Earlier this month, BEL unveiled her EP Read The Room, which serves as a compelling mix of introspective ballads and empowered anthems. The eight-song project tackles themes like love, heartbreak, and personal growth across its 23-minute runtime.
Read The Room opens with “Cold Brew,” where the indie-pop artist reflects on a stalled relationship and the complexities of modern dating. The track combines smooth verses with an explosive chorus, capturing the tension between appearing relaxed and revealing true feelings. In “Are You Okay?,” BEL’s concern for a friend in a turbulent relationship contrasts with an upbeat, groovy backdrop. The song cleverly mirrors her introspection about her own single life.
Meanwhile, the standout track “Hypocrite” delves into how BEL’s perception of relationships has evolved. It combines poignant lyrics with an electrical guitar backdrop while showcasing her ability to express complex emotions in a straightforward, impactful manner. Finally, “Woman On Fire” marks a shift to self-empowerment, with the musician celebrating her independence and inner strength. It ultimately symbolizes the EP’s overall theme: a journey of self-discovery and embracing personal power.
Read on to hear from BEL herself about the beauty in her creative process, putting together Read The Room, and how she feels about touring with fellow artist girlhouse later this month.
Growing up, music served as a sanctuary for you, like many other artists. What space does it provide for you now?
Music will always be a source of catharsis for me, but it’s also become a space for me to meet new creatives and find deeper connections with people. It started off as a very solitary, private thing for me, but it’s evolved into feeling a lot more collaborative and experimental. I write about experiences really specific to my life, but over time, I’ve realized that the specificity actually is more relatable to people than I thought it would be. Everyone applies their own meaning to the songs, and that feels really special.
On your new project, Read The Room, you explore topics such as love, heartbreak, and redemption. How would you summarize the overall emotions going through your mind when creating the EP?
I explored a lot of emotions on this EP that I haven’t really expressed in my previous releases—regret and anger. I think it feels the most vulnerable because I was writing the songs while I was going through frustrating situations in real-time. I was worried about showing that side of me, but I also didn’t want to filter myself. That was sort of the whole throughline of Read the Room, which was trying to break from the expectation of how to create, how to behave, how to feel, and to really just show the emotions as they were happening, unfiltered.
When it comes to some of the deeper cuts like “Hypocrite” and “Forget Everything,” what do you hope your listeners will take away from songs like these?
These songs are the most emotionally raw ones on the project. I think for both of these, I hope people take away that it’s important to take a leap of faith and that it’s also okay to change your mind.
How much do you think about genre when creating music? Do you consider it a barrier?
I don’t really think about genre so much as I think about sounds that I like and want to experiment with. I only consider it a barrier when people ask me what genre I am, and I have no idea how to answer it without listing like four genres.
Fashion is an important part of your artistry. How would you define your fashion style?
Fashion has really helped me find more confidence and feels like another outlet to express my story as an artist. I like exploring both my masculine and feminine sides through clothes. I think my style is constantly evolving, but I love experimenting with fun pops of color.
When you’re doing concerts or in the studio, what do you like to throw on?
I like to go louder with my outfits for shows. I ask my best friends for styling help sometimes with shows because they’re really incredible and help push me outside my comfort zone. For the studio, I’m usually more laidback with jeans, docs, some sort of tee, and a corduroy or jean jacket.
Speaking of, you’re going on tour with girlhouse later this month — can you speak more to your relationship with her and what you look forward to performing on the road?
YES! I’m so excited to hit the road with Lauren. She’s a good friend of mine. We met a few years ago when she was living in Nashville. I’m really excited for us to get to perform “PBR” together every night with her band! 🙂
Lastly, what do you dream of doing in the future?
I’m currently dreaming of writing and putting out my first album, going on my first headline tour, and writing a song for a movie.