“Why not share my story with others to encourage them to make their lemonade, even if the lemons are looking kinda weird?”

You might not have heard of Bellsavvy just yet, but that’s fine – she’ll be conquering your playlists soon enough.

The London-based singer-songwriter, who hails from Brazil, has just delivered one of the most infectious singles of 2020 with Queen of My Mind, a fierce yet universal self-love anthem that reflects on her personal experiences with body-shaming.

Produced by Lady Gaga’s frequent collaborator David Lei Brandt, the track sees Bellsavvy overcoming her inner battles after being “rejected by the modelling industry” as a result of her body “changing its shape and size.”

“I lost 10 years of a successful career that I bled for,” she tells GAY TIMES. “I lost my dreams and with it, I also lost my self-love. I couldn’t recognise myself in the mirror anymore, and with all those judgements and rejections I got completely lost.”

Bellsavvy channelled the pain into songwriting, and aims to use her music to inspire others to live as authentically and unapologetically as possible: “I’ve found my inner strength to keep going and a way to make my lemonade.

“Why not share my story with others to encourage them to make their lemonade, even if the lemons are looking kinda weird?”

Here, we chat with the rising star about her triumphant – and personal – debut single, how living in the UK has influenced her artistry and why the music industry is no longer “tolerating inequality, lies and falsities”.

Hi Bellsavvy! How has lockdown been for you?
It’s looking so interesting and surprisingly good! I’ve been having time to get to know myself better and it’s amazing. In these crazy days, we are used to living in such a rush, focused on working and going from one place to another nonstop, you end up having no time to focus exclusively in your self-love and self-care. Now with self-isolation, I went to another level of self-love. I’d say I’ve been practicing a lot of self-adoration. It’s fab!

What is it like for a recording artist in quarantine? 
I had to re-adapt and make a home studio to keep it going while the studios were not open, but I had plenty of time to write new songs and develop new sounds and ideas for my music in general.

Congratulations on the release of your debut single Queen of My Mind – what’s the story behind it? 
Queen of My Mind is a self-empowering song and it’s for sure the most intimate and personal song I’ve ever written. I put my entire heart into this, sharing a real-life experience I had with body shaming. At the end of my modelling career, I was body-shamed and rejected by the modelling industry because my body started to change its shape and size. As a consequence of these several rejections, I lost 10 years of a successful career that I bled for… I lost my dreams and with it, I also lost my self-love. I couldn’t recognise myself in the mirror anymore, and with all those judgements and rejections I got completely lost. The impact of being massively rejected and body-shamed destroyed me and I ended up having a mental breakdown that encouraged me to start writing Queen of My Mind. It gave me the strength to keep going, healing and with love being able to find my self love again. I came back stronger, loving, and accepting myself. I decided to share my story to encourage others that might be struggling with any battles within themselves to find their inner strength and stand up for their self-love and self-acceptance, to become the queen of their minds. I overcame my inner battles and I found my self-love, so you can also find yours and become the queen of your own mind.

The video is equally amazing and fierce – what message did you want to get across?
Oh you guys are so fab, thank you so much! In my music video, I wanted to bring a visual experience for the story behind the lyrics of the song, to make people connect and emerge into my story and the emotional realness behind it. The script brings scenes that happened in my real life, like the scene where I’m receiving the body-shaming/rejection messages from my modelling agents. The Latin scenes relate to a very similar space where I grew up back home and the fashion, with these over dramatic looks and vibes and very expressive and glammed-up with glittered teardrops and fancy sparkly masks, show my sorrow and denial in a more playful way. The styling, my favourite part, externalised so flawlessly every facet of Queen of My Mind’s story; from the Latin overdramatic sexy look, the glamorous sparkly 2000’s trendy look, to the powerful haute couture leather and latex designer looks, to express the ultimate moment of becoming “the queen of my mind”. The choreography has self-empowerment mantras movements from the Mudra dance and my dancers, with their different beauty and body shape, make a huge statement of self-acceptance and diversity. The set also brings the right emotions between my Latin and energetic side to my fierce and darker side. Everything in the video has a meaning to bring this whole universe of empowerment and transmutation that the song is about.

Why do you think it’s so important to be honest and open about these topics?
I think we’re with a different mindset now. We’re not tolerating inequality, lies and falsities anymore. We are looking for the truth in self-acceptance, diversity, and equality. So I was convinced I wanted to do my part in it with my story, sharing the truth “behind the scenes”. I wanted to enlighten people and encourage them to realise that, in real life, there are no patterns and we are all different. The real beauty is in this difference that comes in all colours, shapes and sizes in such a unique way, and patterns were made for us to break them all.

Did you want your debut single to be a statement? 
Yes, I have to confess that I wanted to bring something more with my music. I wanted to share my story through my art in a way that could connect with people and help them somehow. In these difficult times we’re living in, I can say that my biggest dream is being able to bring positivity, strength and love with my music. Life has given me weird and hard lemons with everything I’ve been through, and I’ve found my inner strength to keep going and a way to make my lemonade. Why not share my story with others to encourage them to make their lemonade, even if the lemons are looking kinda weird?

Have you always wanted to be a professional singer? 
Since I was little I had a special bond with music in my life and, even when I was pursuing the modelling career, I’ve always had music surrounding me. I didn’t think I’d be a professional singer from the beginning, but definitely from the first day I stepped on that stage – back in my high school music contest – I knew my soul was sold to music.

Who were you primarily inspired by growing up?
I’ve been obsessed with Lady Gaga and Britney Spears since forever! They are definitely my biggest inspirations. I remember when I was around nine, I used to perform full “concerts” to my family with Britney’s songs and then Gaga became a strong role model in my life during my teenage years, taking a very important place in the “realness” of my musical compositions and lyrics. I also grew up listening to rock, so Amy Lee from Evanescence is definitely one of my favourite voices in the world and, I can say, she was also a big influence since I was 10. They are all very present in my artistic persona.

You live in London but were raised in Brazil – is it important for you to incorporate your Latin roots in your music? 
Absolutely yes! I’m very proud of who I am and where I come from. I love my country, my Latin roots, and how it takes a special place in my music.

How has living in the UK influenced your artistry? 
love the UK from day one. I love British pop from Spice Girls to Amy Winehouse and I always say that everything I am, where I came from, and my personal life experiences including where I live, has a huge impact on my art for sure. Living in the UK and other countries gave me the possibility to be in contact with so many different artists. Experiencing so many different things was the key to my creative process for my art.

Your mother was a singer in the 80s –  what did you learn from her about the music industry?
[Laughs] My mom always pushed me further into music, obviously! She was the person who introduced me to the music world. I think the most important thing my mom taught me about the music industry was to be unconditionally passionate with my music and to not be scared of putting all my heart on it, understanding that it’s not an easy career to pursue, but with passion and dedication, I can succeed.

Some artists really embrace their queerness and consider it a significant part of themselves, but others have worried they’re going to be pigeon-holed as just a queer artist. Where do you fall on that line?
I love it! As I preached here, I embrace and love 360 degrees of who I am. I love my queerness and I’m proud of it. It makes me and my art be what it is and it fulfils my heart with love and pride. It’s beyond special. It’s fab!

What’s next for you? What’s the plan for the rest of the year?
Queen of My Mind has a chapter two with a big plot twist on its musicality, and a new level of empowerment and energy. It’s going to be my upcoming release. I also started working on my first EP and some collaborations with other pop artists from the UK, Europe, and Brazil. I’m so excited to share everything with you guys! My heart is exploding!

Queen of My Mind is now available on iTunes and streaming services. Listen here on Apple Music or below.

Photography Luiza Marmentini