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Bella White: Taking On The World


On a mid-July day, the 23-year-old country songstress Bella White is home in Victoria, for once. “Today is a pretty chill day,” she says.

Chill days are rare now for the rising star and former-Calgarian. She released her sophomore album, Among Other Things, in April. Life immediately kicked into higher gear.

Her summer has been a highspeed tour playing shows and music festivals across the United States and the UK (with a few Canadian concerts sprinkled in).

Playing big American festivals has been particularly eye-opening, she says. “Some of those are pretty trippy,” she laughs. “It doesn’t feel like the real Planet Earth, it’s like you’re in this weird simulation. It’s also really cool and fun.”

One summer standout was her debut at the Grand Ole Opry in June, a “very surreal and very special” experience.

“I’ve known about the Grand Ole Opry since I was a little girl,” Bella says. “I didn’t really ever think of it as something I would ever do, I just admired it.”

She played “Break My Heart” from Among Other Things and “Once a Day,” first recorded by Connie Smith in 1964.

“I just felt so welcomed and at home,” Bella says, of the Opry. “Everyone was so warm and kind to me. I felt like they really wanted me to be there. That’s the biggest thing I left feeling grateful for.”

Another debut coming up: Bella’s first appearance at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, on Sunday August 13.

“I’m really excited about it,” she says. “I’m looking forward to being in a community that feels like home to me.”

She’s performing with her fiddle player and bass player. “I think it’s going to be a really sweet show, it will be pretty intimate. With a trio it’s all kind of stripped down.”

First, an Albertan warm-up with a hometown show in Calgary on August 9, at Dickens Pub, playing with Wyatt C. Louis and Brother & Son.

Her first album, Just Like Leaving, was released in September 2020, during the pandemic. Releasing Among Other Things has been a totally different experience, she says. “I feel like it’s been well received and that’s made me really happy.”

“It’s a special feeling to make something over a long period of time, put your heart and soul into it and then you get to let it fly.”

Tune in to The Upload between 11 am and 1pm on Wednesday, August 9. Bella White and her band will be visiting with Kate Stevens in the Calgary studio. You might even hear a song performed!