Without The Paper
Bella Kalolo’s journey, from backing singer to leading lady, was not without disappointments. The song Bathe In The River was written for her only to be told that Hollie Smith would perform it in the film No.2; Bella even dutifully performed backing vocals on the popular version.
But Without The Paper shows that the transition from hired-hand to leading-lady has been worth the years of hard work. From gigging around Wellington to playing at the famous Glastonbury Festival, Bella Kalolo and her band the Soul Symphony have won over fans and it’s easy to see why. She’s blessed with a strong soul voice – at times recalling the early Tina Turner and the songwriting is strong too; these are not just excuses for soul stabs, horn hits and some wondrous wailing – this is an album of crafted tunes.
The band absolutely kills it but they know their role, Bella is the star attraction. Live she has humour and personality in her performance, lifting it far away from the facsimile of soul that so many appear to hand in.
Without The Paper is proof that what Bella and her band has translates well to the studio. One of very few Kiwi soul acts that have actually delivered a great record.