She’s a small thing. Walking into my office with a cigarette in hand, she perches on the couch across from my desk. Crossing her legs, her skirt pulls up showing off her creamy thighs.
Her story was rich, but so was she, so I took the case and promised myself it wouldn’t end like all the others. “ I need a Hammond Piano player and back up singers who can empathise with me. I need people who understand the power of simplicity in a vocal. Need to find people who resonate with what I am trying to express through my songs,” she tells me in a raspy tone.
Her name was Belle (don’t you know it, I thought) and she’d been in New York and Toronto working with Mark Plati of David Bowie and The Cure fame. What made her leave I asked myself, checking the gun in my desk drawer as she gave me the background. “I was very melancholy listening to David Bowie’s Earthling and loved the electronica on that and wanted to work with the guy that basically collaborated on it with Bowie and I wanted to do something adventurous and I felt like shit and wanted a great band I left on my little adventure to remedy my melancholy.”
“I could not live my life feeling that people are constantly questioning my truth – this is the sound, this is how I feel about the world. Here in Australia I felt like the people I was surrounded by at the time where tying to fit me into a category that I did not belong to. I did not want to be a pop princess, and not to put that down, people who create pop are “that” and that’s cool however there is nothing worse then being type cast as something that you are not.”
She was unsatisfied. Record labels getting in the way, everything taking too long. Maybe I was wrong, maybe this won’t be like the others at all. “I guess it is hard for certain companies, and certain people of a certain age, over 50 maybe, perhaps might find the music that I do to be taking a certain risk. I fought for 4 years on my last album to keep it real and truthful to the expression I was trying to get across and I did not enjoy having to fight for that.”
“My love of music pushes me to face the things that I do because I love it so much,” she explains putting out her cigarette and moving over to my desk. “It’s my life and it always has been and it’s because of that I do the things I do and I cant live my life thinking that I didn’t do what I felt was right and New York felt right.” Barely hearing a word she said, I agreed complicity.
“This album is me taking my power back and saying well fuck anyone who tries to take it from me – I’ll keep it to myself do it on my own terms without companies or producers or people who claim to be producers getting in my way.”
“This album is me taking my power back and saying well fuck anyone who tries to take it from me.”
“I love the idea of working with people who are interested in the music and who work for the songs best interest,” she told me leaning closer. “It would be great to work with people here in Australia as I love it here and I want to do it in my own country.” She had me by the gills.
We talked for a while longer. She explained what she needed me to do, I stared into her Hepburn eyes and knew I’d do it all and more. She wasn’t like the others. She wasn’t like the others at all.
She turned to leave, grabbed her coat and opened the door. Just as she exited I asked after her, “but wait, what is the name of the album?”
In one swift motion she turned and shot me in the heart. “The Glorious Dead,” she replied.
The Glorious Dead is available now, and Belle Phoenix will be performing as part of ARTcoustic Thursdays at the Abercrombie Hotel.
Check out her music at http://www.myspace.com/bellephoenixmusic