Annika Bellamy: Innovation and Adaptation During A Global Pandemic
By Riley Finkle
Annika Bellamy is a vocalist on the rise, releasing a steady stream of diverse and impactful singles before the United States shut down due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. As a professional in the music industry, Annika was forced to adapt and overcome the obstacles of quarantine to make her voice heard. In June, I had a conversation with Annika about the origins of her career and her life as a musician on lockdown.
MPM: “This is a somewhat informal question, but where are you located right now?”
Annika: “I am currently living in Long Beach, California.”
MPM: “When you say ‘currently’ does that mean you grew up somewhere else?”
Annika: “I did. I was born and raised in Las Vegas, I moved here about a year ago. There were more music opportunities for me in California. In Las Vegas, I was exposed to the entertainment industry at a really, really young age – so it’s normal for me.”
MPM: “When did music become something you wanted to pursue?”
Annika: “So, I come from a musical family on my dad’s side. Growing up, I was surrounded by aunts and uncles that were always performing and entertaining one another and others, all people. My father sang and danced. Our family gatherings for holidays weren’t an average, regular meet and greet – just sit down and eat type. Singing was always encouraged. Singing and dancing were always a repetitive statement at my grandparents’ house growing up. My father’s parents were professional flamenco dancers from Spain. My uncle is actually a member of the band Redbone, and he co-wrote their hit song “Come and Get Your Love”. I definitely want to carry on his legacy.
MPM: “How did music become something you could do professionally?”
Annika: “Well, I’m really still working on that! Over time, I’ve learned more and more about this ‘biz’. There are few actual rules and far too many shady people. Luckily, I have people around me that are looking after me and the ‘biz’ end. I get to focus on the creative side, which is my passion, but I learn more about the ‘biz’ side each day.”
MPM: “What were you working on, musically or otherwise, when the world essentially shut down in response to COVID-19?”
Annika: “So, we were a week away from a 10-day writing-slash-recording session with two producers from New York and a writer in LA. All of us were going to be in a house for 10 days focused on three to four songs. Then we shut down.”
MPM: “How did the shutdown affect your creative/production process?”
Annika: “After about a month of this, it was obvious that it wasn’t ending anytime soon. And we had to stay creative somehow, so I set up a mini recording studio in my house so I could lay down vocal tracks and send them to my producers. It works ok, but it can’t replace collaborating in person for sure.”
MPM: “As regulations loosen, has it become easier to get back to work? Have you left your home studio to record recently?”
Annika: “Recently, I have not. But we just rescheduled an eight-day house session for this week here in Long Beach. Flights are booked, and the team I’m working with is flying out. So, I will be leaving my house to start recording some new music!
MPM: “Can you give us any insight into what you’re working on now?”
Annika: “I have some very exciting songs coming out – including a reggaeton song in Spanish and a couple more surprises. I think everyone will really like this, and hopefully, they’ll be released just in time for the beaches to open back up for summer.”
MPM: “Will this be the first song you’ve ever released in Spanish?”
Annika: “I’ve never recorded a song in Spanish before, and I’m super excited for the challenge! My nationality is Dutch, Indonesian, and Spanish, so I’m really touching on my Spanish roots on my dad’s side.”
The COVID-19 Pandemic and subsequent lockdown have hindered creatives around the globe from doing what they love. However, artists, like Annika Bellamy, have used this time to adapt and grow. Annika is currently expanding on her, already diverse, catalogue – and I’m extremely excited to listen to the final product.