Bella Loka Interview

Each track on the album The Light, The Mud &The Dark? has its own sound and flavour is this due to your writing or are you still searching for a specific sound to stick by?

The songs themselves all start out on acoustic guitar or piano, and I guess the direction we take the sound in is a mixture of what feels right for the song and sounds we’ve been listening to and are inspired by at the time. The album was made over quite a long period of time, so we went though a few stages of different bands and songs we were into whilst working on it. Earlier on we were listening to a lot of electronic pop – things like Ellie Goulding, CHURCHES, Grimes – and we moved a bit more towards alt-rock and indie towards the end, with more guitars and piano kept in the mix. Funnily enough the songs we recorded first are generally nearer the end of the album, and the newer ones are nearer the start. Going back to your question, the sound is constantly evolving, I don’t think we’ll ever completely stick with a sound. The thread that runs through it all is the voice, the lyrics and the songwriting.

Has any comments stood out from the others being positive or negative? 

The comments that stand out the most are when people have had an emotional reaction to it. We get a lot of people saying the songs bring them a lot of joy and positivity, which is great because actually most of them came out of some very challenging times, yet somehow we’ve channelled it into upbeat songs. And conversely we get people saying certain songs have made them cry, and that means a lot too. After all if it doesn’t connect emotionally, why bother?

What was your favourite aspect with recording the album?

We love it when we first feel the arrangement coming together, when we start to build the instruments around the song and feel it starting to become something that excites us. Of course recording in Abbey Road Studios was a wonderful experience, to be in the building where so much legendary music was recorded and crafted.

Now that the album is released is there anything that you would like to change about the album? 

Not so much things we’d change about the album, but when we finish something we’re always excited about what to do next. We are really looking forward to doing something moving a little more into rock territory, something a bit grittier, yet at the same time purer and more direct songwriting. We’ll see what comes next!

By releasing the album to Spotify do you think this may cause a dent in the income of the album? Or by releasing the album on Spotify this will help you gain listeners that you may not have gotten before? 

Streaming is the future. Weirdly although we always loved CDs and vinyl, there is something inherently odd about the idea of ‘owning’ music as a physical object. I think music is intangible, it almost feels like a forced thing to make it into an object, a kind of totemistic representation, so streaming is probably purer. Most music we used to hear we didn’t own – it was on the radio or the TV. David Bowie predicted that music was going to become “like running water” in the future, and I think he was probably right.

I have to say my favourite song on the album so far is “We Are Young”, what is the story behind this song? 

We Are Young is about not letting age – either too young or too old – get in the way of achieving something, and about those who would try to tell you that you can’t because you have “everything but time”, either ahead of you or behind you. Musically we were listening to Time Of The Season by The Zombies, and the rhythm guitars on the chorus were inspired by Thriller! This was also one song also where we decided to keep the acoustic guitar as a main element in the mix, which was nice. We’re really pleased that Tom Robinson on BBC6 Music picked this song to play on his BBC Introducing mixtape!

What are all of the links to where people can listen to The Light, The Mud &The Dark?