BELLE BADI grew up in a musical household at Bungwahl, near Seal Rocks. The 24-year-old is continuing the family’s musical tradition.
“My dad was a bit of a hippie,” Badi said. “We had an old piano in the house, lot’s of instruments laying around.
“My grandmother was a classical pianist and she taught me a few things as a kid.
“I was always tinkering around.”
Badi initially was more interested in pursuing a career in art than music. At 18 she moved to Newcastle and began to study art theory.
She was awarded a scholarship to the University of Kingston, London, but after 18 months abroad, she made an unexpected decision.
“I decided I really want to pursue music, that’s what I am really passionate about,” Badi said. “I decided I didn’t have time to study, work and do music.
“I dropped out of uni … I have just been putting all my spare time into music.”
And so far it’s going pretty well for the young talent. Over the past 12 months she has been opening for other acts around Newcastle, playing shows at venues like The Cambridge and the Lass O’Gowrie.
Badi writes her original tunes on keyboard.
“I have just been writing, writing, writing … I have had some good opportunities to perform, I have been finding my feet,” she said.
“It’s really only been in the last year that I decided I want to do this professionally.”
“This isn’t just something I want to do in my bedroom at home anymore.
“It’s been a really good time, just learning.”
Soundwise her music sits somewhere between rhythm and blues, indie pop and Americana. But the vocal delivery is deeply Australian and distinct.
Many of the tunes are love songs.
“I’m a bit emotional,” Badi said. “Sometimes there are things you cant explain or talk about in real life.
“Sometimes I take that home and I will try to write a song about it.
“Friends who are going through a hard time, I don’t know how to comfort them, but I will go home and write a song.”
This year she released a debut single Time Machine. It was played on Triple J on Anzac Day.
Recently she has been collaborating with Merewether rapper Relevant.
“I would love people to be able to dance to my music, I love to dance,” she said.
“So I have been figuring out how to bring that to the show. Relevant and his brother make beats and I have been working on a few songs with them.”
Badi expects to release a second single, in early 2018.