Who is Belles? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about her journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…
Full Name – Kelli Rachel Belles
Birthdate – 06/09/99
Hometown – Omaha, Nebraska
Current City – Nashville, Tennessee
Musical Influences – Miranda Lambert, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Selena
Label – Independent
Current Single – “I Hate Trucks” (out /1/26) // as of date of article: 01/15/2024
Back in 2021, we introduced you to a singer-songwriter who was just starting her solo career after years of singing with her mom and brother. Belles has accomplished so much in the last few years, and we chatted with her all about her new music, her career, and everything in between.
Kelli Belles, who goes by Belles, grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. “I was born into a pretty musical family,” she began. “My grandma was a big band singer, and my mom and my aunts were a pop group called Mulberry Lane. So I actually grew up touring with them and backstage at fairs and festivals, watching them sing, in the van with them while they were warming up, and that’s really what sparked my interest in music.”
Throughout her entire childhood, Belles recalls being enamored with music, but specifically with powerful women in country music. “I’ve always loved country music. It was my favorite thing growing up, listening to Shania Twain, Miranda Lambert, Dolly Parton, and Linda Rondstadt, and that was the music I was trying to write back then and still trying to write now.”
She spent her youth honing her skills in dance, musical theatre, and singing, as well as, started writing songs in high school. “When I was about 14, my mom was kind of playing coffee shops around Omaha and writing her own songs, and I asked to be her backup singer. It took a little bit of convincing,” she shares. Adding later, “Eventually she said yes and that kind of slowly turned into us becoming a duo.”
The Turning Point:
After taking a traditional path for a few years, Belles was reminded of her love of music, and moved to Nashville at just nineteen years old. Since being in the country music capital, the songstress worked to craft her songwriting and cultivate her artistry. “Since 2021, I’ve officially launched my solo career […] I’ve written more songs in the past two years than I think I ever have.”
Still inspired by powerful country artists, the singer is determined to share real stories through her storytelling. “Seeing Lainey Wilson’s rise has been really, really inspiring […] She has some of the best songwriting and really unique stories, and is so true to herself. I’m so excited for the future of females in country music. There’s more of a place for everyone’s stories and all different kinds of female artists.”
Belles continues to blend her country music songwriting with other genres, since finding her own voice and style in Nashville. “Stylistically, I’ve kind of been experimenting with mixing traditional elements and more modern elements. My producer, Ned Cameron was actually a rap producer in LA before moving to Nashville. […] He’s brought a lot of different elements to my music that I think are pretty unique.”
Flash forward to today, Belles is on her first ever headlining tour thanks to the fanbase she has been able to grow via social media. “My social media has grown so much too. That’s what really sparked the tour idea. I really wanted to meet these people in real life that I’ve connected with, so I decided to book this club tour and it’s 20 shows, and it’s my first ever headlining tour, and a lot of venues that have been on my bucket list for years.”
The tour has been a place where Belles could finally connect face to face with her fans. Throughout the tour, the songstress is sure to play both released and unreleased music. In just a couple of weeks (January 26th), Belles will release a new song called, “I Hate Trucks.”
According to the singer, “‘I Hate Trucks’ is a fun one. Obviously in Nebraska, everyone drives trucks […] I have never really been a huge fan of trucks, I don’t really understand why you leave the back of this truck empty all the time, so I brought this idea into a writing session because I don’t really like trucks, but I always end up dating guys that drive these big, huge trucks. […] The hook is “I hate trucks, but I love the boys who drive them.” It’s kind of tongue in cheek.”
2024 is slated to be the biggest year yet for the rising artist, who is planning to release a song every six weeks for the new year. Stay tuned and be on the look out!
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Belles’ music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.