Danielle Bellas’ Starship is an exciting preview of a soulful artist channeling the R&B-tinged pop vibe of the mid-90s.
Starship is the debut single from South-East London born R&B singer Danielle Bellas.
The track is co-written and produced by UK-based production duo Jud Mahoney and Natalie DeLucia (who have worked with the likes of Michael Jackson, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Brandy and Britney Spears.
The slick pop production features hook-laden choruses and really allows Danielle’s smooth vocals to shine. There are also some serious throwback vibes happening here – which I am absolutely loving.
I grew up in the 90s. Around the mid 90s, R&B-tinged pop was huge. You had Janet Jackson’s arguably best album ever Janet, Madonna’s Bedtime Stories, artists such as Toni Braxton and Aaliyah breaking through and Babyface produced tracks all over the airwaves. It was a musical golden age.
Starship sounds like it came from that time. That said, it fits in perfectly into today’s musical landscape as a nice counter-balance to some of the more out there and in your face sounds. It’s safe to say that Starship may be softer, more sensual and more soulful than anything you’ve heard in a while.
Danielle Bellas – Starship Music Video
Interestingly, although this is her first official release, Danielle has been filling notepads full of lyrics from a young age.
She recorded her first single at 16. She joined UK girl group Urban Lady whilst studying for her degree. She is now a solo artist, working on perfecting her sound.
Danielle now lives in Sydney. Her style, sound and videos bring a sense of much needed Australian sunshine to the gloom, doom and negativity that abounds. Maybe that’s what resonates so much about the track right now?
Here’s what Danielle has to say about how Starship came about:
“We wrote the track in the studio in Glasgow, inspired by what happens in a lot of long-term relationships, when they get a bit stale and the magic has been lost.
But I didn’t want to write a break up song, I wanted it to be more hopeful and about not giving up and reclaiming the spark.
I guess I’m an old romantic like that!”
Danielle Bellas Interview
I recently had the chance to speak with Danielle. In addition to being super talented, she’s also incredibly lovely and down to earth too. We spoke about her future career plans (including her upcoming singles and dream collaborations), as well as her interests outside of music, her relationship with the LGBT community and much more!
I’d like to thank her for taking time out of her busy schedule to speak with me and I really hope you guys enjoy our chat!
Little Gay Blog – Firstly, congratulations on your debut single Starship. It’s amazing! Why did you decide to release this as your first single, and what’s the reaction been like so far?
Danielle – Thank you, I’m so glad you love it!
It was quite tricky deciding which track to release as a first single…It had to be good enough to attract attention (I mean, they’re all good, but you know what I mean!) but at the same time, I didn’t want to play my ace cards too soon without gaining more of a following first.
So I decided on Starship and hoped the sample we used might make the song get a bit of traction too.
The reaction has been mostly positive which is so great! People seem to be digging the old school 90s vibe, which makes me so happy. The Rishi Rich remix is also going down a storm and I’m excited about the opportunities that may come my way because of that.
Rumour has it you’ll be releasing two more singles this year. Can you give us a little sneak peek of what we can expect?
The rumours are true. I will be, yes!
The next single is actually one of my favourites from the album. It’s a bit more upbeat than Starship. You can expect more old school vibes, smooth vocals, lots of harmonies and backing vocals, a catchy melody and a positive message.
I’m not 100% sure what will be single number 3 yet. I have a few options in mind but will decide closer to the time.
You are blowing up at the moment, which must be really exciting for you. What are some of your career goals you’d like to achieve?
It is ridiculously exciting, but there’s still a loooong way to go. I have some huge career goals, like the awesome people I want to collaborate and work with – Babyface, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Janet Jackson, Bruno Mars, Teddy Riley…the list goes on!
Being from South East London, performing at The 02 is high up on my list of goals – and obviously number one singles and albums and winning various awards feature on that list too! I don’t think that’s too much to ask, is it?!
How do manage to stay grounded within the craziness of the music industry?
Well, things haven’t got too crazy just yet so it’s not a problem for me at the moment. Ask me that again in 1-2 years time and we’ll see how things have changed.
Alright. I’m going to hold you to that! What interests or passions do you have outside of music?
I love personal development, reading and meditation. I’m always striving to become the best version of myself and get that bulletproof sense of self worth.
I enjoy keeping active, whether it’s dance classes, having a dip in the ocean or CrossFit, which I’ve just started and I’m loving!
And I love travelling and exploring new places too. I’ve got really into camping as well since moving to Australia – it’s so nice being out in nature, with good friends and a campfire.
What sort of relationship do you have with the LGBT community? Is there a message you’d like to share with your LGBT fans?
A lot of my very close friends are part of the LGBT community and I have had a very special affinity with the community for a long time.
I have also said for years that there is a gay man inside of me, dying to come out, which would perhaps explain my obsession with Julie Andrews, my love of the Eurovision song contest and seeing Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the musical, 10 times…among other things that is!
I also feel very proud to now live in a country that supports same sex marriage. It is long overdue and I’m so happy for everyone!
I am so grateful for my LGBT fans. Thank you for your support, it is very much appreciated and I hope I get to meet some of you soon. Oh, and ‘stay fabulous’!!
You’re UK born, but somehow have ended up in Sydney, Australia. How did that come about?
To be honest, I had just got to a stage where I craved adventure, a change of scenery and some sunshine! And the opportunity came up to make the move, so I went for it and haven’t looked back.
It’s been quite freeing to start over too – a new country, new home, new friends, new experiences. It’s been an amazing 4 years!
You’ve been writing lyrics since you were 16. What’s that process like for you, and where do you draw your inspiration from?
It can be anywhere from a fun, inspired, creative session, where the lyrics just flow and the song is finished in less than an hour, to wanting to bang my head against the wall because I can’t seem to write more than 2 lines!
The album was very much a collaborative process, apart from the first song I recorded which I had written myself. Most of the time, I would come to the session with a concept in mind and we’d all work together to write it.
I draw my inspiration from a number of places – books I’ve read, situations I’ve been in, things my friends have gone through or sometimes the track just makes me feel a particular way – whether it is upbeat or more of a ballad.
And lastly, a few quick questions:
Last album you listened to from start to finish?
The Greatest Showman. I’m pretty much obsessed with it since I saw the movie a few weeks ago. So you can imagine how ridiculously excited I was when they used my ‘This is Me’ instagram singing video in one of their social media promos for the movie!
Favourite time of day and why?
I tend to come into my own around 10pm, which is quite frustrating because I’d love to be one of those’ rising with the sun’ people. I feel like I would be so much more productive if I went to bed early and got up early, but instead, I’m a night owl!
One thing people don’t know about you that might surprise them?
People may be surprised to know that I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t like the taste of it at ALL! I did drink for years, until I got to an age where I didn’t care if I was cool or not and I refused to be pressured into drinking on nights out.
Don’t worry though, I still have a GREAT time, and as a bonus, I can drive everyone home!
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Hmmmm…. I believe in a strong, instant connection, and lust at first sight for sure! But I feel like it maybe takes a little bit longer to workout if it’s TRUE love.
However, love on the first ‘night’…that’s a different story!!
I have a few that I can share:
“Always have an attitude of gratitude” and “I am enough”. The first of which I always try to live by and the second I try to tell myself often.
And I can’t forget to mention my new life anthem from The Greatest Showman:
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me