Chrysta Bell at Oslo Hackney
Chrysta Bell came to London for one purpose: to take us on a cosmic journey stemming from her creative mind, and to gift us the most surreal live performance last night at Oslo. She performed music co-written with the art film legend David Lynch, as well as her own original work. The venue was the perfect environment for her to perform, with its retro and artistic vibe that made the music, light shows and atmosphere that much more alive.
Bell’s sound is a vast and eclectic blend of post-art rock with new wave, progressive, and many other genres, with a heavy emphasis on ambiance and psychedelic. It’s the kind of sound that would originate perfectly from the mind of Lynch, with the ability to put the listener in an artistic, psychedelic trance. With the lights flickering and shining red, along with abstract visuals on-screen behind the band, the audience felt that they were on Mars, and that the aliens performing before them had something they wanted to share with their human counterparts.
In terms of stage presence, the show was simple but powerful. Bell was seductive and wooed the crowd with her emotional performance through each song. She moved around deftly, locking us with sexy glances. A real sense of catharsis prevailed – absolutely amazing to watch and experience.
When an artist can release those emotions to others, and still be able to retain artistic integrity and continue to make the music they feel is right, they must be deemed for success – no matter what anyone might think. Chrysta Bell is a rarity among artists, and the world should be grateful to have such a talented and mysteriously artistic soul.
We caught up with Chrysta Bell after the show.
Your music puts the listener in such a trance that the experience is unlike anything else. How did it all start for you?
Thank you, that means so much! I think I started singing when I was still in the womb! But seriously, music has been something that has been there all my life. My mother was my main influence – she married my father, who was a composer, and they opened up a recording studio when I was very young. Being around that, plus having a musical family, just made me absorb it all. It all felt very natural to me and something that I felt I was destined to do. Also, I had the support of them 100%, which was very encouraging and pushed me to get where I am today.
That’s incredible to have family supporting you all the way through – it absolutely gives you that extra drive. It seems as though you must have a vast amount of influences that helped formulate your current sound?
Yes for sure. Along with being around what my family was listening to and playing, I had a lot of interest in musical theatre, Stephen King’s Carrie, pop music like Michael Jackson, Atlas, Kermit the Frog! I had so many influences that it would take me hours to share them all. I was also in a very interesting project when I was 18, a blend of gypsy jazz and swing. Another huge influence of mine is soundtracks, and one that really inspired me was Twin Peaks.
David Lynch is obviously well known for his cult art films and avant-garde vision. How did you come to meet and work alongside with him?
Honestly it was out of sheer luck, via meeting an agent who heard a demo of mine and wanted to share it with David. He was writing and composing music of his own, but he felt he was missing something. When he heard my demo he instantly realised that I was the missing factor! Then I met him, got to understand what he was trying to do and achieve musically and hit it off from there. It was an incredibly surreal experience to work with him.
Photos: Guifré de Peray
For further information and future events visit Chrysta Bell’s website here.
Watch the video for Bird of Flames here: