Meet Bella Maree, a 25-year-old Australian singer, songwriter, producer, full-time musician, devoted mother and wife from Darwin. Self-taught in four instruments, piano, guitar, vocals, and kazoo — “music means everything…” to Bella Maree.
Performing music was always what Bella Maree wanted to pursue as a career; “I’ve never thought of doing anything else.” Growing up in a house full of music, Bella was constantly surrounded by the sounds of bass and acoustic guitar, keyboard, and vocals of not just her family but of various artists and genres. “There was always music being played in the house,” and Bella always admired how her family engaged creatively with music.
Still, her older brother, Keanu, encouraged her to pursue her passion. Together they formed a brother-sister duo, created a show, and started getting regular bookings at the age of ten and twelve, beginning her professional career. By starting a music career so young, she has lived through the hard work, dedication, and perseverance of the industry and can view music through both a creative and business mindset.
Bella Maree’s latest single, ‘They Don’t Know Me’, was released in December 2022, following her 2021 EP, ‘Blindfold’, and I had the privilege of talking with Bella about her latest release. First written in 2018 acoustically, the song’s inspiration stemmed from a personal realisation of being surrounded by known people, but not being known on a deeper level, leading to a feeling of isolation. “I realised that everyone feels that way… we all kind of know each other, but don’t really know each other to the point where we know ourselves.”
Sung through her powerful, impassioned, unique Australian accented vocals, the song emphasises the importance and value of understanding that no one knows you better than you know yourself and that self-trust is influential.
Being a songwriter since the age of nine or ten, Bella describes her song-writing as “an emotional outlet.” Writing music allows Bella to process, comprehend, and release the emotions attached to the song’s inspiration, “it’s like therapy for me… it helps me wrap my head around my own thoughts and feelings, and it’s fun.” This rawness is expressed within her music, singing about personal journeys and experiences to an audience and allowing them to resonate and connect.
The release of ‘They Don’t Know Me’ highlights how intense situations and emotions can be shared in a beautiful and upbeat manner while still conveying an important message. Released in 2022 and due to having the ability to record and produce, Bella also “felt like it was the right time in terms of sharing that message,” and a step towards “being more open and authentic with [her] audience.” The more practical side of her song-writing routine is a visual process. A line or two and a melody appear within her mind, and from there, she can build and create an entire song.
“I’ll just sort of fill in all the space… start finding guitar chords that fit with the melody…”
Upon being asked about the genre of ‘They Don’t Know Me’, Bella associates it with contemporary R&B. Referring to a form of R&B that has electronic and hip-hop elements. Although placing her music into one category is an adventurous task, “it’s really hard coming up with labels for genres of my music, especially when I feel like each time I produce a song I’m learning something new… I’m experimenting with something new… I’m pushing the boundaries in new ways.” The aim of her music has a clear goal: creating, writing, and producing music that is authentically Bella Maree.
During 2020, gigs — along with social gatherings — were cancelled as the world halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the uncertainty of not knowing when she could perform live again, Bella saw this as an opportunity to learn how to self-produce. This led to the creation of a DIY vocal booth, allowing her home to also become a studio. This provided Bella with ultimate control over when, where, and what music was to be created and produced. Alongside this freedom, Bella began to creatively use and explore the visual aspects of a projector screen to provide a visually unique, musical experience for her audience during live streams.
Fast forward to the release of ‘They Don’t Know Me,’ Bella was determined to make a music video for its release date. Discovering how much she enjoyed the artistry created by the projector, it became the perfect concept for the music video. After two dedicated nights of filming, creating and editing, the video was completed. “I was so happy… a music video done, just on my own, and it was ready for release day.”
‘They Don’t Know Me’, along with the video, is out now.
To view Bella Maree’s talents, view the link attached: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d-ZOorMaak
With her EP and current single, 2023 is an exciting musical journey for Bella Maree. The year has three new songs in progress, with the aim of creating more music videos and multiple collaborations. This includes duets and the formation of an electronic four-piece band and show, which have been on the visionary board for a while. The focus is to bring Bella’s love and admiration for electronic music and present this to audiences through both live shows and recorded music. Unable to disclose too much regarding future gigs, Bella states, “I’m excited to be starting these rehearsals and to have some new stuff to offer live.”
Bella Maree is a creative, innovative, and original artist whose talents go beyond the music world, creating music that is soulful, catchy, and meaningful — a true Australian talent.
To listen to Bella Maree, check out the links below: