This week, I got the chance to talk to up-and-coming musician Barry Fernandes, AKA Belle VEX out of Bridgeport, Connecticut. His music is alternative electronic pop music style with a huge alternative rock influence.
In 2012, he released his first album, called “Urban Legend EP.” This year, his hit song “Gurney” is featured in a new indie film. His career is off to a great start, and his positive attitude after overcoming years of personal trials and tribulations is as inspiring as his music. I hope everyone takes the time to check out Belle VEX’s work! You surely will not be disappointed!
Your genre of alternative electronic pop/alternative rock is an interesting one to work with. How does your genre help you to define what you want your music to sound like?
My genre helps me stay focused between which sound samples I’m going to use, which live instruments I’m going to play with, and it allows me to set a tone that you can’t set in other genres. I have a song called “Gurney,” which is more horror movie soundtrack style than anything, and when you put it all together, it just resonates.
What creative process(es) do you use in writing songs like “Gurney?” Do you start with a story, and build from there. Or, do you start with the music, and develop the story based on the music?
Each song I make is dependent on how I feel. With a song like “Gurney,” I started with the basic drum to see where it went, because I wanted that “alley” feeling. I always have a concept in my mind about what I want to write about.
For example, with “Jack the Ripper,” I wanted something to portray him walking down an alley, and then I wrote the lyrics and melody around that. That makes it all stick together.
How has music helped you to overcome the obstacles you have faced throughout the beginning of your musical career?
Whenever I get a bad day, I put on my music now. I use to put on other songs by other stars, but now it’s my own. Because back when I was writing my music, that’s the music I would turn to whenever I needed motivation, and whenever I needed to say out loud “Keep going!”
What excites you the most about being an up-and-coming face in the music industry?
The challenge excites me. Every now and then I’ll change how I approach things.
For the past few months I was living by a very out of this world, larger-than-life scenario. The fact that I had people locally thinking I was signed to Universal… I let them think that a while but I eventually told them that I wasn’t.
In 2013, I wanted to bring it back down to Earth. I want to show people that I’m not signed, and doing it by myself. I take on major labels that pick up artists, such as YouTube singers, and promote and push them. If you don’t have the big dollars, it just takes hard work and that excites me.
Finally, how did you come up with your stage name, and how do you think your unique style sets you apart from other musicians?
My stage name is kind of an accident. Originally, it was just going to be “L-Vex,” which is something that is a pill, because at the time, I was on antidepressants, and I was addicted to them.
I wanted a name that reflected my current state. Everything in my life involves the letter ‘B.’ My favorite number is three, which rhymes with ‘B.’ My name starts with ‘B,’ and I couldn’t let it go, so I just said “Belle VEX.”
I told my friend, who said the name fit me so well, because “it’s French for beautiful curse,” and I said, “Oh wow, that’s right.” I wanted to put myself out there with the music I like to make, and the music that I wanted to hear.
My number one rule is to make music you like, and others will like it too. Through that process, by me just being myself, I guess I came up with something unique.
Interview by Patrick Zwosta