Born in Chicago, Bella Kaye's innate love for singing and performing started at the early age of three. She spent several years performing as a featured member of the Chicago Children’s Choir, as well as singing solo performances with her school. In 2015, she and her family moved to California to pursue her musical endeavors. She wrote and released the singles "Heartache" in August 2019 and "Fake" in October, followed in November by a debut EP release, Reflections.
A new single called "Missing You" debuted in May 2020, followed by a cover of the Turtles' classic 1960s track "Happy Together." "I wanted to create a musical arrangement that was dark and somber, bringing out an emotion of longing and desire that wasn’t in the original," said the young singer of the latter track.
Another single called “Empty Promises” dropped in August, followed in October by "Wandering Eyes" and in November by "Cold Hearted Love."
The teen singer addressed the negative effects and illusions of social media in her song "Highlight Reel," released in June 2021, the first single off a seven-song concept EP that is described as "focused on the journey of being in a dark place mentally and moving to a place of health and healing."
According to Kaye, "I feel a lot of people use social media to display this perfect image of themselves, which is a distorted version of reality. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of comparison, wishing you were someone else and feeling jealous and not good enough. Learning how to navigate this, feel confident with who you are and understand what’s real and not real is a struggle I think a lot of people face."
Her single "Drowning," released in August 2021, is an emotional ballad reflecting on a dark period in her life when she lost herself and started spiraling downwards. “Drowning is a reflection piece and I don’t think I would’ve been able to write this song while being in the mental state I was in," she says. "I wrote this by reflecting back to the feelings of being trapped in a deep mental hole and feeling like I was loosing myself. I feel this song is a very accurate representation of the emotions and feelings I was dealing with during this low point in my life. Even though I wrote this song based on my emotional state that happened a while ago, I feel like this song is still very relevant to me as I navigate through my teenage years.”
It's the second single (following “Highlight Reel”) off her narrative concept EP Learning to Be, an autobiographical project covering a turbulent year. “When I began writing the songs for this EP I had no idea they were going to be a snapshot of my life. As I reflected on this period of my life through the writing process, I began to realize that life is a journey and it’s about finding yourself and being confident and comfortable with who you are. There will be ups and downs and some days will be harder than others, but it’s all part of the process to ultimately find love for ourselves and others.”
At age 18 in 2022, Kaye released a new single "Psycho Ex," based on her own experience, marks a shift toward dark pop aimed squarely at Gen Z. "From my perspective I feel Gen Z is the generation of putting our foot down on the BS, consciously waking up to and moving past and healing [the] limiting beliefs or societal conditions. Growing up in a digital age of social media, so many Gen Z-ers had to experience the toxicity of social media, the curation, the fake perfection, etc. If you get to the other side, you realize how ridiculous it is." The single was followed in October 2022 by another for "Never Again."
May 2023 saw the release of a single called "Paint Me Blue," which she says is about the frustration and anger she felt towards herself for staying in an unhealthy relationship.
(Photo by Celina Kenyon)