and professional realms. The song was written in my first week in Sweden and it came about pretty quickly. I wrote the lyrics in like 10 minutes, as well as the chords and bass. When I listened to the rough demo back from the end of the day, I cried my eyes out. I was hearing in music what I had been keeping in for so long."
She shared that her songwriting is inspired by everything and anything. "It's diverse for me. It could be another artist or painting. It could be something a friend says to me or emotion I feel. Sometimes it's a dream, or it's my daydreams/desires. Though like most, my experiences and emotions inspire most of my music," she said.
"I write a lot of poetry, always have. If I had to choose a medium that inspires my songwriting, I would have to say poetry. I use a lot of my own poetry in my songs. Whilst I’m super into production and the technology behind music-making, I am foremost a writer through and through," she said.
On being an artist in the digital age, she noted that it's both terrifying and exciting. "Humans today have the attention span of a clam. We put so much of ourselves as artists into our work. Personally speaking, every cellular spec of my music and visual art means the world to me. The reality is that most do not give a shit. The romanticism of previous eras and how we used to consume music is something I wish I was a part of. People respected records so much more than they do now. That being said, technology has made it possible for individuals in music to make soundscapes and tracks that previous eras would not have known was possible," she explained.
Regarding her use of technology in her daily routine as a recording artist, she said, "I love using technology in the music-making process. At university, I did a variety of soundscape and sampling units, all of which have inspired my production process. Lyrics, melodies, and chords I always write organically and with structure; however, when it comes to producing up something, I've written I prefer to treat the song almost like you would a video game, less as a song, more as an opportunity to create a journey through a particular moment in time. It's less clinical, less formulaic. I take a very experimental approach. This wouldn't be possible without technology."
On her dream duet choices, she said, "Firstly, I would love to do a collaboration with Arca, as a feature of in co-production. Thom Yorke or Sevdaliza take equal second place. There are so many more too," she exclaimed.
For her fans, she remarked about "Better Than Me," "It honors the narrative of a young woman asserting her worth, realizing her potential, trusting that she is not disposable and in fact, has inherent value. The lyrics 'you'll never find someone better than me' can apply to almost any situation; romantic, business, familial, societal, internal and so forth."
"The universal relatability of these lyrics is in my mind, what makes this song special. We all have an innate desire to be seen for who we truly are. I've wanted for so long, to be seen for who I truly am as an artist, songwriter, stylist, and lyricist. 'Better Than Me' is the spark in what I hope will become a holy flame, of me making myself seen and heard in the eyes of the world. I would hope listeners would hear the track and muster the courage to demand more respect for themselves, igniting their own personal flames," she concluded.
"Better Than Me" is available on streaming services by clicking here.
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