Born to a Quebecois father and a Dutch-American mother, the rising Quebec City-born, Montreal-based pop artist Sophia Bel grew up fascinated by trip-hop and drum ‘n’ bass — during the era of The Spice Girls, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera. Bel’s work often finds her unafraid to cover vastly different sonic territory with the focus on capturing the right feeling in that particular moment. Interestingly, for her, pop is one of many aesthetics that she commonly pulls from and not a goal to achieve.
Along with pop, Bel plucks from underground electronic music, skater punk, guitar folk and even Quebecois hippie music to craft a rich, difficult to pigeonhole soundscape that has received praise from Wonderland, The Line of Best Fit, Complex and Clout among a growing list of others.
The rising Quebec City-born, Montreal-based artist has always been slightly out of step with her immediate surroundings. Her black fingernail polish made her the target of bullies at her suburban Quebec City school, earning her the nickname “Princess of the Dead.” Her recently released sophomore EP Princess of the Dead, Vol. II finds Bel reclaiming her identity, while marking her first release through Bonsound Records.
So far two singles have been released off the EP, “You’re Not Real You’re Just A Ghost” and “Voyage Astral.” The EP’s third and latest single “No More” is a slickly produced, breakneck,. meshing of alt pop, trap, house music and contemporary electro pop centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, explosive industrial clang and clatter, skittering beats and Bel’s plaintive and ethereal vocals. The song is written and produced to capture an intense and particular sensation: “I wanted to explore the dark emotions that come when learning to assert oneself, Bel explains. The anger, the bittersweet nostalgia of a lost fantasy. The mysterious tones of this song are paired with a drum ‘n’ bass inspired hook that creates an exhilarating rush of intensity.”
Directed by Jean-François Sauvé, the recently released video for “No More” places Bel into an empty and abandoned warehouse, where she’s imprisoned and watched over by an AI that attempts to capture every vacillating of its subject. The visuals manage to crackle, jolt and lurch with a seemingly brash,. supernatural energy while throwing the viewer into a dark and uncertain universe that kind of feels like our own.