Pop artist and musician Katie Belle appeared on the 17th season of American Idol. Her striking breathy vocals, and undeniable stage presence, caught the attention of notables Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. Since American Idol, Belle’s career has progressed with a series of single releases. Her music, which can be described as upbeat, nostalgic, and rejuvenating, has won the hearts of many.
A time capsule for salvation, solace, and the redemption of a broken heart, Belle’s latest single “Daughter,” feels as freeing as it does forgiving.
Having fallen in love with music at an early age, you began singing in school choir, church solos, and performing at local festivals. What about music brings you the most joy?
Katie Belle (KB): “I just love how music is a universal language. If a song is relatable enough, or has a strong track, it can reach over continents and countries regardless of the language it was performed in. We can all relate to music in some way, shape, or form, and I think that’s so cool; it connects us whether we realize it or not.”
When did you begin writing your own songs? How did you find your sound?
KB: “I started writing seriously around the age of 12. Songwriting is a skill I’m still working on every day and learning to perfect. I feel like any writer will tell you the journey is never over, You’re always in a constant state of wanting to get better. And as for my sound, I believe I’m still looking for it! I love so many different kinds of music and I’m inspired by all of it. It’s hard for me to commit to 1 dimension or sound when I feel like music is infinite and I want to be a part of it all.“
Familiar with the arts, you’ve always loved dancing and have modelled on many catwalks across the United States. How have these experiences influenced your artistry/creativity, and ultimately how you carry yourself as a performer?
KB: “It has definitely kept me from ever having stage fright, or being afraid to put myself out there. Being on stage and in front of people for basically all of my work, and from such a young age, has really taught me how to work a crowd.”
Oftentimes national television competitions commercialize talent for the sake of becoming mainstream. Though commercialization doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it’s certainly led to many favouring money over true meaning and quality. In what way has your journey on American Idol taught you to rise above mainstream culture and carve out your own unique identity, as well as build self-confidence in who you are as an artist?
KB: “I already was Katie Belle before American Idol, people just didn’t know my name. I was making original music and really proud of what I was doing as an artist. I actually wanted to go on American Idol for the sake of it making me more mainstream. And I mean that in the way that American Idol gave me the opportunity for millions of people to see my name and hear me sing. I’ve always felt like I see the world a little bit differently, American Idol helped me connect with those that see things the same way I do.”
Breaking into the industry at such a young age as a female artist, what has the journey been like thus far? Do you have any advice for those that might not know where to begin, or may be too afraid to share their talent with the world?
KB: “Female or not, being in the music industry is quite a wild ride. Lows are so low and highs feel like you can do anything, and you can feel both of these emotions sometimes in 1 day – haha!”
“My best advice is to stay focused on your goals, and not your losses. Stay true to yourself, cause no one can be you better than you can. And be kind to yourself. No one ‘makes it’ overnight, trust the process.”
Your latest single, “Daughter,” can be seen as a time capsule of salvation, solace, and redemption. What emotions does the song evoke from you when looking back on your past relationships?
KB: “‘Daughter’ makes me feel free. It helped me forgive myself, accept certain truths, and heal. It changed my mind in so many ways. And although I didn’t write Daughter, it’s my story to tell and I’m so thankful that I finally got to.”
There’s only one thing in this world that weighs heavier when broken – one’s heart. How does the release of a song such as this, help you find the strength to pick up the pieces and put them back together?
KB: “The story behind what connects me to ‘Daughter’ really happened back when I was in high school. I’ve had a long time to move on and lick my wounds, But in a way, I never felt like I got it all off my chest. Maybe now I feel that closure because I closed that chapter so publicly with this song. I feel like the story finally got told and now I can rest.”
How important is it for you to create such an honest and authentic connection with your audience? What is your greatest hope for your fans upon listening to the track?
KB: “Extremely important to me. I feel like the main point of being an artist is being yourself, and speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves or don’t know how to. That’s a role I take very seriously with my art. I never want to release projects that aren’t me or that I’m not proud of, and I hope the fans hear ‘Daughter’ and feel the same level of peace and healing that I do.”
What’s next to come for Katie Belle in 2022?
KB: “Lots of new music I can’t wait for you guys to hear! 🙂“
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