A shift in creative direction marks a new beginning for seasoned performer, Isabella Losi, and she wants you to know, she is just getting started.
Losi already has two EP releases under her belt and an impressive resume that involves sharing the stage with several Australian music names including Thirsty Merc, Thando and Husky.
Now producing music under the moniker Bella Deer, the 32-year-old performer has moved away from her folk roots, adopting a more contemporary, indie-pop inspired sound.
The name Bella Deer is a nod to the ballads Losi began her career performing.
“I want to put my best work forward,” she said.
“This is the direction. This is the sound. It’s celebrating that.”
Well-suited to the strength and emotiveness of her voice and rawness of her lyrics, it’s a sound that has inspired comparisons to Florence + the Machine and Freya Ridings.
Last month, Losi released new single “Care Too Much”, exploring the pain she felt at the end of a friendship.
It’s a track about sacrifice, loss and finding solace in acceptance.
“‘Care Too Much’ is about having to make a difficult choice between two things that you care very strongly about, however unfortunately knowing that deep down, neither of them can co-exist anymore,” Losi said.
“I was very sad, and I was very down when I wrote it.”
“I get hung up on relationships with people because I love the friendship side of things but sometimes when you’ve got to work hard it clashes if [you’re headed in] different directions.
“I didn’t want to end the friendship…but ultimately it was choosing between that or my music career.”
To complete the song, Losi sought the help of Eskimo Joe drummer and guitarist Joel Quartermain, to produce and mix the track.
An award-winning producer as well as a talented muscian, Quatermain has worked with several notable artists, achieving international success through his involvement with Meg Mac’s eponymous EP.
“Working with Joel on the song as a producer, that was a big highlight for me,” Losi said.
“I sent him my demos and then he said he’d work with me.
“He produced G-flip and Meg Mac and I was like ‘Damn, I love them and they’ve worked with him too and he wants to work with me’.
“I didn’t think I was good enough to work with him.
“I think it’s imposter syndrome because I’ve never really considered that [music] could be a main career, but maybe it can.”
Listed as a top 40 finalist, “Care Too Much” has already received recognition in the 2021 Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition.
With previous winners including Thelma Plum, Matt Corby and Amy Shark, the competition is regarded as Australia’s most prestigious songwriting competition.
More recently, the track has enjoyed airtime on Triple J’s Home and Hosed segment which spotlight the latest Australian music releases.
The song’s accompanying music video was filmed in Aireys Inlet with the help of filmmaker and friend, David Fromholtz.
Frustrated by a previous lack of creative control, Losi took on more of a producing role to craft the final product.
“I’ve been really proud of what we’ve made in terms of visual stuff as well as the music,” Losi said.
“It was a pretty tough learning curve but, I think, down the coast is so beautiful you actually can’t go wrong. It sells itself.”
“Now I’m feeling pressure to release more music, so I’ve got to knuckle down and keep writing.”
She hopes another EP release – her first as Bella Deer – may be on the cards for next year.
In the interim, Losi’s looking forward to playing more shows across the state as music venues continue to bounce back after the pandemic.
“I always like it when people come up to me after a gig and say that really spoke to me,” Losi said.
“If it makes them relate to a relationship they’ve had, or a situation they’ve been in.”
“If it just makes someone’s life a bit easier – because that’s what music is for, to escape the monotony of life – that makes me happy.
“That’s me doing my job. That’s how I see it.”
To follow Losi’s musical journey, follow her Instagram @belladeer.music.