Bella Garland shares her truth through her songs. At 20 years old, she strives to write music that connects with others. Recently, the iconic Bluebird Café chose Bella’s original song “18” as the Golden Pick Contest Winner for July 2021, and she got to perform on the Bluebird stage. Music is how she gets through the ups and downs of life and a majority of her songs are based off of her life experiences. She is incredibly open about her struggles with anxiety, something she has battled her entire life, and feels that her struggles are why she is able to write music with empathy, emotion, and truly from her heart.
Thank you for taking this interview! How has the New Year been for you so far as an artist?
The New Year has been incredible. I have released three singles, including my newest single “She’s The Devil” and I am about to announce a fourth! I also am heading up to the studio in Nashville this summer (Off The Row Studio) to record four more original songs to release. I also filmed a music video for “She’s The Devil” and it’s on my YouTube channel (Bella Garland)!!!. I’m focusing a lot on getting my music on streaming platforms and growing my internet presence this year ☺ I’ve gained some new fans these past few months and I’m hoping to gain a lot more!
Can you tell us how you've transformed from the beginning to now as an artist?
I’ve been singing since I was a little girl, but I started seriously writing songs when I was 13. Overtime not only have I gotten more confident on stage, but I also have improved in my writing, and I’ve noticed how my lyrics grow more complex and my melodies transform as time goes on. I also have accomplished many goals that I never expected to happen so fast, such as being recognized by the Bluebird Café, which is the iconic venue in Nashville where Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, and many other incredible well-known artists were discovered. I won the Bluebird Cafe Golden Pick Songwriting Contest for the month of July 2021 with my original song, “18”. “18” is about starting college during a pandemic and how lonely it was. I won a guitar and I got to perform at Bluebird the first weekend they reopened after being closed for 18 months due to COVID. I also got to tour Taylor Guitar Studios etc.! I’ve also grown my fanbase incredibly. I have over 13.4K followers on just Instagram alone, and I am growing more and more on my other socials!
How did you come up with your latest project?
My latest release is a song I wrote called “She’s The Devil”, and I wrote it earlier this year. I wanted to write a song about jealousy and anger. That part of us that everyone has inside. It kind of follows the idea that “hurt people hurt people”, and I wanted to channel that in a healthy way. Writing songs about people and how I feel is how I cope with my emotions. The music video for the song is full of vibrant imagery and drips with confidence, even though the song comes from a place of deep hurt. I even rap in the song which is so out of character for my music! I am not a rapper nor strive to be by any means, but since I wrote it I wanted to be the one to sing it on the song ☺ One day in the future I would love if one of my favorite female rappers remixed the song with me!
Where are you from originally?
I am originally from Sarasota, FL. A cute beach town where I often go to the beach and write songs by the ocean!
Where do you live now?
I live in Nashville, TN as I am a student at Belmont University! I am a songwriting major and voice minor, and I plan on living in Nashville after college!
Do you think where you live impacts how your music is made?
I write songs about everything and everyone. It’s the only way I know how to process life. However, I do think living in Nashville has allowed me to meet so many new people that have inspired several of my songs. I also of course have met wonderful artists and producer PT Houston at Off The Row Studio who has produced my music and pushes me creatively.
What was the inspiration to make music your career?
I have never wanted to do anything else my whole life. I am very empathetic and intuitive, and I feel a lot of feelings. I can put those feelings into words and create art out of that pain, and all I want is for people to be inspired by that. I want to say all the things people don’t quite know how to say. I want to make people feel heard and less alone. I believe music can do that more than any other medium.
How do you want to shape your career?
I want to shape my career by maintaining a strong sense of determination, work ethic, making connections, and building bonds with my fans. Without them, I would not be able to do music. I hope to be signed to a label soon and continue releasing music that speaks to people. I want to grow my fanbase and tour, and I would love to use my platform to show people that they can turn anything into beautiful art.
Do you work on a tight timeline always or do you go with the flow when it comes to your music?
A mix of both! Writing songs comes very natural to me, and since so much of my writing comes from what I experience in my life, I write all the time about all the things. However, I do have to treat my music as a business because it is. I try to stay on top of the business side of things and I still try to maintain a strict practice schedule and discipline myself into improving. I think an artist can always improve. We are never done with that.
How did your latest title of your music come to be?
“She’s The Devil” came to be because of the concept of the devil and angel on your shoulder. Good vs. Bad. Even the most pure-hearted people experience times of jealousy and moments where they have to decide whether to do the right or wrong thing. It’s normal. It’s also normal to feel anger when someone hurts you and to want them to feel that same pain. Instead of acting on it or dealing with it in a negative way, I wrote a song about it!
Is it hard to let go of the music when it is done?
Nope ☺ I usually take an hour or less to write a song. Most of my songs are written in under 30 minutes. I have a lot of feelings and writing is how I manage them, so usually once the song is done I feel a weight lifted off my chest. That’s how I know I said what needed to be said.
Do you feel an emotional attachment to your music?
100%. My songs are basically the soundtrack to my life. Every song has a backstory, and usually it’s centered around a person who impacted me in some way (good or bad). Even my songs inspired by books or movies are emotional for me because I grow very attached to characters and their stories!
How would you describe your music in one word to someone who hasn't listened to it yet?
Storytelling. My lyrics are the main feature of my songs, and I love to tell stories. I love to be just specific enough to still allow for people to incorporate the song into their own lives, while feeling like they just saw a glimpse into mine.
Where do they go to listen NOW?
SPOTIFY!!! This is the link to my spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0XTOPkS95zDF0L4rNUc8xH?si=8p3iGxRhSHOiTAcY1PJtYw
If you don’t have Spotify, I am on other platforms as well.
What has been the best fan reaction to your music?
When my fans make art of me. On my Instagram, I have a whole highlight dedicated to their beautiful art they draw of me. Often they include my symbol, which is a blue butterfly. It is the sweetest most heart-warming thing. I also love when they send me long messages about how my music connects with them. I love hearing their stories. I love them more than anything.
Is there anything exciting coming up for you?
Yes! Now is the perfect time for me to announce that I will be attending the 2022 Celebrity Care Fest weekend in Pittsburgh, PA July 22-23 to champion unity and equality for all. July 22 a Unity Dinner will be held to recognize Emmy and Golden Globe award winning actress Jane Seymour co-founder of the Open Hearts Foundation and international civil rights leader Xernona Clayton for their philanthropic efforts in promoting unity and equality. I have been asked to write 2 songs in honor of the unity and equality theme. I am beyond excited and honored and I can’t wait to perform the songs!
Are you performing the song anywhere LIVE?
I plan on performing all around Sarasota and Nashville this summer. You can stay up to date with where I’m performing by following me on Instagram @bellagarlandmusic. I always post my upcoming gigs/where I will be! You can also keep up to date on my website: bellagarland.com
Give us all your socials and links so fans can link up with you!
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/bellagarlandmusic/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/bellagarlandd
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/bellagarlandmusic
Website - https://bellagarland.com