Here's my interview with singer Jennie 'Bellstar' Mathias
How'd you get started in music?
By accident, a friend asked me to come to a studio to give her some moral support whilst she was singing, she was asked to to backing vocals for a track called IKO IKO I had watched as the main singers and then her went into record their parts and then the producer who liked my speaking voice asked me if I wanted to give it a try, I said I couldn’t sing but he asked me to give it a try, I then went in to sings the BV’s and when I had finished I said to him “I told you I cannot sing” to which he replied, actually you can and your voice is perfect for this song, can you sing the lead part”? I said that I would give it a try and then next thing you know, it was added to a cassette and that night I told my then boyfriend what I had done and asked him what he thought, he said I never knew you could sing to which I replied “Nor did I” the next morning his ex-girlfriend Sarah Jane Owen from a band called ‘The Body Snatchers’ called him up and asked him if he knew of anyone that could take over their singers place, they wanted someone either black or mixed race and that’s how my professional music career started
Who are your inspirations or influences?
I have an eclectic musical taste so there is not one genre, I love funk, blues, pop, spoken word, punk, house, garage, doowop, heavy rock, glam rock, just too many to mention and I listen to them all. Anything from Nina Simone to The Clash and anything else inbetween
What advice would you offer aspiring performers?
Be yourself coz everyone else is taken, practice make perfect, the more you know what you’re doing the better it is for you on stage and the audience just LOVES a confident artist, strive to be original and work the floor boards with as many different artists as you can until you can form your own sound, being a one trick pony only puts you in a box and will never stretch you, but working with other artists that are also influenced by various musical genre’s will expand your musical repertoire. There’s nothing to fear so be brave, keep grounded and don’t get up your own arse coz people don’t like that
How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?
I think what sets me apart from other singers is that I always like to do something that goes against the grain, and in the studio I have a signature sound that I have nurtured along the way and record those sounds in a way that only I own.
On a personal note: I strive to be original, have learnt from my mistakes, am no longer the pratt I once was with record companies I had no time for. I am a prolific writer and am known for doing one take in a studio because I do all my pre-production at home thus saving time in the studio. My experience has enabled me to know what I want and how I should sound. I look after my voice and it’s still working for me no problems after 40 years.
Any new gigs or albums in the future?
Yes I am always doing tracks and two new albums Peeping Tom 1 and 2 coming soon plus the new single ‘I DON’T WATCH TV’ and previous single "Powers That Be' both out now on ‘Quick Fix Recordings’ along with a recent song 100 DRUMS OF LOVE for the charity Food For All and their help feeding Ukrainian refugees.