Gold Coast musician Bella Paton and producer / musician James Martin have teamed up to drop their latest single ‘The Future’.
Both Bella and James are hard-working members of the Gold Coast music scene. Bella has been regularly playing gigs locally and in Brisbane since she was a teenager, and James is the bassist and producer of rising Gold Coast pop-rock band BLIGH (from 2017-2020) and producer for many local musicians.
2019 saw Bella release her debut EP ‘Early’, which James also produced, and the track has caught the eye of many playlist curators and blogs and has clocked up over 45,000 streams to date.
‘The Future’ is an electro-pop hip hop number and the first of a series of three singles written and produced by the pair during the COVID-19 quarantine and explores the themes of uncertainty, mental health and relationships during these tumultuous times we are currently living in.
We recently caught up with Bella to chat all things The Future and to find out what else she has in store for us in 2020.
Congratulations on your release Bella. You collaborated with James Martin on your debut EP in July 2019 and are working together again for ‘The Future’. How did you guys meet and how did this new collaboration come about?
I did collaborate with James on my EP. We work really well together and are really open to each other’s ideas when it comes to making music. It’s really important to work with someone who asks you questions about your vision for the song as well as someone who can help you develop your ideas in order to make the track you are working on the best it can be. We met at the con in our first year at uni. This new collaboration came about earlier this year when the Corona situation got really serious in Australia. We were honestly really bored in isolation, like everyone. I was in the process of learning Ableton at the time to stave off some boredom. I was making some demos and getting a lot of help with it from James as it’s the program he uses to make music. I would show him a lot of the demos I made and he would help me make them sound better. We both wanted to take advantage of the free time in quarantine and make some music.
Could you tell us a bit about ‘The Future’ and what it means to you? How would you describe the track?
‘The Future’ is a dark electro-pop track. To us, the song is about a lot of things. When I initially wrote the lyrics I was writing about my own fear and aspirations of wanting to achieve all my goals and live a satisfying and fulfilling life before I get too old and it’s too late. When I took the lyrics to James though we kind of reworked it a bit and the meaning of the song changed a bit. As well as talking about the anxiety of life moving too fast we wanted to articulate the uncertainty of life that I think a lot of people in our age group feel right now. We live in a challenging world that’s kind of crazy and tumultuous in a way we weren’t taught about as kids. It’s about trying to navigate that while still believing that there’s hope for the world and our own futures.
What was the process of recording this track? Did COVID-19 affect things for you guys?
The process of recording this track started because I was feeling a bit uninspired and starting to learn Ableton to try to kick a bit of quarantine boredom and learn a new skill as I was saying before. I was listening to a couple of philosophy videos on YouTube just for a bit of fun and I found this really interesting interview with this philosopher called Lord Russel. He talked about his life and ideas and meeting people he really connected with when he first started growing up and experiencing his first taste of freedom as a young adult. I liked that part in particular and so did James. It kind of reflected on our own experiences when we first left school and went to uni. Everything was new and we would meet so many new people who have a lot of the same goals and ideas. It’s a really exciting time for everyone at that age.
I made a short beat while listening to the video which turned into a demo sampling the interview in some parts. I showed it to James who was really the one who made it into the song that it is. He took my short rough demo and beat and expanded on it. He worked for ages on the track and did most of the production and instrumentation. He took the beat that I made – which can be heard at the end of the song – and made it way fuller so you can feel it in your chest if you listen to it through car speakers. It was awesome watching the song evolve. We rewrote some of the lyrics and recorded it over a few weeks. To be honest, COVID-19 was what allowed us to have the time to record and write so much music.
What do you have coming up for the rest of 2020?
‘The Future’ is a series of three singles coming over the next couple of months. We have been working on them all through COVID-19. We have two more collaborative songs coming out very soon and we are super excited about them.
You can listen to ‘The Future’ here below and can follow the guys over on their socials – Bella Paton Instagram @bellapaton_music and Facebook fb/bellapatonmusic and James Martin Instagram @jamesmartin_music and Facebook fb/jamesmartinmusic.