TORONTO, April 22, 2016/ Alumni & Company /
Toronto based R&B singer, BELLE, releases ‘DISORDERS’ an unapologetic story as a survivor of both sexual abuse and the depression that followed.
Recently, the media has put a spotlight on rape culture, sexual abuse and what it means to be a victim - the Bill Cosby accusations, the Jian Ghomeshi trial, Amber Rose’s Slut Walk against Slut Shaming, and University students across North America fighting for new policies regarding sexual assault, are just a few instances.
BELLE, unfortunately, remained silent after the abuse and instead, internalized the pain.
This deeply personal project is a collection of works that served as a step toward salvation, preservation and perseverance.
DISORDERS is a compilation of 14 tracks, remixed and remastered, from her previous 3 EPS:
- post.traumatic.stress.disorder [ptsd]
- obsessive.compulsive.disorder [ocd]
- attention.deficit.hyperactivity.disorder [adhd]
It features elements of 90’s R&B, 60’s Motown, vibey, trap influenced beats as well as Brazilian scatting and BELLE’s signature piano ballads. Overall, the goal was minimal production to showcase BELLE’s subtle yet powerful range and her jazzy vocal styling.
In a tight and cohesive team, BELLE collaborated with producers SOUNDWRIGHTPRO (“needs”, “all night in rio”, “broken808”), the___silence (“seven, eight”) and King Michael (“sex lies pain drugs”) as well as songwriter Linykie Nix (“broken808”, “IDGAF”, “don’t hurt me”, “needs” etc). She also invites the collaboration of Australian artists/producers, YesYou, on “should learn”. The 3 EPs that DISORDERS draws from were written, recorded and released over a 13month period. It was at times excruciatingly uncomfortable for BELLE as she bravely and vulnerably admitted intimate experiences and emotions to the team – and then to the world.
The compilation leads with “enemy”, an honest, melodic contemplation, baring BELLE’s constant struggle with her shame and how she dealt with being a victim. BELLE graciously leans into the comparisons right from the start by reimagining Aaliyah’s classic “One In a Million”. In her piano ballad entitled “pills”, BELLE soberly and genuinely encapsulates victimization, touching upon her use of drugs, alcohol and sex to cloak the trauma of her sexual abuse. The breakout single sunset in paris describes her despondency further, as she wishes to run away from yet another selfaffliction her debt. “sunset in paris” has proven to be a fanfavorite and was featured on the popular Comedy Central TV series Broad City. On another piano ballad, “walls”, BELLE accounts her detachment and distrust. And it’s no wonder! The vulnerable, “don’t hurt me” tells it well and is difficult to take in. This song places BELLE at the moment of her trauma and we fall witness to it. BELLE still cries when she sings this song but she delivers it openly and without restraint.
BELLE rounds the compilation off with further complexities: BELLE is not just a survivor of abuse, she is a woman. She is sassy; sexy. On “needs” BELLE asks for what she wants from her lover in a sultry ode to the giveandtake of their sexual chemistry (or of her sexuality).
This is a brave attempt for a shy, quiet girl who never felt worthy enough to speak her mind. And with over 250 thousand downloads and 26 thousand Twitter followers, the world is listening.
© 2016 – ▲ & co
album artist: belle
Number of Tracks: 14
Release date: April 22
℗ 2016 Alumni & Company. Distributed by JTV Digital.
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