From Tyler, Texas to Los Angeles, California emerging artist BELLSAINT has been making waves with her hypnotic, soulful symphonies. “Outlaw” is a blend of fierce confidence and a heavy pulse production. BELLSAINT’s “Losing My Religion” remix breathes life into summer with deep techno influences complemented by vulnerable melodies. Between songwriting sessions, LA’s Rock ‘n Roll Camp for Girls and binging on Sci-fi films Caroline Brooks sat down and got a little personal with LaPalme.
Where did BELLSAINT originally come from? Caroline Brooks is beautiful, why not use that?
When I was a kid, I was really into Beauty and the Beast. Originally, I wanted it to be Bell, but because Bell is not the easiest thing to find on the internet, we decided to add something to it and I really liked the way Saint sounded so now it’s just Bellsaint. “Give a man a mask and he’ll tell you the truth” – Oscar Wilde. There is something about having a different name that gives you more freedom to say what you truly feel. Caroline Brooks seemed too country, I wanted something along the branding I was envisioning.
Where did the inspiration to sing come from?
I’ve always been a singer, since I was about 7. I used to lock myself in my room and hide it from my parents because I didn’t feel comfortable singing in front of them. I eventually did a lot of musical theater and music classes/projects in high school and college, but I broke out of my shell when I started writing original music for myself more consistently around 2009. It was about then I decided to make it a profession.
Do you write all your own music?
Yes. When I first started, I would write by myself and then I started reaching out to artists that I really like and I’ve been doing more collaborating.
What is your writing process like?
Lyrics come to me more readily than anything else. I have a notes section in my phone where I just jot down ideas that come to me throughout the day, so I have a compilation of weird ideas. When I go to a session I typically start with either a song title, phrase, or a theme. I usually build the chord progressions or the melodies and vibe around the lyrics, especially if I’m writing by myself. It can depend on the process of the other songwriters or producers involved too. Some songs are knocked out in one session and others in several months to finish.
Is anyone else in your family musically inclined?
My dad plays acoustic guitar and he would write songs and play them for me and my two sisters. I think he always wanted us to have jam sessions, but I was very private with that for a long time. I didn’t want anybody to really hear me play for a while.
So, you’re from Tyler, Texas. How was growing up in such a small town?
I appreciate the emphasis there was on hospitality and investing in people: community, family, and friendships. As much as I was grateful for the relationships I had, I was excited to get out to a bigger city to pursue music – from Austin and then to Los Angeles.
Do you travel often?
I used to. I’ve been a workaholic for the past two years. I can say I’ve been to London!
How was that experience?
It was amazing. I love London. The food was so good. I would have guacamole or something and you could taste how fresh it was.
You can follow BELLSAINT at @bellsaintmusic on all of
your favorite social media platforms and stay up to date
with her latest single, “Landmines” featured on Famous In
Love releasing on August 15th!