Rhythm, blues and soul album recorded during COVID pandemic while Belle worked on the frontlines as an ICU nurse; video brings new light out of dark times.
Maggie Belle Show at DBA Friday, September 23, doors 7:30 pm, featuring opener Sabine McCalla – Purchase tickets at www.DBANewOrleans.com.
NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans-based artist, Maggie Belle, launched today the title track music video (directed by Sasha Solodukhina) from her recent album, Starting Anew. The song began as a poem, discussing love both lost and gained, but slowly transformed into a multi-meaning anthem after Belle – who works as an ICU nurse by day – navigated the mental, physical and emotional hardships working through the COVID-19 pandemic and coming out with a new mindset.
To celebrate the video’s launch, Maggie Belle will perform live on Friday, September 23 (doors 7:30 pm) at DBA (618 Frenchman Street). The show will open with Louisiana folk artist Sabine McCalla followed by Belle’s full band with keys, bass, drums and horns. Tickets ($20) can be purchased at www.dbaneworleans.com.
Click HERE to watch the “Starting Anew” music video!
“Starting Anew” was filmed in New Orleans at Richard Street Studios and was made possible in part by the Jazz and Heritage Foundation. The video featured an all-local crew, from director to production designers, photography, makeup, choreography and more (credits listed below).
“I crafted the world of the video with a group of close-knit collaborators, using playful transitions and costume changes to reflect the song’s themes of cycles and growth,” said music video director Sasha Solodukhina. “The video moves from a more subdued set, evocative of classic choreographed mid-century stage shows, to something stranger and more whimsical. It culminates in Maggie’s metamorphosis into a vision in red, a flower – a wink to the poppy on the cover art of the album and a representation of the theme of growth and rebirth in Starting Anew.”
Belle – in collaboration with keyboardist Brian Scheller – began working together as a duo in 2013. After many years of writing and performing select songs, they began recording their first full-length studio album under Maggie Belle – Starting Anew – in New Orleans in 2019. But, when the pandemic hit in 2020, they decided to slow down, refocus and take their time perfecting the project. Belle began turning to her music as a method of healing through the uncertainty and sadness she was experiencing while working in the ICU. “Starting Anew” was chosen as the album’s title track to represent both the growth and progression of their music and of Belle and Scheller as individuals.
“Starting Anew is a song about growth and rebirth, of love lost and gained.” Said Belle. “Working on this album during the pandemic gave me an outlet to overcome the pain, sadness and fear I experienced on a day-to-day basis as an ICU nurse. This music has brought me so much healing and has allowed me to care for and comfort my patients and their families in the darkest of days, and I hope it does the same for all who listen to it.”
“Starting Anew,” the 9-track album released under Houston-based Splice Records, was produced by Eric Heigle (Arcade Fire, Lost Bayou Ramblers) and recorded at the legendary Dockside Studio in Maurice, Louisiana, two hours west of New Orleans. Gaining inspiration from blues legends Nina Simone, Billy Holiday, and Dinah Washington, as well as Motown, R&B, soul and pop, Belle’s sultry, distinctive voice and heartfelt lyrics create a unique sound all her own.
Album Credits: Starting Anew
Artist: Maggie Belle
Track: Starting Anew
Music Written by: Margaret Belle Gehegan and Brian Scheller
Music Producer: Eric Heigle
Music Video Credits: “Starting Anew”
Director: Sasha Solodukhina
Concept: Sasha Solodukhina, Sarah VanDerMeer
DP: A. Hennen Payne
Production Designer: Sarah VanDerMeer
Makeup Designer: Jean Bingham
Costume Design: Sasha Solodukhina
Choreography: Lea Fulton
Lighting: Max Skelton, Paavo Henninen
Production Fairies: Jesy Rae Buhl, Katie Kut, Sean Moore
Dancers: Lea Fulton, Joanna Tomassoni
Green Body: Katie Kut
Edited By: Sasha Solodukhina
Colorist: Seth Mathews
Titles: Jane Geisler
Executive Producer: Kenny Morrison