Four years ago, Frank Bell made a decision that would change his musical path forever. Originally a classically-trained cellist, Bell went on to discover alternative means of expression through music. He decided to post videos of his music on Youtube. One of those videos, an original track titled “The Penguin,” became featured on Youtube’s homepage and amassed an impressive 800,000+ views. This success led to the release of his debut EP “On Passion and Reason.” While his music embodies an acoustic/folk type genre, we get a very classic and jazzy vibe from his style, particularly his voice. This was represented well on his debut EP, which was released worldwide. And yet we are left wondering how his sound could be defined. The answer: It’s not meant to be. Bell has said it himself, “I’m always growing as a person, and inevitably my music grows as well. If I could easily describe what I mean and feel in words, I probably wouldn’t write most of my music in the first place…” The mystery leaves us wanting more. Our curiosity keeps us interested. This is important, especially in an industry where songs lose value a few days after they release. Bell’s lyrics are brilliant and insightful. His recent display of this is on his new record titled “Everything Falls Into Place.” The album is an amazing blend of pop, rock, soul, funk, and more. It is an uplifting collection of songs that should be in everyone’s iTunes library. Get a preview of the entire album below. We also have an exclusive interview with Bell where he talks about his influences, his style, and some of his upcoming projects. Follow the link to grab a copy of the album on iTunes and watch some of his best videos within the interview. Check it all out below. Get on the hype.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH FRANK BELL
HypeTune.com: How has your career as a musician changed since your original song “The Penguin,” which is now approaching 1,000,000 views, was featured on Youtube?
Frank Bell: The other day I was in bed reminiscing on my laptop, looking back at those early YouTube videos from way back. I was amazed at how much things have changed since then. I didn’t really start posting videos on YouTube with my career in mind. I remember writing “The Penguin” and showing it to a friend afterwards. I wasn’t planing on posting it at all, mostly because I was afraid of how I would react if people didn’t like it, ya know? I wasn’t sure I could handle the feedback. After a bit of convincing, I went ahead and took the leap and the rest is still developing. Since “The Penguin” getting featured, it’s been a succession of more leaps, decisions, opportunities etc. It’s all amazing really – One of the greatest feelings to me is knowing that I’m being heard. Even if only by one person, it means the world to know that someone is listening. YouTube afforded that outlet and made it possible on multiple platforms. It feels good to create a video or album and know that people are going to listen.
HypeTune.com: Congratulations on the release of your new album “Everything Falls Into Place.” What would you say is different about this album from what we heard on your amazing debut EP “On Passion and Reason”?
Frank Bell: First, thanks for the kind words! If the 2008 EP, On Passion and Reason represents some sort of dichotomy of following your heart versus thinking rationally, I think this record holds onto those faucets of life, but represents acknowledgment of where I am. Holding on to both, the good, AND the bad at the same time. This relates to daily struggles that I feel we all go through at some point in our lives. Personal issues, relationship issues the list goes on. We’re ALL searching for some sort of purpose, whether we know it or not. My goal in this record is to remind people that everything eventually falls into place – whether its from a track that explicitly says that, or from a song that you’re able to listen to and forget whatever it is that’s bothering you in the first place.
HypeTune.com: You mentioned your sound is constantly growing and changing. As of now, after the release of your album, how would you describe your style of music?
Frank Bell: I’ve always had trouble categorizing my music. I think one review actually called it “Neo-Folk-Pop-Rock-Soul” or something along those lines… I’ve more or less stopped trying to explain what style of music I play. I’m just horrible at it – Looking at the new record for instance, there’s elements of everything really. Some tracks more poppy than others, some with the evident funk, and others a bit more toned down and contemplative. What ties them all together I believe, is the honesty in where they were written from. I try not to limit myself to anything too specific formula wise, and let the music act as a vessel of conveying whatever feeling/thought/idea/experience that happens to be going on. I guess you could say Indie, Pop, Rock, Folk, Funk, Blues, Soul… But that’s you saying it, not me
HypeTune.com: How did you discover the title “Everything Falls Into Place”? Where did you find your inspiration? Influences?
Frank Bell: The title track from the record, I actually wrote on an airplane, coming back from a short European press tour. The EP had just come out and was getting a fair amount of buzz and it just seemed right to go on a little adventure. It was a ridiculously amazing experience (love to my Amsterdam family!), hopping around and doing the radio station circuits – Something I had very little experience with back in the U.S. I remember being on long the plane ride back home, not knowing exactly what I was returning to. After all the interviews and press out in Europe I didn’t really have a plan upon returning to the States. About halfway through the flight, and 3 almost panic attacks later, I realized that everything would work out and I needn’t worry. I was spending so much time living in the “what if?” world as opposed to living in the moment, and appreciating where I was and how I got there. In many ways, that makes up a lot of the feel for this record. Inspiration and Influence? Life.
HypeTune.com: This is our classic question. If you could collaborate with any musician on your next record, who would it be and why?
Frank Bell: Excellent question! You’ve got me stumped. There are a few collaborations that come to mind… Some that are already in the works, and some that we’re currently working on, and others, secret music crushes that I’m hoping will eventually come to fruition . Collaboration wise, the most important thing is that it comes natural. Whether it’s a chance meeting or songwriting session, or an introduction from friends, suits, etc – if it’s organic, I’m all about it. I’m looking forward to said mystery collaboration(s)!
HypeTune.com: If any other musician could cover one of your songs off the new album, who would you want it to be and why?
Frank Bell: I LOVE hearing covers of my songs… I honestly wouldn’t limit anyone from doing it. On occasion I’ll get an email from a listener and their take on one of my songs, and it always blows me away… It’s a pretty amazing feeling hearing someone else interpret something that you’re so close to.
HypeTune.com: One more. If you could perform on stage with any artist who would it be and why?
Frank Bell: Live performance? Off the top of my head I would say cellist, Yo-Yo Ma. I had the pleasure of playing for him quite a few times growing up, and he’s been an integral part of my growth as a musician, especially in the earlier years. He puts his all in EVERY performance, and his way of approaching a musical journey is admirably unprecedented in my opinion. I’d love to share a stage with him again…
That said, I’d also love to experiment with some live electronic DJ stuff during a set – I could see myself doing some cray ‘ish with Bassnectar, or Deadmau5. or Chromeo. I’d consider doing something live with Lady Ga Ga, just so I could out-do her with an over the top costume… Or rappers, they tend to have a good time. I just love performing!
HypeTune.com: What can we expect from Frank Bell in the next few months? Any new projects?
Frank Bell: I’ll be announcing festival and tour dates within the next few months, and working on those few exciting collaborations. 2012 Is going to be an exciting year, for sure. Seeing as how the record is finally out after 3 years in the making, I’m ready to tour it. Something about playing with a full band – It’s exhilarating! These new songs definitely lend themselves to that – bound to be an experience for us all.
HypeTune.com: What advice do you have for up-and-coming musicians working to release original content?
Frank Bell: In addition to taking advantage of social media/networking – Write, write, and write! It’s easy to get stuck on one unfinished song or piece of work. Don’t forget to move on, and continue creating. A lot of times I find that I’ll come back to something that has me stumped, in a much more refreshing way, and knock it out. I was just reading Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” and he makes an interesting observation with his 10,000 hour rule. Pretty much, if anyone puts in enough time doing anything, they are bound to see results. I’m still putting my hours in