Danielle Bellas - Sydney songbird
Danielle Bellas is a singer-songwriter based in Sydney, Australia. Originally a Londoner, Danielle moved down under a few years back to pursue music and life as a solo artist full-time. She's just released a brand new single 'Starship', a summery slice of slick throwback-R&B (produced by Jud Mahoney and Natalie DeLucia, who count Michael Jackson and Britney Spears (!) among their credits) - and it's an absolute gem. I caught up with Danielle to find out all about her new music, her past life as a member of a 00s girlband and, of course, her skincare regime....
Hey Danielle, Happy New Year! How is 2018 treating you so far?
Hello! And Happy New Year to you too. 2018 has been pretty awesome so far! Lots going on, but it’s all exciting stuff.
You’ve got a new video for your single ‘Starship’ out this week, with an album following later this year - exciting times! In three words, how would you describe your sound to those that may not have heard your music yet?
90s-R&B, Pop & Motown.
Your new single is a reinterpretation of the 70s track 'You are my Starship' by Norman Connors - how did you come to sample it, and what did you love about the original?
My producer actually introduced me to the original track when he sent me the version he had created for my album! I hadn’t heard it before, but I loved what he did with it and now love the original track. It’s so beautifully smooth!
It really is! It's definitely giving me summer vibes (even though it's deep, dark winter here in London right now!). As an independent singer and songwriter, what would you say is the best part of your job?
Probably the control that I have - I’m in charge of what I release, what videos I make, what I represent and when I do things (which is awesome, but also means all the pressure is on me!).
All pressure is good pressure! So in terms of other music, who are you listening to at the moment? Give me the last 3 songs you’ve played on your iPhone.
I’m currently OBSESSED with The Greatest Showman soundtrack so it is literally all I’m listening to at the moment. So the last 3 songs would be 'From Now On', 'Come Alive' and my new anthem 'This is Me'. For reals...I'm a bit OCD when it comes to music and will have something on repeat until I can't bear to hear it anymore! I wish I could say something cooler...but, as the song says This is ME!
And I have to ask...if you could collaborate with any musician in the world (past or present) who would it be and why?
There will only ever be one answer to this question - Michael Jackson! I always dreamed of working with him and it still upsets me that I’ll never have the chance to. But my producer, Jud Mahoney, actually did work with him, which makes it a bit easier to bear.
The King of Pop! Good answer. So let's take a little trip down memory lane...back in the early 00s, you were in a girlband called Urban Lady (GREAT name, btw!) - what’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry since those days? And what was the most important thing you learned during your time in the band?
Ooooh, the biggest change I’ve seen is probably the internet! It wasn’t widely used when I was in Urban Lady, so we were SERIOUSLY old school, like printing flyers to hand out to people rather than using any kind of social media! It was a a VERY different game back then. But I have fond memories of that time and learned so much. Picking just one thing is so hard! It was such a good grounding for what I’m doing now and maybe the most important thing I learned was that I can actually do it! I CAN write and record and perform, and it also took me that one step closer to my dreams becoming a reality.
Now ever since I’ve known you you’ve always had amazing skin - what do you use on a daily basis?
Aaaaw, thanks! I use a mixture of things - I love Liz Earle’s skincare range and I’ve been using her moisturiser and hot cloth cleanser (which is A-MAZING!) for years. And I also use an eye cream every morning and night. My secret weapon is good old cheap and cheerful Clean and Clear deep cleansing lotion for my Salicylic Acid hit!
And since moving to Australia has anything about your skincare regime changed?
I definitely use more sunscreen and factor 50 most of the time. I actually wear less makeup here so my skin probably gets more of a chance to breathe. Aside from that, it's pretty much stayed the same, it's just a LOT harder to get my Liz Earle products now!
What would be your number 1 skincare tip?
The age old saying - 'always take your makeup off before you sleep' (And always use eye cream!)
Ok - time for a few quick-fire questions…
Power-ballad or dance banger?
Power ballad all the way!
BBQ on the beach or afternoon in the studio?
Arvo in the studio for sure :)
Christina or Britney?
It’s Britney, Bitch!
Bondi or Manly?
Friday night at home, or out in the city?
I’m a home bird, so definitely a night in.
Crazy, Sexy or Cool?
A mixture of all 3 is best! ;P