Bella Blaq loves music down to the core, and she’s here to bring that same energy to the rap game.
Hailing from Blakely, Georgia as the oldest of three sisters, the rising star began performing freestyle shows in the school yard and inside her household at the young age of 14. Drawing from influences including the likes of Missy Elliot, Aaliyah, and Lauryn Hill, Bella creates her own version of old school hip-hop with a modern twist.
Bella describes herself as “a very fun girl. Very mysterious, very talented, very creative. A young lady that wants to show the world her talents.”
Most recently, she released the official music video for her new single “Booty,” shot through a TikTok lens — the social media platform where she’s able to showcase her sense of humor and vibrant personality.
Having opened for the likes of 2 Chainz, Future, and Young Dro, Bella is here to put on for all the aspiring independent artists around the world, putting in the work necessary to make it to the big leagues.
AllHipHop: How would you describe your sound?
Bella Blaq: I have a very unique sound. My sound is mixed with Missy, Lauryn Hill and Drake. I have a very different sound. I’m country, so a lot of my words are slang. [laughs]
AllHipHop: Growing up in Blakely, Georgia, what was the household like?
Bella Blaq: Blakely is a country town, very small. I was raised by my mom and my stepdad, I have 2 younger siblings. Growing up in a country town was different, there wasn’t a lot of motivation to get out of there because it’s so small, there’s nothing to do. We didn’t even have a Walmart or a mall, the nearest one was 30 or 45 miles away. I thought “I don’t want to live like this. I don’t want this.” That’s when I knew I was meant for something more.
AllHipHop: Who were your influences?
Bella Blaq: I love Lauryn Hill, Drake, J. Cole, Missy Elliott. I listen to them, those are my main influences in the music industry. It used to just be Missy and Lauryn, but now I really like Drake. He’s super dope, super talented. That’d be someone that I’d love to work with, as well as Andre 3000.
AllHipHop: At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
Bella Blaq: Ooh Jesus, since I was a kid I knew I didn’t want to do anything else. I take that back, I said I wanted to either wrestle or be an artist, but I knew I wanted to do music for sure. I started taking it seriously when I was 16. Between the ages of 14 and 16 is when I said “I want to do this forever. I don’t want to do anything else.”
AllHipHop: What was the inspiration behind your name?
Bella Blaq: People used to tell me all the time that I was very beautiful. I hate when they say “you’re beautiful for a Black girl” or “you’re pretty for a Black girl.” I was in the studio one day and I was going by my real name, which is Shekira. She said “you’re so beautiful and Black to me.” What’s another word for beautiful? Some people say bella, some people say bella (Spanish pronunciation), but it’s still spelled bella. Okay, I’ma go with Bella Blaq. I’ma be different and unique so I’m gonna change the black from “ck” to “q.”
AllHipHop: “Booty” out now, how are you feeling?
Bella Blaq: I’m super motivated. “Booty” is moving really fast, it’s super huge on TikTok. It’s over 50 million streams on TikTok alone. I’m super excited about that: people making videos from it, using it. I’m super excited. I’m thankful for my team, my producer, everybody. Even though it’s my record, “Booty” still inspired me. It lit this fire like oh wow, people really like it. It’s a different side of me that people don’t get to see. They like the song so I’m really excited. I know this is just the beginning.
AllHipHop: Bring us back to that recording session.
Bella Blaq: I wanted to show them that I have a fun side. Because my image is very pin-up, very vintage, so sometimes people are scared to talk to me because they think I’m stuck up or whatever. No, I really get down. I can really have fun. I like to party, I like to shake my butt. I like to do the same stuff, I just don’t post it as much. I said “let me sit down and think about some of the things that I’ve been through. Being in the trap, the trap lifestyle, how can I make it make sense and make it trendy for people to like?” He came to me and I said “let’s do it.” It was dope. It was already in my head before and we ran with it.
AllHipHop: How much of a role did TikTok have in the success of the record? 20 million streams is a lot!
Bella Blaq: Huge. Major. Huge. [laughs] TikTok played a major role in “Booty.” My numbers tripled since I dropped “Booty.” I’m almost at 400K on TikTok. Before I dropped it, I was at 100K. That’s almost 200K to 300K followers in a month.
AllHipHop: Who’s idea was it to have the video shot through a TikTok lens?
Bella Blaq: We live in a microwave society. People’s attention span is really short so let’s be super creative and create viral things. Viral content, things that will go viral. I wanted them to feel like they were in an app, not watching a video. We get on our phones sometimes and people can’t come off of those social media platforms. We’re scrolling forever on Instagram or we’re scrolling forever on TikTok, on automatic scroll. Boom baboom baboom, different videos back to back.
AllHipHop: Best memory from the shoot?
Bella Blaq: Being cold. Being able to show my millions of personalities that I have. It was dope being able to be 100% hands on from each and every second. We want this clip, we gon’ save this. We want this clip, save this. Just being hands on, it was amazing. The whole thing was amazing. Everything about it was amazing.
AllHipHop: What is it you want fans to get from your story?
Bella Blaq: Motivation. I’m a single mother of 3 kids. I had my first son when I was 16. My youngest is 6. My oldest son never met his dad, he’s been in prison since I was 2 weeks pregnant. I want to be that person that motivates people to let them know, just because things doesn’t go the way that society says that it’s supposed to go, doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. Yes we’re gonna have trials. We’re gonna have tribulations. We’re gonna go through things. There are gonna be roadblocks. People are going to start with you, but not finish with you. You’re gonna be depressed. You’re gonna have crazy thoughts, but that does not mean that you stop.
Do I think about stopping? Every f###### day. [laughs] Every day, but that doesn’t mean that you stop. You keep pushing through because what else do you have to lose? Either way, you gotta live. You still got to wake up tomorrow, so you might as well put your best foot forward.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio?
Bella Blaq: Strawberries. I need an empty studio. Nobody in there but me, my producer, and my engineer. And water. I don’t smoke and I don’t really drink like that. As long as I got my strawberries, water, and an empty studio, I’m good to go.
AllHipHop: How was it opening up for 2 Chainz, Future and Young Droo?
Bella Blaq: It was different because back then, I was in an all females group. I was in a group called Girl Power Gang with 2 other girls, then it broke down to me and one other girl. Opening up at a young age for those people was amazing. We’re in front of hundreds of people, sometimes thousands of people. I’m not knowing what I’m doing but I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing, it feels right. It’s this rush of adrenaline of “you’re doing the right thing.” It was amazing, I can’t wait to get back on the stage.
AllHipHop: Talk about incorporating humor into your content as well, and showcasing your personality.
Bella Blaq: I know I’m a very goofy person. I’ve been through so much that sometimes you go through s###, I can’t do nothing to do but laugh. Sometimes you can be depressed, you see something that makes you happy, smile and laugh, you forget about stuff. That’s why I try to incorporate happiness into it. Some people go through so much stuff, they take everything serious. Consume what I’m saying, listen to what I’m saying. I’m talking real stuff but at the same time, you can get a laugh. I can show you my personality. I can show you different ways, different things that can brighten up your day. I want to help people feel better and let them know she has a goofy side. She’s human.
AllHipHop: Goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
Bella Blaq: That’s a trick question because I want everything that God is going to allow me to have. I don’t have any limitations. I’ve been through so much. I got stuff I do on the side, but I don’t have a plan B. I want to be the best at everything. I want to be the best artist. I want to be the best influencer. Top tier. Reaching these goals, getting Grammys. Right now, Beyonce has the most Grammys. I love her to death, but I have goals of surpassing her. It’s nothing personal with her, I have certain people assigned to me that I have to set examples for.
I have to show them that hey, if she did it, I can do it. That’s what I’m here to do. Setting the record for my family, being the first millionaire at minimum for my family. It’s so much stuff I want to do. Being able to invest into my fans, being able to help my fans through college, being able to help my fans get homes. Credit, teaching my fans about investing into stocks. Teaching them how to put money into their kids’ account. Not just giving them merchandise, but when we’re at a show, I can pick 2 or 3 families to sponsor for a trip or vacation. That’s the type of stuff I want to do.
AllHipHop: What can we expect next?
Bella Blaq: I’m working on a project. I’m super excited about that, we’ll be dropping it really soon. I’ma drop another single first, then I’m gonna drop a project. I’ve been in the studio working. Nervous and working. [laughs]