Bella Hunter

Bella Hunter is no stranger to music having Marc Hunter as your Dad, the lead singer of Dragon, one of Australia’s biggest bands. It was inevitable she would forge a career in music but not in Aussie Rock like her father. The Dance/House genre was calling and Bella Hunter is now creating her own musical pathway. Having recently signed to Armin van Buuren’s label Armada Music she’s released her new European beach club vibe single Déjà Vu just in time for the Aussie summer.

Bella Hunter had a chat to Hi Fi Way about her new single and what she’s been up to now that she’s living overseas and what else she has in store for the future.

Your new single Déjà Vu has a real fresh summer vibe. It reminds me of sipping on cocktails in a beach bar on a Greek Island or Ibiza. Is that the kind of vibe you were going for when writing the song?
Yes! Yeah totally. I’ve been on the islands during the summer and that’s my happy place so definitely that’s what we were trying to emulate in the studio just like a very chilled summer house music vibe. So that makes me super happy that’s what you feel when you hear it!

Oh yeah it brought back a lot of memories! (laughs)
(laughs) That’s so cool!

How excited were you to be signed to Armin van Buuren’s Record Label? How did that happen?
Yeah, it’s amazing. I actually met the CEO of Armada Music Maykel Piron through Erick Morillo an amazing DJ that I collaborate with, who’s a House music legend. He introduced me to Maykel in Ibiza at the end of last summer and we started emailing, chatting and connecting and the idea of working together kind of steamrolled and then I ended up signing in March which has been absolutely amazing! They’re a dream team to work with so yeah very grateful right now.

What’s it like to work with such iconic figures in the dance/house music scene?
It’s insane! I don’t really know how I’ve ended up as an Australian who lives in Los Angeles who was signed in Amsterdam doing a lot of bouncing around! (laughs) But I guess that’s the path I’ve been dealt and super grateful so just rolling with it for now.

Did you find it a natural progression for your career that you had to move overseas and work there?
I did honestly. Every opportunity I kept being presented with was based in LA, so I knew at some stage I had to make the move and base myself there fulltime because every three months I had over there I started gaining momentum and then I would have to leave again because I didn’t have a proper visa yet. So being over there fulltime has definitely changed everything. It’s been amazing. All the opportunities I’ve had I think have really been from being overseas which is kind of insane because Australia has so many amazing talented artists but LA has been incredible in regards to songwriting and collaboration.

Do you find with the genre of music you do and I know Australia has a strong dance music scene but hearing your song Déjà Vu it’s definitely more of a European vibe so that’s why you had to go overseas?
I think so. A couple of years ago I had to make the choice of whether to try to do this in Australia or America and I really didn’t think that I would have a better chance to connect internationally first before coming back to Australia. Only because I didn’t have the opportunities here in Sydney that I had been given overseas so yeah, it’s strange that its worked out that way and I always thought that I would come back to Australia at some stage but living overseas has definitely opened a lot of doors for sure.

Coming from a musical family, obviously your dad Marc Hunter being the lead singer of Dragon their music was more Aussie rock and yours is more dance/house. Was this more you than rock?
I grew up studying classical music and obviously with my Dad I had a very broad education of genres. I fell in love with House music when I was 14 or 15 and I wanted to pursue that. It didn’t really make sense to try and do it on a commercial basis. So, I think my timing is pretty good for what I’m trying to do and it didn’t make sense a couple of years ago but I think the whole world is little bit open to dance music now on a much more popular basis. There definitely more room, 100% more room for female artists. Yeah, I’m trying to forge a bit of a female path here which is cool. Slowly, step by step it’s happening!

Obviously coming from a musical family was it just inevitable that music was going to be a part of your life and career?
Definitely, definitely. I’ve been surrounded by music since day one so I guess it was 100% inevitable that in one way or another I would end up being involved in music or surrounded by music. So it’s been an uncontrollable path but now I’m clear knowing that I want to do this forever and I know I wanted to be involved with music for the rest of my life.

Well it’s funny because before I started this interview, they played Speak No Evil by Dragon on the radio which they normally don’t play Dragon let alone that song and today they did!
Oh wow!!! That’s so cool. That’s so nice! (laughs)

It was funny because its such a weird coincidence! So, while we are talking Dragon songs, what is your favourite Dragon song?
Favourite Dragon song? Oh my gosh it has to be Rain. There’s a lot that weren’t as popular but Rain to me sticks out as one of my absolute favourites for sure.

Besides making music you also have a bespoke jewellery line that’s launching in 2020. Is that another part of your creative side that you can explore as well as fashion?
Yeah, I definitely love fashion. I’m obsessed with jewellery. I have been for many many years but working on a little jewellery line has been something I was doing on the side in America. Its had come to a halt. I’ve selected my favourite pieces, which I want to put out into the world next year. That’s definitely my side passion and project. It’s exciting.

You’ve released a few singles now so is there an album in the work?
Yeah there is. That’s been a discussion that’s become a little bit more prominent recently especially from my last writing trip in Amsterdam with my team. We’re talking about that more and more and it’s something I’m going to explore when I go back to Amsterdam for ADE which is a big Amsterdam Dance event. So yeah that’s definitely in the works.

Do you think it’s an advantage to being an Australian overseas? I mean most people love our accent and we do have a different vibe and outlook on life to Americans or Europeans.
I’ve lived in a lot of places and Aussies are the most chilled people in the world and there’s for sure a nice kind of preconceived notion of who we are and what our attitude and energy is like before you walk into a room which I love and I’m proud to be Australian. So yeah, its definitely a gift for sure not a hindrance (laughs).

With so many things happening for you right now what’s the future hold for Bella Hunter?
Back to LA next week and recording an acoustic version of Déjà Vu which is exciting with an amazing guitarist and that’s in the next two weeks. Then back to Amsterdam for more writing and I’ve got shows in Miami coming up in early December, then back to Australia for Christmas which is great!

Interview by Anastasia Lambis

Follow Bella Hunter on Spotify…