Interview: Bella Loka

Hey guys,

Who doesn't know the Abbey Road Studios?
Yeah, they're legendary, it's no secret!

And the band you'll be able to get to know today has recorded their EP there.

Bella Loka is a two piece outfit from London, UK consisting of Tea Boothby and David Boothby.
David took time to chat with us about recording in said legendary studios, writing songs at night, the household of a married couple making music together and Doctor Who!

Find out more about the band now and make sure to check out their music below.

house in the sand: So you are a married couple making music. What can we expect your household to be like? Is it always loud and is always someone making music?
David: Our household is pretty much a home studio, with various weird and wonderful instruments as well as an array of guitars, keyboards and pedals etc all around the place ready to inspire us. It gets messy when there's a project on the go, and usually one of us is working on something, often when the other is trying to sleep! Inspiration comes at strange times, often inconvenient times, but who can complain?

house in the sand: Would you say working together is easier as a couple than as just band mates?
David: In some ways... obviously being a couple we're on the same page most of the time and have a secure foundation for disagreements when we're not. And making decision is quicker and easier, things like organising gigs and recording. But it's hard to turn off. We have to be disciplined sometimes about not working and not talking about band stuff. But there's no way we would have been able to do what we've done if we were just friends who each had different partners. Impossible!

house in the sand: You write and play pop music. Is there a reason you got into this specific genre? 
David: Well we haven't always been as accessible. We came from a more alternative indie-rock background, inspired by bands such as Radiohead and Flaming Lips, where sonically it was unique and sometimes a challenging listen. We've always been inspired by music and art that deals with weighty and interesting subject matter and likes to break the rules. Our songs spring from an appreciation of delving deep, but we have always loved the simplicity of a great hook, beat and melody. Tea always jokes that a combination of the two is her "goal in life". That was always the kind of pop we wanted to make.

house in the sand: Imagine your music could be featured in any TV show of your choice - which one would it be?
David: Well I'm a huge Doctor Who fan so that's a no brainer for me, but Tea would probably want to be in the next James Cameron film! Do they show Doctor Who in Germany?

house in the sand: How did you come up with your band name?
David: Tea had been playing with the phrase Bella Loka for some time, while exploring themes of contradiction in the art and writing. The idea that you can find beauty in dark and unexpected places was the key in the writing process of the record. The phrase literally means 'beautiful universe, wolrd or expanse', which seemed fitting as we feel our music is essentially a comment on what we experience and see around us everyday. The play on words with the word loka sounding like 'loca', meaning the feminine of crazy, in our mind just reinforces the light/dark themes in the music and demonstrates the idea that interpretation and perspective is everything. Where some see darkness, others see beauty. You may see something different!

house in the sand: Who or what inspires you to write?
David: It could be anything really. Example, we know a guy called Colin, and we now have a song called Colin! It's all real. All of it is about real struggles, real experiences, real people. It's all lived. So I guess it's our lives and the lives of the people we encounter condensed into songs. It's kind of the stuff that can't not be written, the stuff that has to be expressed in a song because there's no other way to express it.

house in the sand: For your EP you collected the money via a Kickstarter campaign. Did you expect people to help out that much?
David: Well the way Kickstarter works, if they hadn't helped out that much, we'd have got nothing at all, as you have to reach your full target. So I guess on one level we thought it was possible or else we wouldn't have done it, but then every single contribution was a surprise because you never know where it's going to come from. Or when. It wasn't until the last day that the final 3k came in, and most of that in the last hour! Nerve-wracking. But we were blown away by people's support and generosity. Thanks again everyone!

house in the sand: You then went and recorded said EP at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. What did that feel like?
David: It's hard to think that anything could compare with the feeling of walking up those steps for the first time, knowing you're entering the building where all those Beatles and Pink Floyd records were made. It's a whole world in there. They still have all the tape machines that the Beatles records were made on, lined up in a corridor. On the way to the bathroom you walk past a Beatles album cover, framed and signed by all members, which is just leaning against the wall next to a bookshelf! It has it's own bar and courtyard. Incredible. We're looking forward to going back...

house in the sand: Is there a song you are most proud of?
David: I love 'Alive'. That song had been around for a while, in different forms, and Tea and I had demoed it a lot at home trying to find the right form for it, never really getting anywhere. At one point it was a kind of 6/8 blues thing. Then one night I was sleeping and in my dream this drum-beat started up. And still asleep I was just listening to this drum beat, then to my surprise I heard Tea singing the verse of 'Alive' over it, in my dream! And I woke up suddenly, went straight down to the home studio and started demoing the song with this new beat and tempo, and Tea got involved and came up with a whole load of new hooks, a new section and bang, the song was there. And it's pretty much that version we recorded. So I'm very pleased with that one, I feel it really nails our vision of the kind of pop we want to make. It's a very heavy song, lyrically, with some big pop moments. But they're all our babies! You can't pick a favourite one really, can you?

house in the sand: Can you share some of your plans for the future with us?
David: Well there's lots of new songs which we can't wait to record, so making this into an album is definitely on the cards. We're starting to go out and play it live, and we're experimenting with different formats for that, playing with some incredible musicians to help us bring it to the stage. Tea does music videos, so they are in progress.

house in the sand: Please complete the following sentence: We are Bella Loka and we...
David: ...see beauty in unlikely places!

house in the sand: David, thank you so much for taking time to answer those questions! It's appreciated!
David: Thank you! It's been a pleasure.

Bella Loka online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud

Thank you for reading!

 Credits // Text & Questions: Vanessa Jertschewske | Answers: David Boothby | Photography:


  1. Great interview. I love their energy. And Alive is an amazing track. I keep singing the 'Ooh, ooh, ah ah ah. .' bit, it's so catchy:-)

    1. Glad you enjoyed the interview, thanks for taking time to write! :) Keep up the singing! ;) x


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