Barcelona’s Uma releases debut EP ‘Bel-li’
Barcelona-based singer-songwriter and Slow Dance signee Uma releases debut EP ‘Bel-li’, via “the collective at the cutting edge of London’s live music scene” (Dazed), Slow Dance, (the likes of Black Midi, Jockstrap, Sorry, Goat Girl, PVA, Squid and more).
Born in Catalonia to a British mother, trained in Performance Art, and a Thai father, working in a hospice in the slums of Bangkok, Uma’s upbringing of travel and diversity in encounters has inspired chords of empathy; the affinity to those around her bleeds naturally into her music.
Although initially classically trained in violin from the age of four years old, Uma has found innovation in various genres and performers, citing Joni Mitchell, Buika, Ella Fitzgerald, Nico, Macy Gray, Bebel Gilberto, Shakira and Florence and the Machine. “I was surrounded with a lot of jazz and bossa nova at home and through my studies of violin, also spent a lot of time studying classical music. Later on, becoming more exposed to the likes of pop, I realised how much I enjoyed the fluidity of genres and sounds.”
Her BA in Music saw her continue perusing what came naturally to her, and aspiring to create with like-minded, young talent, Uma set up music residency “Can Obert” in her house in Spain with Luke Bower (Lucy Lu). Over twenty-five young artists and musicians, including Alice Bloomfield, Max Pope, Amy May Ellis and Nilüfer Yanya collaborated to create over twenty songs in a week, continuing for numerous years and becoming more experimental.
Uma’s unwavering sincerity and her passion toward the creative art of music, community and collaboration shines through in her work. Having released previous single ‘Standing In The Sun’: “a song about eternal optimism; going through something unimaginably hard emotionally but remembering that all things pass”, Uma also invited us into her visual world, with a sun kissed video featuring clothing from Paloma Wool and a group of women (including her sister) expressing the importance of “girls supporting girls, because honestly, that was the only way I was able to get by.”
‘Bel-li’ is composed of five tracks, emphasising Uma’s intensely interpersonal and deep connection with music and lyricism. “Writing for me is my way of processing and expressing the world around me and the experiences I’ve gone through. I feel a lot for the people I’m surrounded with and the issues I really care about, such as mental health and the under-representation of females within the music industry.”
These tracks, though accessible in their listenability, blur the lines of traditional genres, as Uma focuses on the beauty and versatility of sound. The use of classical arrangements and Spanish guitar are a beautiful echo of her roots and upbringing. At the heart of these releases lie a sense of raw humanity and honesty. With arduous intensity, she expresses: “It is all about home and falling into a great love. Late night bowls of spaghetti in your belly. Endless summers watching the sunset from my roof. Imminent tragedy and inescapable melancholy.”
With her debut EP, Uma is following in the footsteps of cult folk artists Linda Perhacs, Josephine Foster and Sybille Baier, creating a sound that is defined by its emotional depth and fragile strength.
The debut EP Bel·li out now
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