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:: Spotlight :: Belinda Chapple - Moving Into Her Own Territory

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Belinda Chapple has embarked on a solo singing career and has spent much of the last twelve months fine tuning her efforts in the art of singing, dancing, and writing in order to kickstart her career after break-up of all-girl group Bardot. The rise of Bardot had catapulted Belinda and her band members to being very public figures. They had achieved double platinum and gold albums, six hit singles, and, coming from the Popstars television show, lasted much longer than anyone anticipated. Belinda has released her first solo single ‘Move Together’ and it’s the first step in building towards a debut album. I had a chat to Belinda about the famous recent past and her ambitions.

Q. It must be a good feeling reaching this stage of your first single release…

A. Yes, I have been aiming towards this for some time. I had released ‘Where It All Began’ for the Athens Olympics but that was more of a gimmick song. This song is more up my alley and part of my project. It’s a good start.

Q. You’ve already made a couple of notable public appearances to perform it, so that must have been gratifying also…

A. It was good fun to perform it at the Sydney Autumn racing carnival. It was nice to be selected for it.

Q. Tell us how you felt after Bardot broke up?

A. I was absolutely devastated. It was pretty heartbreaking. How it ended was totally out of my control. It certainly wasn’t my choice. We had three solid years and we were getting to the point where there were overseas openings. All sorts of things were starting to happen. It was very premature that we finished.

Q. Is there room for another Bardot in the future, in the way you came together?

A. Look, what we had was pretty special. I’d say bring it on. There is an opportunity for another Bardot but it’s pretty tough out there unless you’re from a reality TV show. It’s tough to launch. Unless you have a major record company vouching for you and putting money into everything, it can be tough to get support from radio, TV, etc. You need the machine behind you.

Q. What do you think of the latest breed of pop star search TV shows?

A. We (Bardot) were lucky and not lucky in the sense that many people said we were manufactured. We were put down. Many embraced us, however, because it was something that hadn’t really been seen before. By the time Australian Idol came around, it wasn’t that different except that the public voted. I think it’s a great opportunity for Australian talent. Unless you have TV hype, it’s hard to get radio airplay. Australia has to think about how it structures the system or we won’t have record companies to sustain it.

Q. Anyway, it’s the career of Belinda Chapple now, and you’ve been able to work with someone as talented as Solitaire on this record…

A. My record company (Central Station) works with Solitaire in the UK. That was the contact and it seemed the perfect fit. So we asked him to remix ‘Move Together’.

Q. Obviously, Central Station is a good fit for what you want to do…

A. Central Station is a young funky record label and I chose to go with them. There are no old suits around and they come from a music background. It’s right up my alley.

Q. What is influencing you these days?

A. Things in my life influence me, by travel and by music. I’ve got a vast taste in music these days and it’s constantly evolving.

Q. I believe you play some jazz shows around Sydney occasionally…

A. The jazz shows comprise a pianist and me. We just do the old jazz favourites.

Q. How is the album progressing?

A. The album is a work in progress. There will be similarities to ‘Move Together’.

Q. You’ve been a very fashionable person in the Bardot times, always dressing well in performances and on the social front…

A. I am really into the pop culture and the fusion of music and fashion. It’s a passion that comes from within. What you see is really me. I have always had a passion for fashion. If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be studying fashion design.

Q.Do you think about a possible backlash about the ex-Bardot girls embarking on a solo recording career? Tiffani Wood and Sophie Monk haven’t set the world on fire as yet.

A. Sophie and Tiffani are both very different artists and I’m different again. I am getting those perceptions, as an ex-Bardot girl but that’s just the way it is. I expect it. People will love to hate you.

Q. What have you got planned in the near future?

A. We’re putting together a tour for the near future.

Q. What format will that take?

A. It will be me plus two dancers for club appearances, doing two or three numbers in a performance.
‘Move Together’ is out through Central Station/MRA.

You can read our CD Review here