Irish/Italian London based electrifying and stunning, singer songwriter Francesca Belmonte, reveals the darkly sleek video – self directed in collaboration with Lola Kingerlee and Cherie Insanity – for ‘’Walk with you’’.
Belmonte has been singing for Tricky for the past six years and stepped out as a solo artist. She has released her debut album ‘’Anima’’, through the False Idols label.
How old were you when you started getting involved in music?
I come from a creative family, my childhood house was always filled with music and growing up in Ireland, it was an important part of the culture. Everybody sang in the pubs, everyone played instruments and it was encouraged to get involved. I started writing poems at about nine but it wasn’t until I moved to London that I started putting the words to music. As a teenager in London I had a boyfriend who was into hip hop. He had a bedroom studio him and his friends would mess about in and I started putting choruses down to their tracks. That’s where it all started and pretty soon it became clear that I wanted to pursue music in a more serious way.
Does anyone in your family play music?
My brother Pepe is an incredible musician. http://www.pepebelmonte.co.uk/
He has an album out called The Hermitz Waltz. He’s a beautiful lyricist and guitarist and will have some new material coming out next year.
Which famous musicians, singers do you admire and why?
I admire Patti Smith for her fearlessness, Polly Harvey for the same reason. Nina Simone I feel a strong affiliation to. We share the same birthday and I have good memories of my mother showing me her record when I was very young. I love her version of Billie Holiday’s Dont Explain. I am really into girls with guitars, Kim Deal is another one. Tricky introduced me to her and I haven’t looked back. He showed me a lot of new music but Kim is the one. I love Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen, their voices comfort me and the poetry of each of them takes me somewhere else. The list is endless…..
Who is your biggest inspiration in life?
How did you come up with the idea for making a solo album and made a decision to break away from Tricky and create a solo album?
It wasn’t an idea. Before I met Tricky I was gigging around London, working with producers and getting material together for an album, then the Tricky opportunity came up and I grabbed it. Making my own album just wasn’t a priority anymore because creatively the boxes were ticked. I had a stage to perform on and writing for Tricky’s records kept me creatively fed for a while. The decision to break away was a natural one and we both felt it when the time came.
What does ‘’Anima’’ mean to you?
Anima is a Jungian term referring to the female element of the male psyche which I felt was quite fitting having been the lead singer of a male artist for many years, materializing his ideas and sharing his space and stage. It’s also a nod to my Neapolitan roots as it means Soul in Italian.
Which song is the most personal to you?
Do you try to give messages in your songs? And if so, what are they?
On the whole no, but songs like Walk with You and Your Sons have a clear social message which is something that’s becoming more important to me. As time goes by I am realizing more and more that there is not much point in me doing this if I am not using the platform properly. I’m not bashing artists who write whole records about heartbreak. These kinds of records are important and there will always be a place for that.. we all suffer heartbreak, every one of us no matter the background, ghetto or privileged. But for me its important to remain aware of what’s going on around me and strive to reflect that through the songs I write. For example, the refugee crisis has really hit home for a lot of people. Its so easy to become desensitized and forget the human stories of these people and I am not preaching when I say this, I am talking to myself more than anything. I am in the process of writing a fictional love story between two young people in the wake of war in their homeland.
You have sampled Bulgarian pipes into the track Your Songs what did inspire you to do that and what is this song about?
Your sons is about soldiers going off to war and the people they leave behind. It questions the validity of war and who it is actually serving, us the people or something else?
Are you thinking of making any future collaborations with someone in the business?
I’d like to work with Kim Deal, Marianne Faithful and Tom Waits among others.
Are you going to make a world tour for the album ‘’Anima’’?
I would love to but touring costs money. At the moment there is no money in the pot, I am not signed to a major label so we are exploring options to get Anima out on the road as soon as possible. I feel as though I have let people down with the lack of shows as I have received so much support and encouragement from the public but unfortunately it has not been in my power.
What are your goals/dreams in life?
Get on tour, remain on tour. Build a wider audience, write strong albums. Remain a solid, reliable member of my family. I’m interested in film and acting as well. That’s something I’d like to explore, I love Luc Besson. Angel A is my favorite film, it would be dream to be in something like that.
Temprementral, creative, patient
Cherie Insanity is my girl!
Интервюто взе ЯНА КИРИЛОВА /Cherie Insanity/