Bridgette Hughes – going by the stage name Bella H – is a Motswana artist born in Maun. She has been based in the UK (Exeter, Devon) since 2014 where she is married to a British. She has since released two singles –Falling for You, and a collaboration single track - Put it Down featuring Tanzanian artist Hassy Q. The genres of the songs are close to Afro-Pop, Dancehall, Afro Beats, and Pop. Below she fields questions from PATRIOT LIFESTYLE
When did you start playing music?
BELLA H: I started singing at an early age in a St Johns Church choir. Then later on I learnt to play the trumpet in their brass band.
What influenced you to take up music as a career?
BELLA H: I’ve always had passion for music from an early age. Making music helps me to express my feelings. I’ve always wanted to inspire and motivate people through music. Strong black female vocalists such as Brandy, Brenda Fassie, Beyonce and Whitney have always inspired me and influenced my music. They have influenced me in shaping my own style of music.
What’s currently on your playlist and how do you choose the music that goes onto it?
BELLA H: My current playlist features some of the songs below. They are in no particular order. Just depends on how I feel on the day. Alan Walker - Sing me to sleep, faded; Beyonce – Boss; Cardi B – Money; Ozuna – Se prepare; Patoranking – Everyday; Victoria Kimani – Not for sale.
How did you choose the genres associated with your music?
BELLA H: Strong black female vocalists such as Brandy, Brenda Fassie, Beyonce and Whitney have always inspired me and influenced my music. They have motivated me in shaping my own style of music.
Why the UK? Any special reasons for that choice of base?
BELLA H: My husband is British. We relocated to the UK since 2014 as he was offered a good job.
Who is your target audience? What has been the reaction from the market, how are your Singles doing in the market?
BELLA H: I don’t have a target audience as such. I make the style of music that I like, that speaks to me and my fans are those that have similar taste. The two singles released are available in all music platforms, and the feedback to date has been very positive for both tracks. One of the songs – Put it Down featuring Hassy Q was number 3 on Nyemo FM radio station top 10 playlist in Tanzania.
As an artist, what are the challenges and opportunities created by digital platforms that are taking the world by storm? How do you package your music?
BELLA H: I haven’t come across any challenges yet created by music digital platforms. The opportunities are that your songs get to be distributed internationally to all music stores, making them accessible to everyone globally. Both two singles are available in all music platforms such as spotify, tidal, amazon, apple music etc.
What has been your biggest success since becoming an artist?
BELLA H: My biggest success as a new upcoming artist has been to compose and release my first single.
Any collaborations with big names?
BELLA H: I have collaborated with a Tanzanian artist Hassy Q in one of my singles - Put it down. Currently haven’t done any big gigs but will sure do in the future.
How has music influenced your life over the years?
BELLA H: Music has shaped my life in so many ways. It’s not only the sound of the music but also the message and energy it conveys. Growing up, I used to listen to gospel music. This played a big part in my life in a positive way as most gospel songs are inspirational, motivating and uplifting.
Your future plans? Any plans to work with and/ or assist upcoming local artists to access the UK music scene? Do you have any relationship with local artists, who if any?
BELLA H: I’m currently working on my Album. I haven’t tapped in to the UK music scene yet as I have been focused in promoting my music in the African music scene. I have reached out to some local artists but haven’t got any response yet.