A Wuhan implant in Chengdu's pre-eminent music scene, BELLACROSS is busting out. She delivers an unpredictable and harmonious journey with her most sought after track on QQ music - think Aphex Twin meets Pink Floyd. Her style can be bright and dreamy or dark and hypnotizing. In live performances, she primarily uses Elektron analog machines and occasionally original vocals to paint a vibrant tableau of frequency, vibration, and that which fills the spaces in-between. Recently released on her Bandcamp, QQ and YouTube channels, BELLACROSS's latest EP Mid-spring Night Dream is a refreshing and experimental take on electronic music. The EP showcases her new foray into mixing vocals and dance-worthy beats, with standout tracks like the mellow 'It's Call Me Again' (reminiscent of a happier Portishead and a more upbeat version of Crystal Castles). Using Elektron Keys and Rytm to create her tracks, BELLACROSS finds solace in listening to her own music during her down time.
This month we caught up with BELLACROSS to tap into the Chengdu scene and where she finds her inspiration.
When did you get into making music?
I discovered the process of making electronic music was in 2015. I had a friend who was studying computer science. It helped me pirate the program Logic Pro onto my Macbook, so I started to teach myself to make music. I’m not classically trained in music. I only had some miniature short courses on guitar and piano, but I have loved music since I was a child.
Tell us about your most recent release: 'Mid-spring Night Dream.' What was the inspiration or backstory for the project?
Those songs I wrote last year in spring. I remember during that time, I was really into Aphex Twin, and I felt inspired to make them in a very experimental version from when I stepped to my Elektron Keys and Rytm with I don't know what I want it sounds, but I know how I want it says, through jamming with myself then the songs came out like that, and after that time I suddenly had an accident, stayed in the hospital for a few months, during my recovery time now, I listen to those songs a lot, and I feel it brings me back to life.
We've heard much about Chengdu being the heart of China's hip-hop scene. How does the overall live music scene compare to other major cities, and what makes Chengdu unique?
Maybe the difference is that people in Chengdu are more open to listening to new music and going to different music scenes, which gives the artists more exploration.
Can you describe your favorite venue, festival, or city to perform in? In your opinion, where are the best crowds?
In my opinion, the best crowds still are in Chengdu. The best crowd was at a place, let me think, Guanxi but it closed two years ago. I think places like Tag, Herewego, funky town, and Taigai etc. have really good underground music scenes. People's dance movement and music atmosphere was just move together. Like the people were really connected with the music but not trance music
If we look at your top five most popular songs on QQ music, what do you think? Are you surprised by the songs your fans gravitate to?
Yes, I'm surprised. I realize that people tend to listen to what they are familiar with. But I want to make more remixes of some of my favorite songs. And I can't say if there is a single music style that I'm gonna stick with cause I really like so many genres and different sounds, and by the time I learn new things, I only know the direction. It'll still be exploring electronic music.
Most recently, Bellacross and DJ Dermot have embarked on an exciting collaborative project called 'Mirages all the way down.' Building upon Bellacross' synth-chill style, this endeavor showcases her mesmerizing vocals alongside DJ Dermot's electronic prowess. Together, they are exploring more melodic sounds while preserving the gritty essence that defines their individual works. Currently in the early stages, the duo is hard at work crafting demos that blend captivating melodies with atmospheric soundscapes. The result promises to be a captivating fusion of their unique artistic visions, offering a fresh and immersive experience for fans of electronic music.
[Cover image via Bellacross]