Formed in Bristol and now based in Camden Town, London, BELLA LOKA are indie-electronic duo Tea & David Boothby. With a sound that blends the distinctive and expressive vocals of Tea Boothby with indie-pop electronica and David Boothby’s guitar textures, BELLA LOKA condense heavy, searching lyrical themes into deceptively upbeat alt-pop songs.
Vocalist and songwriter Tea Boothby is also a film-maker and artist, and is responsible for creating all of BELLA LOKA’s artwork and music videos from conception to post-production.
BELLA LOKA’s dynamic live performances have been popular at UK festivals and clubs, and the shows are regularly enhanced with visual projections designed by Tea and performances of her poetry alongside the songs.
(from their official bio)
Meet – Bella Loka
for those unfamiliar with your bands history, can you tell us all how you all met up and decided to start a band ?
David: Tea and I met while at university and immediately bonded over a love of music and a desire to work together. I was looking for someone with a unique voice and songwriting skill, and I was able to get involved as a guitarist and arranger. We’ve now had 3 bands together, the longest running of which was our Bristol-based alt-rock band The New Root. But with BELLA LOKA we’ve found the sound and working dynamic that we’ve been looking for and it’s working very well as a duo. It’s already evolving into interesting new sounds and avenues and we’re very much thinking of the 2nd album already.
who would you list as your musical influence?.
David: It all started with Pink Floyd for me, and other major influences are Radiohead, U2, Massive Attack, as well as guitarists like Steve Vai and Jeff Beck. More recently I’m loving stuff like Wye Oak, Ellie Goulding, Skrillex, CHURCHES, and Coldplay are a guilty pleasure – I love their new stuff, incredible production!
whats the coolest thing that’s happened to you as a band since you started up?
David: Getting to record our album at Abbey Road Studios with the in-house producers Rob Cass and Pearse MacIntyre. As a Beatles and Pink Floyd fan it was amazing to walk into the rooms where Dark Side of the Moon or all these Beatles albums were made. It’s so big in there as well, it has its own bar, beer garden, and many additional production rooms and studios, with a lift with carpet on the walls that looks like it hasn’t been changed since the 60s!
what are your hopes and dreams as a band for the next few years.
David: We want to get this record that we’ve made heard as far and wide as possible and to put on shows for the people who love our music. We’re excited about live shows that take you on a real journey emotionally, combining the songs with visuals into something that has an arc or a narrative.
what are some of your favorite albums from the past few years?
David: I loved the Jamie XX album, I thought that was incredible. Shriek by Wye Oak I’ve been listening to loads, as well as the Sylvan Esso album who I first saw supporting Wye Oak in London. I also loved all the new releases from my all-time favourite bands, like the Pink Floyd album a couple of years ago, the new David Gilmour album, Thom Yorke and Radiohead’s latest records. I thought U2’s last album was wonderful, one of their best ever, even though the free iTunes release thing sort of dominated the discussion with that for most people.
Do you see any real use for social media , or is it all just a pain in the ass to keep with?
David: It’s great to be able to communicate directly to listeners with it, but the emphasis that the industry has now put on statistics and numbers is a complete joke and very frustrating. We want to spend our time making music and communicating music, it would be great if the social media side took care of itself. But it doesn’t!
Do you pay attention to reviews or comments from people about your music or do you just turn that noise off.
If you could tour anywhere in the world , where would you want to go.
David: I’d love to tour the US. I remember reading in Johnny Cash’s autobiography that he’d traveled the US so often that he reckoned if someone just took him somewhere random he’d be able to tell within a couple of miles where he was, he was that familiar with it! I’d like to do that kind of touring. And Iceland, a magical place.
Can music save the mortal soul or is just a good backbeat to your life.
David: No, but it’ll provide a good soundtrack for the accent (or decent of course).
Any last thoughts for your fans?
David: Are last thoughts like a last meal? In which case I hope not! We have lots of thoughts; they will be expressed in the music, videos and shows to come over the next few months and years, so keep following, there’s lots more to come!